It’s been two weeks since Jake left me in the middle of the ocean. And I think my life jacket is faulty. It’s not keeping me afloat. I’m afraid I may drown (in my own tears).
Then he throws me a rubber ring...
Oh God. I’m making myself cringe. I really shouldn’t write when I’m feeling emotional.
But I simply have to write. And I have no idea when I’ll stop feeling emotional. So I’ll start again without the analogies and just tell it as it is; I still feel like crap.
Then he sends me a text...
I’ve always loved you. I always will. Who I am now (the best bits – the worst bits are my own doing) I owe more to you than anyone. I want to live my whole life with the integrity, passion and ability to love that you’ve always shown. I’m not good with tragedy; sorry I dealt with this all badly. You always deserve the very best.
...and I accelerate through the five stages of dealing with loss;
He’s taking the first step towards trying to change my mind (denial).
He’s right – he did deal with it all very badly (anger).
Maybe he’ll agree to stay in London if I agree to a possible move overseas in the future? (bargaining).
That won’t happen. I’ll never be happy again (depression).
It’s over (acceptance).
His carefully chosen words are so thoughtful, so poetic, and so utterly lovely that I decide to copy them into my notebook so I can keep them forever.
Mia will be home soon. I have a shower, style my hair and put on my make-up; I’m ready for some (retail) therapy.
I’m pleasantly surprised to find I’m attracting a lot of attention. Perhaps I never noticed before because I wasn’t available? Mia dismisses my theory “No mum, it’s your nipples”.
My eleven year old daughter has just reduced my entire appeal to a pair of nipples!
She denies it, “It’s your nipples that get their attention and then they look at your face and realise that you’re pretty.”
She pauses then deadpans “Maybe you shouldn’t wear a white top when it’s cold”.
She makes me laugh all afternoon. And I go to bed feeling wildly euphoric! But I wake up feeling incredibly flat.
I remain upbeat until I drop Mia off at school. Then I go to the gym and pound the treadmill to clear my mind of Jake related thoughts.
It works. And I can’t help but notice Roberto pumping weights through the mirror. He’s probably the closest thing to physical perfection I’ve ever seen.
My jaw literally dropped the first time I laid eyes on him (shortly after my divorce). He noticed me too and things got pretty hot in the steam room one afternoon.
The physical side of it was incredible. Then after a few weeks (yes, it was that good), I tried to have a proper conversation with him.
It wasn’t easy. His vocabulary was somewhat limited. And my attraction to him waned rapidly.
I notice that he’s smouldering in my direction. Didn’t someone once say that the quickest way to get over someone is to get under someone else?
I start thinking about our encounter in the steam room.
This proves to be somewhat distracting; I trip over my own feet, land on my face and slide off the (fast) moving treadmill in a most undignified manner.
I take it as a sign that I shouldn't sleep with Roberto.
I go home and spend hours frantically cleaning instead. Then my new washing machine arrives.
And it's only when the delivery guy gives me a little pep talk before he leaves that I realise I’ve been (silently) crying the whole time.
I think I’m re-visiting the depression stage of loss.
There’s nothing left to clean. But I have to keep myself busy so I go to Sainsbury’s. I put a few things in my trolley then leave it at the bottom of the aisle while I get some fruit.
It’s gone when I get back. Someone has stolen it! How bloody rude! And it’s got my pound in it!
It doesn’t take me too long to spot the culprit; my trolley is one of the smaller ones and there aren’t a lot of people in the supermarket.
I march over and physically move her out of the way. I’m so furious that I don’t trust myself to speak.
I empty the trolley until I find my things at the bottom. I point at them indignantly. I don't know why she's looking so freaked out. She’s lucky I've managed to remain calm.
I walk off with my trolley.
Several aisles later it occurs to me that pushing her out of the way, throwing her shopping on the floor then pointing at my things without uttering a single word was probably somewhat disconcerting. And not at all calm.
It would appear that I’m not quite done with the anger stage of loss yet either.
I miss him so much. He’s left a huge empty space in my life. I read his text over and over again, sighing tearfully to myself.
But somewhere around the fifth read I start to find it a little patronising.
By the tenth read, I’m absolutely furious (and dry eyed). I’m dying here and he sends me a cliché ridden text? Four years of my life and all I get is a poxy, patronising text?
Shit. I’m starting to sound bitter. And that's not who I am.
But it’s enough of a shock to bring me to my senses; I do not want to become an angry, bitter, lonely old lady who spends my days rocking in a chair with a cat sitting on my head.
It’s time to move on. I post a light hearted request on my fac book wall;
I would like to meet a man who is attractive, kind, funny, fit, patient, loyal, aged 35-45, preferably with child(ren) of his own and without ‘issues’. I’m not holding my breath.
Then (several days later) a message lands in my inbox ‘I hear you’re looking for me’.