I was at a crossroads. Having finished my university education, I had to find work. Now, being fresh out of university is not the most attractive, in my field, where experience is valued above all else. I quickly realized I couldn’t stay in this small town and hope to get a job within my field. At least not now. I would have to move back to the capital for a while, to get my first job and then build from there. My secret hope was that mr. X would want to come live with me there.

If not, I could move back to his small town after a while, I figured. I thought we would work it out no matter what. We would keep seeing each other on weekends, until we solved the situation. There was no other option, in my mind.

Although I was sad moving back home, I was also happy to be around family and a few old friends. There is a feeling of safety, walking well-known streets and recognizing street corners from your first steps into adulthood. The landmarks of your youth feel like a warm blanket around your shoulders. I moved into my old apartment, which I had kept during the years I had been away studying.

This familiar feeling and the security it brought, made the contrast all the more sharp that afternoon. A phone call came, that changed everything. An earthquake that only shook and broke my heart inside my chest, while all the rest or the world, time itself, stopped, froze… I stood with the phone in my hand still, staring at it, incredulously, after hanging up. My head was pounding. Was this really happening? 

Mr. X had just told me that he wasn’t sure about this anymore, that he thought we should call it quits. When asked why, he gave very vague responses, something about “the way we were fighting”. I could not believe what I was hearing, neither could my body apparently. My eyes tried to push out tears but it was as if they stuck and could not materialize out into reality, since this situation could not be real.

I put the phone down and with automatic movements, without thinking, bought the next train ticket available to go down and see him. Yes, I would make the long train ride all the way down there, if it would mean that I could save this love! I stopped for a second and thought: “This is madness”. But I didn’t care. All I could think was: “I have to do all that I can. If I do that, then I can rest, knowing that”. My stomach was in an uproar and my hands shaking. But I could do this. I could do this.

The thing is, when I received that fateful phone call from mr. X, I had only been back in my home town a few days. I racked my brain, I chased my thoughts around like wild dogs, searching for that one thing, or the hundred things that must have been so terrible between us, for mr. X to do this. What was he talking about, fights? We had barely had any fights! I came up with nothing…

Until it hit me like lightning striking. It had to be his old wounds, his core wounds… of course! He had been abandoned as a child and now I had “abandoned” him, by moving back here. He did this to push me away, to keep from getting hurt again, like when he was a boy and his parents left…. How could I not have seen this! Why did I move back home! I cursed at myself, calling myself a witless idiot, for not seeing this before…

I boarded the train the next day and stared out the window the whole way. I wasn’t anxious; I knew we would get through this. Impatiently, I mumbled to the train to go faster, go faster. It must have taken around three or four hours, it was those new modern trains which go so fast that you almost feel sick. But four hours can sometimes feel like decades.

Once I arrived, I got to talk to mr. X. He would hold me, even hear me out, but I could see from his tortured and confused face that he could not give me answers. Not now. We talked for a while but I did not want to pressure him. I backed off. I had not come to put pressure on him. At all. Only to show him love. Love does not force itself on another, although it can show raw and passionate emotion. But it will turn around and leave where it is not wanted. And that is what I did. I showed him everything I had within me, and then left it there with him, to think about.

After a while he followed me back to the train station. We didn’t say much, only that we would keep in touch. A faint trace of melancholy smiles, on both our faces, as we said goodbye.

On the train ride back home, I felt a thousand and one shards of emotions; sadness, rage, hopelessness, agony, uncertainty, love, flashes of hope. I cried silently, my head turned against the window, so that no one on the train could see me and ask what was wrong. I couldn’t stand it, if anyone would ask me that, in that moment. I feared that question from anyone, cause I didn’t know if I would be able to control myself or if I would shout in despair: “What the hell do you think? I just lost the love of my life, that’s what’s wrong!”

One thought kept coming back, like waves crashing against the sand, again and again. The thought felt like it bore such power that I believed it should reach his mind too, somehow, that’s how strongly I was sending it out into the ether:

“Now I have shown you that I will fight for you… Will you fight for me?”

To be continued………

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