It was two years ago today, the fifth of February, that I left the other side of the world, the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and run home to my family with my tail between my legs. The big ending of my Big Love story. Maybe it’s about time I found a more appropriate name for him, than ‘Big Love’?
Guess what happened to me yesterday. In fact, I’ll just tell you. My best gal pal from the other side of the world text me to tell me she’d bumped into Big Love in her local Subway. It seemed to be like a weird convenience that the day she bumped into him was the actual anniversary of me leaving, but life has a funny way of giving you little ‘signs’ like that, that often mean absolutely nothing at all.
Not just telling me about their chance encounter, she’d also taken a sneaky snap of him. It seemed like an odd thing to do, yes, but she’d done it for a reason: to show me how little had changed. He was still wearing all of the clothes I’d bought him. Those dark blue jeans we’d argued about him trying, the hoodie from our time in the war zone, and even the sneakers I’d made him buy when we were out shopping one time. If he had them, he’d probably have still been wearing those war zone t-shirts, but I have those. They’re in my I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-these-pile, because they have so many memories attached to them that I can’t bear to throw them away, but at the same time, hurt my heart whenever I look at them.
His skin was just as pale and grey as it had been towards the end of our relationship, a sign that he was probably still binging on cocaine during his days off … and maybe a few days on, too. His hair was scrappy and messy, very unlike him when he’s not in the midst of his addiction, and his shoes were all scuffed up.
Although I appreciated why my gal pal felt the need to get in touch with me and share her gossip – the fact that he looked like shit and clearly hadn’t done very well out of our breakup – I really wished she hadn’t. Seeing him like that shocked me. Not because I haven’t seen him like that before, because I have, many times — but because I didn’t have the same reaction to him that I used to. He was no longer the most beautiful man I’d ever seen, with the cutest and quirkiest face and mismatched dress sense.
It was almost like I’d been slapped in the face with a cold, hard dose of reality.
You -slap- don’t -slap- love -slap- him -slap- anymore.
Whatever appeal he had before has now gone. The picture didn’t make me get upset and cry, nor did any part of the conversation we had about him. His sparkle has completely disappeared. I’ve moved on. Our love story is over. I won’t ever forget it, obviously … but the page has turned and a new chapter has started.
I made the right choice when I finally decided to leave. Things have taken a while to work out for me, but they are working out. I’ve lost some weight, I feel happier now, and I actually really like my legs.
(Admittedly the weight loss has been so fast that I’m heading to the doctor for blood tests, etc. tomorrow, but that’s not the point.)
And maybe, just maybe, I’ve bagged myself a good man. Jock is so far removed from Big Love, in every single way. But maybe that’s a good thing. Look how well my tall, dark and handsome man-choices have done well … [sarcastic tone]
Anyway, two years home. I survived and I’m happy.
I hope Big Love is too.