"I'm sorry, Christine."
I knew it was gonna be bad. She never calls me by my full name; it's always Chris or some silly pet name we use to annoy each other. But today, after nine months, my longest relationship ever, it ended. And she had to send me a text message to do it.
I had spent a good majority of our relationship standing stoically by while she repeatedly fell into bouts of depression, sprinkled with trimmings of immaturity, arrogance, and stubbornness. I told myself, she's just young. When I was her age I was far worse than she could ever think about being. I just wanted to be supportive. I wanted to help. But there are more than a few people who don't want to be helped. I thought I was good at knowing when to walk away from them. But I'm notoriously a bad judge of character, and my own character is no exception.
So, 10:30, roughly. I really don't feel like trudging through text messages to find the exact time. I was in the car, driving to her house of all places, when I got the message. I should have known something was up when she didn't answer her phone. That's usually how it goes. "I'm bad at the real-life thing and good at the avoidance thing, you know." Sadly this is 100% accurate. I was just grateful I didn't leave anything at her house, because I just didn't want to see her. I had my phone and my laptop in the car. Had cigarettes. Wanted booze, but it just didn't sound like a good idea. I try not to succumb to easy escapes when things like this happen. Although one thing I couldn't manage tonight was isolation.
I'm currently at my friend's house. We spent the evening talking, putting things in perspective, creating a new plan. Rachel always allows me anywhere from one to five minutes, depending on the severity of the incident, to whine, bitch, rant, and cry when something like this happens. Then she will force me to redirect my attention, usually by taking advantage of the ease of distracting me. Tonight she gave me the full five minutes, and I took every last second crying and despairing. Then it was, "Okay then, now you and I can make plans for the summer, and then you'll get started with school and we'll get you back on the right track." She had told me just last week that she saw me slipping. She was worried I was neglecting myself, that I had lost myself in blind allegiance to someone who couldn't (or wouldn't) feel love. She was right. She's always right. She just doesn't know how right she was.
When I think about the awful things I said and thought about Rachel and many others because of a paranoid theory that my relationship with my girlfriend was being secretly criticized, I start crying all over again. I had always said to Rachel that friendship was the most important relationship to me. I said to her specifically, "You were here before (insert name of fling or tumultuous short-lived love affair) and by God you'll be here when she's gone." At least I was right about one thing.
I'm going to try to sleep. We have a busy day ahead of us, picking up the pieces, putting away the time capsule.