Do you know what it’s like? When your toes curl? When your heart races? When your soul calms down? Do you know what it’s like to feel like you’re the purpose of another human being’s existence? Like nobody else in the room will ever matter more than you do? Like the luckiest being alive?
Have you read a Mills & Boon book? The rich and handsome Italian man falls in love with the almost-average girl that brings trouble where she goes? That was my story. Everyone involved in my life knows bits and pieces of this story. But nobody knows the truth. I never trusted anyone with the truth. This truth.
I was your typical teenager. Born into a dysfunctional family. I had no sense of permanent relationships. Terrified of commitment in my own way. I ran from things that mattered. I enjoyed the temporary. I enjoyed the boys that swore they’d never love me. There was a comfort in knowing that. Because I knew how to be prepared for the temporary. I knew to believe that people would leave. I didn’t have faith in the ones who promised to stay.
I was visiting my father in another country. A friend in that city introduced me to him. On another occasion, I would have flirted with the guy. But not him. Even I knew he was far too out of my league. He was handsome. Not the kind I was used to. Snobbish and cynical. Grudgingly atheist. He too came from parents that would have been happier apart but chose to be miserable together. He knew the fear of promises and forevers. We became MySpace friends.
22nd July 2010. I needed a lunch buddy. He said “Yes.” We got subway. He called it a date. I didn’t say No.
It’s summer romance. I’ll leave and he’ll forget about me. A guy like that is not interested in me. He just wants to have fun. Fun is good. Fun is safe. Fun it is.
I landed back home after the summer. I turned on my phone and there it was – “I hope you got home safe. Call me the moment you can. I’m counting days till I see you again. Yours truly, R.”
I still grin when I think about it. It was our inside joke. “Yours truly.” He was my Shakespeare in disguise. I had fallen in love with a man that was far too good for me. He was mine. And not just for the summer.
We did the long distance thing. For two months. I’d cry and he’d make me smile with stories of the adventures we’d go on when we were together again. If love could be a person, it’d be him. He introduced me to all his siblings and best friends. I was “the girl he’s going to marry.”
When I got insecure, he got on a flight to visit me. When I got upset, he stayed up all night talking to me. And the best part? When I missed him, he missed me.
Hand written love letters. 8-hour skype calls. I wasn’t just in a relationship. I was in THE relationship. I had something every girl dreamed of. I had a man nobody ever gets to meet. I felt something I’d read of. A feeling of floating on the clouds. I was excited yet calm. He was my storm. He was my warm cup of coffee and cozy book during the storm. He was everything I’d ever wanted. He was everything I’d never thought of. He became the one I wanted to hold on to forever.
And life, for the most part, was beautiful.
But Fate never did like it when that happened.
There is this moment we all go through in our lives. The moment we find ourselves unable to help as we watch the ones we love suffer. We can support them. We can stay on the phone for hours so they feel better. But we can’t fix the feeling that hits them the moment we hang up. We can’t fix their problem.
His father got very sick. He moved back to Italy. The long distance became longer. His emotions grew messier. And I was useless.
There are particular emotions you feel at certain moments that you’ll never forget.
I’ll never forget the inability to reach out and hold him as he cried for hours. I’ll never forget my heart break as I couldn’t help him when he needed me the most. I’ll never forget the regret of not being there with him when I should have.
He lost his father after a long struggle. As a result, he lost himself. An adrenaline junkie. He drank out of his mind. He slept with every woman that went his way. The man I loved became someone I would never consider being with.
His sisters told me he’d gone off the edge and I should give up. But I couldn’t. Because you don’t give up on a relationship because it got difficult. You don’t give up on someone you love because they’ve gone off the edge. I fought for who we were. And this is the moment where the world will begin to disagree with my choices.
After being unreachable for four weeks, he drunk dialled me. At 2:37am on a rainy night.
“Hey babyyy. Guess what? I was just with three women at the same time! Aren’t I the coolest?” I saw a man struggling to fill a void while running away from it. I smiled and asked him to get home safe.
After fighting with me for days, he told me he was too drunk to know where his home is. He’d forgotten his address and was unable to identify which of the cards in his wallet had his address. I had him hand the phone to someone standing next to him and requested them to guide him home. The woman who loved him but never got the opportunity to be with him became my helpline. She showered him. Had him change clothes. Put him to bed. And waited for him to sleep. I still find myself owing her one for that.
We were in the same city again. We had a fight. We went back to his place and his anger got the better of him. It was a fraction of a second. I told him he was overreacting. The next moment I had my palm on my cheek. It was the first of many times.
A date after forever turned into the beginning of the end.
10th September, 2011. 12:45am his time.
“I need to be without you. You’re holding me back. I can’t go through this with you anymore. I can’t be tied down to someone like you. I need to be with me. And lots of other people. It’s time for me to be with other people. This is what I want for my birthday.”
I hung up after telling him something he’d told me a little over a year ago. Something he told me right before he said the words I never thought I’d hear, for the first time.
“If you ever have a wish, I want you to know, I’ll do anything to make it come true. Because I love you. And there’s no changing that.” I gave him his wish. He was no longer tied to me.
I didn’t cry.
I met him a few months later. He was sober. He was dating the one who wanted him. The one who rescued him when I was in another country. The one I owe. He called me that night. It was like old times. He asked me to say Yes. Said he’d give up everything and come back to me. But that was his guilt talking. Not his heart.
I’ve heard people dissect my relationship. Call me weak for staying when he got abusive. Some said I was an idiot for leaving someone so wealthy and handsome.
