Our paths crossed one degree of separation away from one another for the last time that night. The chances of our meeting had been flirting with almost since early fall of the previous year. I was subtly aware but never of you. As fate finally had it, the right person in my life met your charming self in late June. It was at a work related event, removed from the city and any obvious tie to either of us. As she sung my praises, you became swept up with possibility. All it took was one phone call before our lives became completely and utterly intertwined.
Our connection was immediate. The spark between us inextinguishable, how right she was. We spent the first twenty-five days of July in complete bliss. Sharing the sweetest and most intoxicating love that I ever experienced. Two beings united at a rare point in both our lives. As we learned each other, we recognized several times before this that our paths almost crossed. It was for this reason we attributed our meeting to a divine intervention. Although there is so much beauty in the magic of our meeting, being together was against all odds. I was moving to the west coast in a little over two months while you planned to stay on the east coast and pursue a life and career.
We knew that with September came our realistic expiration date, and as each day passed we got closer. Still, we contemplated being together forever. We fantasized about elopement, an unplanned pregnancy, moving across the country together, and what the future would hold. We met the important people in one another’s lives, and shared more in those days than most couples do in years. We also had our fair share emotional arguments about staying and leaving and the meaning of it all.
At the end of the day though, we had fun and filled our time with insatiable lust for love, life, and each other.
It was on the twenty-fifth of July that all our future plans came to a screeching halt, when you made a decision that would change things forever. Ironically, this was the same day I realized I was in love with you. On that day, I found myself in a coffee shop making a book of memories. My intent was to give to you this as a parting gift, as tangible proof our perfect summer together existed. As I filled the pages with words of falling in love with you, I fell further away from you than ever.
For you, a series of events unfolded that day to lead to a much bigger decision. The same decision that took our relationship from promised forever to total obliteration. Someone’s hurtful words caused you to abruptly leave a situation and walk the city streets directly into her path. Walking into, and later onto, that path would lead to the demise of our relationship. You would later share that running into her was unplanned. You were headed to a meeting early when you usually run late.
Regardless, there she was walking your way and there was no choice but to say hi.
I never like to talk about the destruction and madness that ensued after you made that decision. Up until now it was something personal and talked about privately with friends. I kept my head down and chose the path of both grace and understanding. It is only now that I speak my truth.
I’ve recalled that night countless times since. I’ve replayed the images of your physical appearance and the words that fell from your mouth when you showed up at my door the next morning unannounced. You were a complete mess, both without a phone and without a sound alibi. In an attempt to help find your phone, I asked what you did when you got home. The look on your face and the answer, the same as two nights prior, should have been a dead ringer. There was hesitation as you stared straight ahead and lacking the usual confidence said, “I don’t know, drank some more… smoked some.”
In days to come, you would break up with me and I would fall completely apart.
You became silent and unavailable. I meandered through days in a state of total confusion and with an emotional instability unbeknownst to my former adult self. I found myself breaking down in the middle of parking lots, meetings, conversations, and car rides. I spent evenings talking to friends about you and rehashing the break up. I recounted the story of that night, “At 1:16 am, what guy tells the girl he’s been spending every night with for weeks, he will just see her tomorrow?” I remember pleading them with my eyes to tell me I was right. “It’s irresponsible at the very least”, they said.
You cast reason for ending it to an issue of timing and nothing else. Deep down I knew this could not be, it just didn’t add up. My heart shattered, yet I searched for the truth beneath all the broken pieces. It was not until late August that I woke up and discovered the truth buried under the ruins of what felt like hell.
I came to get some belongings left behind at your house, and asked outright, “You fucked your ex didn’t you?” The answer was yes but this was only half of it. You chose to spend your evenings at her apartment, as I naively cried myself to sleep. You iced me out and blamed me for moving.
You lied over and over again, playing two hearts at once for nearly a month.
When I asked why, you explained that seeing her that day was too much for you. It was hard to balance the duality of feelings for both her and me. You had already lost me to the west coast, you would say. It meant nothing, you would say. You love me, you would say. You are so sorry for hurting me, you said. You must not have been that sorry.
In the blink of an eye, on the day that I fell in love with you, everything changed. That night in July you set fire to everything we were and ever could be. You did to me what you did to others in the past, and what you promised to not do. You cheated. You slept with her. You consciously and knowingly chose another woman over me. You probably sent the text as she accepted the invite to your house. Maybe when she was on the way, or as you rode in the cab together. In any event, you slept with another woman on my time. As your clothes fell to the ground, our future came undone.
We had not known each other long, but there was promise in our future. How can I say that, though, when the universe wrote our ending before our beginning? How can I say that when you destroyed us before you knew what we could be?