Like a sad teenager, I pour my feelings onto the page and press ‘Publish.’ Seconds later, I approve comments that express solidarity and comfort. Along with my WordPress back end, my Facebook page is also open. A small window pops up on the left hand corner of my screen. It is John, a former UMass Amherst classmate.
I scan the first line of the chat where he apologizes for the detachment my boyfriend is exhibiting, though John is not my boyfriend. He is, however, a faithful supporter of LoveSujeiry.com. I read your latest post, John types. If he is not meeting your needs, you need to move on, he advices. John is only trying to help much like I try to help friends and readers who seek my relationship counsel. Unfortunately, leaving someone you love is easier said than done, even when said person is increasingly disappointing you. I tell this to John, and what he relays next is identical to what I’ve mouthed to troubled lovers.
“You have to talk to him.”
I nod as if John is in front of me. I finish our chat before logging out of Facebook and walk outside to make the call. The sun rays warm my face. I squint as I pull out my iPhone from my right back pocket and search for my boyfriends number. I press “Send” and listen to the phone ring on the other end. One ring. Two rings…
“Hey, baby!” He greets. “How are you?” His tone is light and unaffected, completely contradictory to the self-doubt and fear that I have carried in my voice for 10 days. It hits me then that he is oblivious to how much his detachment is affecting me. But I initiate “the talk” anyway.
“I’m going to ask you something and I want you to be honest with me,” I state seriously.
“Ok…what is it?” He asks, a bit perplexed.
“You haven’t been here for me. You haven’t been around at all. Something is different and I need to know if you want to be in this relationship,” I continue, becoming stronger with every word uttered.
“Baby, I do want to be with you. I’m just going through a lot of problems with my family…it’s not about you and me…” My boyfriend coerces, the frustration building in his voice as I had broached the subject of his detachment days ago.
“I’m going to ask one last time,” I question, still firm. “Do you want to end this relationship but don’t say so because you’re afraid to hurt me? I will be fine if you want this to be over,” I end, confident in my words.
“No…I don’t want to break up. I don’t know why you think this way,” he asserts.
“Um…because we haven’t seen each other and you seem fine with it?” I say sarcastically.
“I’m not fine with it but I need to resolve some problems…figure out what’s happening with my job…I don’t have money to take you out…” He goes on and on and I zone out. Until he activates his sarcasm and ignorantly expresses that he thinks I want him wrapped around my finger. I say that is not the case but do not fight back. If that’s what he thinks so be it. I will not prove him right or wrong. Instead, I will relax and abandon my worries and sadness. I know I will be fine with or without him, and that knowledge gives me the strength to let go.
Let the chips fall where there may.