A few months ago, I met a friend. We talked about dating. We talked about him. She made a comment.
“He broke you. He became a monster. I don’t know why you can’t see that.”
I thought about that days after the conversation.
I fell in love with someone nice. Someone kindhearted. Someone caring. He believed in me. He believed in us. He worked for the greater good of so many. He took over his younger brother’s tuition because he could. He gave away money every month for the elderly and the adopted. He was made of something most people don’t understand. He loved so freely. He didn’t have expectations. He didn’t expect you to love him back. He never hurt people. He was careful with emotions.
He made me ambitious. He gave me a reason to work harder. He made me comfortable in my own skin. Everything I am today is because he walked in to my life when he did. Everything I will ever be, I will owe to him. He was my pillar of strength.
But life caught up to him. It threw him a curveball he didn’t know how to tackle. He gave in to the pressure. It didn’t make him an abuser. It didn’t make him an alcoholic. It didn’t make him a cheater.
It made him human.
He didn’t break me. He made me better when I was at my worst.
And I only wish I could have done the same for him.
25 thoughts on “I Floated. Then I Hit The Ground With A Thud.”
Utterly speechless! bravo!
Thank you 🙂
Exceptional writing about something so personal and at times painful. You laid it all out here and I almost can’t comment about any of it so true are your words, so real is the anger and hurt and confusion, not to mention the desire to try. The only thing I have to add is how devastating the last two lines are. They are almost a simpler version of the post themselves- ‘He didn’t break me. He made me better when I was at my worst. And I only wish I could have done the same for him. Amazing writing.
I’ve been wanting to write a reply to you for the past week and I find myself unable to say Thank You for the moment I type that, it takes away the meaning every word I wrote had in my heart because to me, this wasn’t just a blog post. This was the one step forward I’ve been desperate to emotionally take for a while now.
So forgive me and know that comments like yours are the reason I continue to write the words my heart can’t speak. 🙂
First, don’t ever feel bad about not sending a reply. I too struggle with saying words other than ‘Thank You’ and giving a more heartfelt and emotional response to a comment. It’s funny I almost just left the same sort of comment about this not being just a blog post on your blog you just published today. Between the two I have definitely felt this was a cathartic step of some sorts for you, and I applaud you for making the journey and for putting it out to the world. I hope it helps you-move forward, be stronger..whatever it is you wished in getting this out. Maybe for now that may be all it will be. Words that needed to escape and the true results of what you wrote will manifest themselves later, but it does not negate you actually GETTING them out. I’m so happy to have come across your writing. We may call them blogs, but I’m here for your writing. And I hope that in so doing, those words your heart can’t speak will come out. Virtual hugs and support to you 🙂
First things first, I love hugs (virtual or real). So *virtual hugs* Your comment moved me. Thank you for wanting to read my writing and not just my blog. 🙂 As a writer, that is the biggest compliment I will receive.
It is my pleasure on all counts. Wishing you nothing but great things moving forward.
This is an incredible post. Fearless, mature, deep with emotions, gripping, and thought provoking indeed.
And I salute you for this .
Forgive me for I can’t say Thank You to a comment on this post as the moment I do, those words become nothing but another blog. But please do know that the words you say mean a lot to me and are the reason I continue to write.
Heartwrenching truth. It is beautiful despite the agony. It is, as you said, human. I am glad that he came into your life and I am glad you came into his. What you had for him was indeed true love and that, sweet lady, is not something everyone gets the pleasure of… or the heartbreak either. I think it was a blessing although much too brief than true love should be.
Your writing is wonderful. Thank you for trusting this oh=so-personal story with the rest of us.
Best wishes for the future,
I am glad he came into my life as well. While it may be bittersweet, it will always stay special. 🙂
Sending you love,
Oh my god. This was exceptionally beautiful. I am sorry for what you had to go through. I am in place to comment on anything but i can see how strong you are. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story! Honestly, i was hooked till the end! Thank you for this 🙂
I’m glad you liked it and so eternally grateful for your words. 🙂
Your welcome 🙂 But you deserve them!
Thank you for posting. I spent a great deal of time reflecting on past relationships and hoping that those persons also became better when I was at my worst. I find great solace in knowing that others also have come through the storms of this life and found calm on the other side of turmoil.
I’m reminded of something so simple and real – “Pain loves company.”
Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone 🙂
Exceptional poori… Glad that it’s made you even stronger as a person.. Proud of you ❤
Written so beautifully! All your emotions have come out so beautifully. Bravo! I hope you inspire many more to become stronger, with your words 🙂
I hope you know that your words have inspired me and on my darkest days, I’ll re-read the words you wrote to bring some light into my heart and a smile to my face. 🙂
I agree with the other comments…your post is poignant, poetic, and passionate. (How’s that for alliteration?)
You are a gifted writer. I feel the pain you expressed. I hope you’re feeling better today. God is the best lover of all…we are loved by God, even when humans are, temporarily, unable to love us.
Beautiful! Absolutely no other words…just beautiful!
AMAZING! Beautiful story.
The only thing I could say is that shit happens. You weren’t weak because you stayed, it was because of love and love makes us do things we wouldn’t do. For the most part that it lasted, it was good. You both were happy, and you both learned from it.
A year ago I had watched a video on YouTube, a spoken poetry called when love arrives by Sarah Kay and another guy and that’s strikingly similar to yours. Watch it if you can, its beautiful.
I relate..and i re-lived every moment – when I read this post of yours…that says it all! Muaahs