The last time I saw him he made me promise not to get emotional.
Or, at least, I guess that’s what he made me promise.
His phrasing was a bit more elusive than that.
“Just fucking?” he texted, a few hours before.
“Whatever you say, Bassi,” I texted back.
See that? I used his last name.
To let him know that I meant business.
All business. That’s me.
What? It is.
Stop looking at me like that.
Anyway, it had the makings for a great night, and it actually would have been had I left right before the eleventh-hour palaver to which he fell prey. But I just didn’t see it coming.
“Did you ever really love me?” he wanted to know.
And here I thought we were having a good time.
“Why?” I asked. “Why are you asking me that?”
“You’re not allowed to answer a question with a question,” he informed me.
Because apparently now there were rules.
I turned my back on him.
“What’s the right answer?” I asked. “Give me a hint.”
I wound my arms all serpentine over my head, impressed myself with my own shadow on the wall.
“Did you?” he asked again.
I turned my head over my left shoulder and, smiling at him, lowered my eyes to the floor and jutted my hip out to the right.
“Did you love me?” he asked, yet again, this time sounding more demanding.
“Oh for fuck’s sake, YES!” I yelled, irritated, and spun around to face him.
“Yes! Yes! Guilty!” I hollered, waving my hands all over the place for emphasis.
“I loved you! Yes! I still love you! I’ll probably always love you!”
It was a strange tantrum to have.
He looked as dejected as ever. Any more than about twelve glasses of wine and this one starts to lose his sparkle.
“Did I break your heart?” was his next question.
I rolled my eyes.
“Yes, Merikano, you broke my heart. Definitely. You crushed it.”
The funny part is, that’s the truth.
“I was the one?” he slurred next. “You’ll never get over me?”
It was then that I gave up, sat down next to him, put my hand on his knee.
“I’ve had my heart broken a lot of times,” I answered honestly.
He shook his head, slumped back into the pillows.
I attempted to explain. “After a while, it’s not the heartbreak that really matters. It’s how you respond to it.”
Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have said that?
“I think you should leave,” he told me, shading his eyes with a forearm.
So that’s what I did.
I was actually still in the parking lot when he called, about eight minutes later.
“Why did you leave?” he wondered.
But I didn’t see much point in laying that out for him.
Or in going back.
It’s not that I don’t adore him, miss him, want him in my life.
All of those are true.
But Merikano is easily confused, young in his development, tragic even.
Or maybe that’s me.
Either way, at a certain point, it’s time to graciously accept what others have to offer without question, and focus on decorating the rest of the space with a happiness that stems from you.