With or without you

I’m not sure I can do this again. I don’t think I have the strength. Equally, I don’t have the strength to cope without you either.

You tell me not to worry. You tell me that this may only be a month or two. Not a year. Everything will be ok.

But I cry. Huge tears streaming, mascara smudging, nose red running. I look grotesque but feel worse.

You ask me to explain but I can’t. To you this is nothing. You don’t see that this is part of the problem.

Why aren’t you disappointed and upset too?

You tell me its only been three weeks. You remind me that you haven’t even asked me to come. You don’t see that this is also part of the problem.

Nearly two years we’ve been together. I’ve counted it month by month. Why? Because each month makes us more serious.

We’ve passed the time you spent with the doctor. Only six or seven months together. But you travelled hours in a day to visit her. Went out of your way. You haven’t done that for me. Yet you found that you stopped missing her when you were apart. What does that say about your feelings for me?

And your first girlfriend, the one you admitted you loved. The one who hurt you. You bought her gifts to show her your love. You showed her respect. How long were you with her? Two or three years? I have nothing to show for your ‘love’.

And then there’s the crazy girl. Again, two or three years was it? My only consolation here is that she wanted to meet your family, your mother, but you didn’t want her to. You didn’t want to marry her.

I’ve met your family. You tell me that is important. So you need to understand, that is all I have. Being with you and your family makes me happy because I love you. But being with you does something else: it makes me feel special and important.

That’s all I have.

No gifts. No grand gestures. No direct invitation. No engagement. No disappointment that I can’t come. Nothing.

Now I have nothing. So what’s stopping you from walking away from ‘serious’ like you did with your first love and the crazy girl? What’s stopping you from walking away from the doctor you loved with grand gestures but bored of her when you were apart?

I have nothing. I am nothing.

And that is why I cry.

I realise now that I pushed my visits. I pushed because I missed you and loved you. I needed to see you and be near you. I needed to feel that you loved me, face to face.

But I pushed because in being with you, I was special. I was important.

Now, once again, I can’t be with you.

I can’t live without you. But you, I think, can live without me.