I knew it was over about three hours after my last new post. My not-so-special lady’s text glared at me like a polished turd (100% possible per Mythbusters): “Could you please bring my Doctor Who DVDs to rehearsal tonight?” She didn’t know how jammed my Mondays are — work, then straight to therapy, then straight to rehearsal, with a dinner of granola bars in my car in the Harper College parking lot — but luckily, I’d had the DVDs sitting in my car for weeks, since I expected to see her much sooner than this.
It’s weird when something seemingly innocuous feels like the worst possible omen, but her behavior over the past few weeks left little room for doubt. The part of me that wanted to believe she was just sick and everything would return to relative normalcy as soon as she got better grew smaller and smaller with each new sign that she was preparing to end things.
“Why not just put it out of its misery?” I asked myself. When I got to rehearsal, she seemed pretty normal, though — chatty and pleasant. She even seemed to forget she asked me to bring the Doctor Who DVDs an hour earlier. I wanted to put a hash mark under the “Innocuous Message” column, and she made it easy to do that, so I let her.
But things got weird again afterward, when I walked her to her car and she practically dove in and strapped herself into the seatbelt to make a goodnight kiss difficult — nay, impossible. And then she was gone, leaving me to ponder the possibility that she wanted to avoid a kiss because she was still sick, even though she’d repeatedly declared that she was not contagious. Maybe she meant it wasn’t airborne?
So what should I have done? I wasn’t going to break up with her through a fucking text message, or an e-mail, or even a phone call. The only choice I could see was to continue with Sara’s advice to back off, only contacting her when it was necessary. Trying to act like everything was normal — to hedge my bets, since I have a history of allowing relationship-ruining paranoia to get the best of me — until I could see her again. I told myself, “If she’s still weird and stand-offish at next week’s rehearsal, I’ll just end it. Why should we maintain this charade if she’s trying so hard to casually slide out of the relationship?”
I sent her an e-mail on Tuesday or Wednesday. I saw an amusing image on Facebook depicting Edward and Bella from Twilight, in a typically melodramatic pose, with Wesley Snipes’s Blade looming behind them. I thought it was worth passing along to her. No response.
I’d told her at last week’s rehearsal that I’d found recordings of our specific arrangements of traditional carols, to help make them a little easier to memorize. Thursday, Thanksgiving morning, I sent a link to a zip of all the songs to her. I actually should have done it sooner, but I didn’t really have time to get all the tracks organized until Thursday. No response.
Finally, she recommended the Hunger Games books to me. I finally caught up on The New Yorker, so I was able to plow through the remainder of the first book over the past week. Her description sounded cool, but I remained unsure. However, the first book, at least, is far better than it has any right to be. Kids have much better young-adult literature than we do, guys. This shit is and head and shoulders above A Wrinkle in fucking Time. It’s like The Running Man (the book, not the movie) meets Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, only even more awesome than that hopefully sounds. Anyway, when I finished the first book and moved on to the second, I texted her a thank-you for the recommendation. That was on Saturday morning, I think. No response.
Sunday evening, I received an e-mail from her. No subject line. Dun-dun-dun!
And, yeah… I won’t reprint it here, although I’m always tempted to do so when something’s put in writing, but she dumped me in a fucking e-mail.
It’s not that I didn’t see it coming. I was emotionally prepared, although it still sort of hurts. I’m not mad about the relationship ending; I’m a little frustrated about the poor communication, because I think if we’d cleared the air weeks ago, this prolonged “Gee, it seems like she wants to break up, but maybe she really is just sick” bullshit wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have spent the last three weeks in a state, trying to figure out if I was bringing my own baggage into this because, without actually seeing her and barely communicating with her, I just got stuck in my own head again.
But, really, the only thing that bugs me is how it happened. A fucking e-mail? She couldn’t do it face-to-face, after rehearsal tonight, the way I planned to? Maybe I shouldn’t expect anything more from someone I met through a flurry of e-mails, but still… AN E-MAIL?!? There’s really nothing else to say but:
Now that it’s over, I’ve gone back in time and posted the last few weeks’ worth of “new” Monday posts. I’d written them all on successive Mondays but didn’t want to post them for fear of being too public about my worry and paranoia. Doesn’t really matter now, so you might as well enjoy the chronicle of a relationship in decline.