I’ve never believed in ultimatums as they pressure me to act when I don’t receive what I desire. Instead, I take it. The dwindling phone calls, the distance and detachment, the words without follow through: I take it all and wallow in silence. Then there is a breaking point. A time when taking it is no longer an option. Analytical thoughts have consumed me for way too long. I have been drowning for way too long, holding onto a raft that no longer supports my weight, my dreams, my heart. So I flap around in desperation, creating waves and ripples as I fight for my happiness.
A week and a half ago, I stopped going against the current. After three weeks of questioning my boyfriends lack of effort and receiving no concrete answers, it was time to act. My eyes shot open. I turned my head and stared at my iPhone before extending my right arm and pulling it off its rechargeable chord. I grabbed it and stared at the screen for seconds though it felt like hours. I was dreading what was next. Still, I found his number under “Favorites” because he was once my favorite. As I touched the screen and it read “dialing”, I became nostalgic, remembering the 2-3 hour phone conversations we once shared while I lay under the covers. He used to make me laugh so hard. There isn’t even an emoticon or abbreviation to express how much.
And now there is sadness.
The phone rang. It rang and rang and rang but there was no answer. His voicemail picked up and I left a message though I hardly ever do. This conversation was too important to let my phone call go unanswered.
“I really need to talk to you…about us…please call me back as soon as you get this message,” I expressed tensely.
An hour passed. Then another and another. It was 2:00pm and he had yet to return my call. I filled up the time speaking to my closest friends and family, discussing my relationship and sharing my sorrow over the imminent failure of yet another love affair. Some friends pushed me to let it be. Others encouraged me to hope for the best and give him the time he needed to deal with his family issues. Then there were those who urged me to take a stand.
“You can’t waste your time, Sujeiry.”
And so I did what I intended to when I opened my eyes that morning. I bid my friends adieu, thanked them for their support and acts of kindness, and once again pressed his number from my list of favorites. This time I would send a text. No bullshit. No worrying about a reply or his feelings. And so it went:
“Queria hablarte por telefono pero no me devuelves la llamada. Entonces te dire todo sobre texto. Yo quiero compartir mi vida con un hombre. Quiero un compañero. Por eso te abri la puerta de mi casa y mi corazon. Si tu no puedes darme tiempo, sexo, amor, y compañia, yo no puedo estar contigo.”
I pressed “Send” and a surge of power and pain shot through my veins. Confused and emotional, I called my friend Christina to get comfort. Fifteen minutes later, I received his reply. His uncle had died, he said. He was in so much pain, he said. He was devastated and didn’t want to deal with anyone or anything, he said. I’m sorry, he repeated. I will call you when I feel better, he finished.
All I could do was stare at his texts and think of the shitty timing. I also lend him my support. I am sorry for your loss, I typed. I lost my tia a year ago and know how difficult a loss like this is, I empathized. If you need me I’m here, I comforted. And with that the conversation about our relationship never came to be. The ultimatum was simply forgotten, trumped by a tragic loss that I could not outdo. Yes, I have been drowning for way too long. Still, I decided to let it rest, continuing to hold onto a raft that no longer supports me. And so here I am: taking it like I’ve often have. Here I am. Treading water, my head slightly above water, flapping around in desperation and hoping for another chance at happiness.