I have to be honest.
I had second thoughts about seeing her today.
We didn’t exactly have the ideal goodbye.
Things were thrown.
Harsh words were exchanged.
Promises were broken
And feelings were hurt.
It was an ugly, unrefined, long overdue end to the relationship that has transformed itself into a heavy energy-sapping responsibility.
Am I ready to see her? I asked myself.
Will I be able to control my feelings once she is near enough to feel?
Will we finally have a better ending to the promising start we once had?
The hope to get the answer to the last question made me decide to come.
We owe each other a better goodbye.
We were in love…
And if I’m being painfully honest, I sometimes foolishly believe I still am.
She was vibrant.
She was one of those lucky few whose aura made people gravitate towards her.
She had a certain light.
There was something about her bright welcoming smile and infectious laugh.
Meeting her was one of those moments when you just know you’re life will never be the same again.
And my life certainly was changed forever.
I got out of the car and straightened my tie.
Knowing that she was a few feet away made me nervous.
Heart… exploding in anticipation.
It was just exactly how she described her panic attacks.
You see, she was a perfectionist and she became vulnerable when that perfection was disturbed.
She didn’t have the most conventional method of dealing with her panic either.
One day I watched her snort a pill she crushed with her perfume bottle.
It was for a medical condition she assured me as I curiously watched her.
She has been prescribed of it she said.
She just needed something to calm her nerves.
She was a bright up-and-comer.
She was in demand in the field she was in and though it might be a cause of celebration for others… it was a cause of concern for me.
Her drug use grew with her paychecks.
More pressure. More “edge” to be taken off.
A couple of pills, a roll of pot, a line of coke… all to take the edge off.
Although I was concerned, I trusted her too much and believed she knew what she was doing.
My love for her blinded me.
And that blindness restrained my ability to see that although she needed my love…
Help was what she needed more.
I wish we realized then how strong we both were…
And how stronger we were together…
Maybe then goodbye would never have been an option.
Her little whimpers for help finally became a loud cry one morning.
I was tired and hung-over from the night before.
I put my arms around her waist and tried to wake her up but she didn’t budge.
Her skin was clammy and cold.
I sat up and checked her face, her lips were bluish and she was barely breathing. I shook her and screamed but got no response.
I immediately brought her to the hospital where the doctors told me there was a large amount of oxycodone found in her blood and that she fell into a coma.
The realization that I could lose her brought me to a state of shock.
The memory made me even more nervous but I knew I could not delay the meeting any further.
I came here to see her and I will never forgive myself if I let my anxiety take over.
I took a deep breath and stepped inside.
It felt like the first time I visited her in rehab.
She woke up from her coma four days later and got checked into rehab days after.
I was excited to see her but scared of what I might find.
Luckily it was not at all what I imagined… it was more of a retreat house than the chaotic loony bin my naïve mind created.
I could actually live here I thought
I was almost relieved until I walked into her room.
It was a scenario straight out of the movies… only darker, more silent, more real.
The first few days were the roughest.
She kept crying… complaining about everything.
She started creating stories of maltreatment and tried everything to convince me to bring her home. She hated me when I refused.
She wouldn’t see me when I came to visit her and when she did, she would not speak.
It got better weeks after.
I started seeing glimpses of the old her.
She was optimistic and smiling more.
And that gave me more hope.
I educated myself about the drugs she took and the ways to help her get rid of her dependence on them.
I was consumed by my need for her to get better.
I started coming late to work, cancelling meetings and pushing deadlines.
But nothing else mattered… I needed to make her world better before she stepped back into it.
I finally got a glimpse of where she was and as I made my way towards her, each step got harder and harder to take.
As I got nearer, our final memories together came in full view.
My body felt like it weighed a ton… my heart, two.
It wasn’t a week out of rehab when she relapsed.
She found numerous complaints from clients in her mail, most of them saying they will never hire her again.
It was just too much for her sober self to take.
All hell broke lose as she tried to convince me to give her the pills… she turned into this person I have never met… this loud, illogical, rude, selfish… addict.
She went on a rant… one mindless thought after the other… one hurtful word after another.
I can only watch her and wonder how she went from the love of my life to this junkie in my living room.
She finally calmed down hours after and apologized for her actions but just as I was convinced she knew better, I woke up beside a note simply saying “sorry”.
But “sorry” was not what I needed.
I needed her to get better.
I needed her to be with me.
So, I chased after her and convinced her that we needed to be together.
We gave it another shot but our relationship was never the same.
I couldn’t trust her but I couldn’t let her go.
We went on and off for a couple of years before we finally decided it just wouldn’t work.
My bosses didn’t think I was dependable.
My progress at work went to a halt.
I stopped meeting my friends.
Started ignoring calls from my family.
She was front and center of everything.
I couldn’t get her out of my sight.
I was terrified that she would do something stupid and hurt herself if I turn my back.
I watched her every move.
I was obsessed.
I was paranoid.
She hated it.
I hated her.
We both became different people and the love that we used to share became a burden between strangers who did not know what to do with it.
And though we had good times… even the best couldn’t keep us together.
I was finally close enough to see her face.
For the first time in a long time, she seemed liked the young, innocent, carefree girl she used to be.
I could tell she was happier.
Certainly happier than when I saw her last.
“I miss you” she said when I opened the door.
It was an unexpected visit in the middle of the night a few months after our break up.
She was a mess. Looked and smelled like it.
“Let’s try again” She begged.
I shook my head in disbelief of how much worse she had become.
“I can get better” she assured me.
I had to keep the tears from falling.
The girl I fell in love with was no longer there.
I couldn’t even recognize the one standing in front of me.
Hair, greasy and disheveled. Eyes, red with dark circles under them.
She kept shaking and scratching her arms as she cried and pleaded.
I wanted to embrace her in my arms and make her feel I was there and that she was safe.
But I could only look at her in shock.
My silence triggered her into another furious rant.
I closed my eyes.
I’m sorry I cannot save you.
Not a year had passed since then.
And there she was in front of me looking a lot better.
My eyes started to water as I stared at her.
I wanted to be the man she needed.
But I was not strong enough then.
And though a lot stronger now, I know I’m no longer needed.
The idea broke my heart.
I looked at her and couldn’t help but wonder how different now would have been if I didn’t give up.
I wanted to say I’m sorry
That I want to take her back.
No. I want her to take ME back.
That I am no longer weak.
That I can change into the person we both knew she needed.
That I will not leave her side no matter how crazy it gets.
That I never stopped loving her.
That I will try to be her hero.
I wanted to tell her so many things but I don’t think the glass would let her hear.
I wanted to caress her face with my finger.
I wanted to hug her and feel her heart beat next to mine.
I wanted to kiss her… I wanted to feel her breath before the kiss.
I wanted her hand on mine… fingers interlaced with mine.
I wanted to hold her and never let her go but I don’t think the glass between us would make her feel.
I wanted to beg on my knees.
I wanted to break the glass between us.
But I knew.
I knew that even without the glass she would just lay there.