I woke up to the sound of Lora asking Jon to come to the little bedroom with her. Jesus god, it never ends. Is it the same old fight? A new one? Something else? I didn’t know. The door was shut tight, and they weren’t being loud, but I just couldn’t stand the idea of another fight. I dressed and got out of there as quickly as I could.
Because I absolutely did not want to see Lora, I left without seeing Jon or kissing him goodbye. In the two-plus years we’ve been dating there have been two times when I didn’t kiss him goodbye before work, if we were in the same home (If he has to be up first, he always comes and kisses me good bye too). The first was when I got an emergency call from work, and pretty much had to roll out of bed and go immediately. And I texted him immediately that I ran out without kissing him, and I would kiss him extra that night. Because I love that little ritual of ours. Just in case something bad happened during the day. We want to part for the day with a kiss and an “I love you”
And Thursday was the second. For such a little thing, it felt awful. I had that irrational fear that if something were to happen to him, he wouldn’t have had that lost little moment of love and affection for me. Even though I know he knows how much I love him, it still ached. One more little ache atop a mountain of ache.
My heart felt like it was breaking. I sat at work, mindless. Completely unable to concentrate. I wanted to get the day over with. Do work, see therapist, read Jon my letter, and leave. Start to grieve. Give myself time to rail and rage at the world, at Lora, at Jon. Feel horrible and heartsick until my head was back in a place where I could start to pick up the pieces. Purge my constant internal litany of “why why why?” when I was around Jon, and see what kind of relationship we would have, once we were back to living separately.
Around ten, he messaged me:
Jon 10:12 AM: You went to work?
Liz 10:13 AM: I had to. and you were woken up early to talk/fight again, like nearly every day since last Friday
Jon 10:50 AM: I’m going to come by and pick up green stuff (our code for pot, which I buy for us, and Lora uses most of. It also helps me with my chronic pain).
Liz 10:55 AM: That’s all you have to say to me? That’s it? Gotta go help Lora get her needs taken care of. Gotta get up whenever Lora demands you get up to talk.
Jon 11:05 AM: I broke up with Lora
Liz 11:06 AM: What?
Jon 11:06 AM: I broke up with Lora
Liz 11:07 AM: I don’t know what to say
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to say. I sat there and I stared at the words. I felt numb. Like I was hallucinating. In shock. Afraid to believe. Unable to process.
Jon came for the pot. We met outside. I asked him if this was really it. He said yes. He was clearly in terrible pain. I said I was sorry. I was. I am. For his pain. For Lora’s pain. For my pain. I asked if he was sure this was really it. Because he and Lora had broken up once before – and started building their relationship back from the ground up again (I shudder to think of what it was like before then). He looked at me levelly. Full eye contact. Yes. It’s done. It is done.
I am so sorry, I told him. So very sorry. And – I told him – I know this is probably too soon, but if Lora does continue with therapy, and truly improves, and wants to try again in a year or two, I would not knee-jerk oppose it. It’s too soon to think about that, he whispered. Too soon. I said I was sorry again. So sorry. He said it was Ok.
Ok, I said. Should I still come home? I can sleep somewhere else tonight, if that’s what’s needed. No, he said. Come home. Just let me know when. Ok. I said. I love you, I said. I would love to hug you, but I’m afraid you don’t want to be touched now. No, he said. Not now. I just can’t. And he left.
I sat at my desk and wondered if I’d get a message from him saying that they talked some more and figured it out and it was going to be OK now. I sat there and shook, and was afraid to hope, but hoped nonetheless.
I hoped until it was time to go to my therapist. Just telling her what happened in the past week took nearly all my session. I have a feeling we’re going to do a lot more back-and-forth talking next week. The one thing she did ask me though was why did I tell Jon that I could potentially be OK with Jon dating Lora in a few years, as long as she got help. I told her that I felt guilty. And afraid that I was being selfish. Afraid that I wasn’t being poly enough. Afraid that no matter how horribly she’d acted, I’d only wanted her gone so I could have Jon all to myself. I know none of that is true. And yet, I was so afraid it might by, that I couldn’t help but tell Jon what I told him. She said that made sense, and we ended the session.
And then I went home, hoping all the way that I wouldn’t be greeted by a tearful Jon and Lora telling me that they’d really figured it all out this time, finally, and that everything was going to be just fine.
That would have killed something inside of me.