Growing up

Growing in the sand by Fellowship of the Rich

I had decided that I was going to break up with him four days before I actually did.

It was a Friday night and I was determined to make him give me an explanation about what was going on.

We spent the night with two other friends, then, once we were left alone in his car, I told him I couldn’t understand the reason of his sudden detachment and hostility. I explicitly explained to him that I was ready to end up our relationship if that was what he wanted, I repeated him that I wasn’t trying to force him in any relationship he didn’t want (he was the one who made all the effort to get with me) and that all I desired was to understand what he wanted, in order to make us both feel good again.

That’s when he displayed, all at once, the sum of all his worst flaws: cowardice, childishness, confusion, inability to make any simple choice, difficulty to understand his own feelings and therefore impossibility to express them, continuous inconsistency in his words and opinions.

I believe he surpassed himself when he tried to answer to my question: “Why have you been behaving like you suddenly don’t give a fuck about us?”.

In the following minutes he listed all of these excuses:

I don’t know.
So are you telling me that you do stuff and you don’t even know why?” I replied to him.
He gawked with a dull expression.

The anxiety you have suffered from is something I don’t know and that scares me.
Bullshit” I replied “you know anxiety, you have been suffering from it way longer than me. And you are the one who went after me, you kept making a pass at me before and during my worst days, you repeated to me hundreds of times that you wanted to be with me, next to me even when I was in hell.
No reply to this either.

You told me you loved me, that’s when I got scared”.
So why did you repeatedly write I love you and I wish this will last forever to me the next day? Why did you ask me to introduce you to my parents? Why did you make plans about moving to my new house, when I wasn’t even considering it?
His empty look was still there.

I’m always afraid to be like water on people’s raincoats. I’m afraid they will stop caring about me at any moment.
That’s exactly what you achieve when you behave as if you don’t give a fuck. People distance themselves; that’s what you are trying to make me do. Do you realize that you are instigating this reaction?”.
Still no answer from him.

You know nothing about relationships; that’s what a couple relationship is like, that’s how it works.
I may know nothing”, I acknowledged, “but what I know for sure is that if a love relationship is like this, I am going to do without it. I’d rather be alone than feel like this.
You’re being ruthless to me tonight” was all he could murmur back.

I’m going through a critical moment, I’m searching for a new house and I haven’t had much time”.
Not even the time to reply to a Good morning text? Come on, that’s ridiculous.
Again, no reaction from him.

My analyst suggested to me to spend some more time with myself. That’s why.
And that’s why in the last weeks you had a party with your brother’s friends, went to a concert, had dinner with your girl friends, went for manga shopping despite you hate manga, without even asking if I liked to join?
Again, no answer, he kept looking like a whipped dog.

The point is that I don’t know if I want to be in a relationship. But if I want it, I want it with you.
And were you planning to inform me about that? Don’t you think I should have known that? Especially since you are the one who pulled me into this relationship? Especially after the things you’ve said? How can you really be unable to decide if you want to be in a relationship?
I can’t decide, I’m too tired right now.
Have you got any idea about when you will be able to make your decision?
I believe I am going to be able to decide only when I’ll be in dire straits.

This last sentence was probably the only true thing he said to me that night. And that’s when I snapped.

I burst into tears, realizing that there was no point in even keep talking. I stayed in his car long enough to hear him whine “Please, don’t get out of the car now”. I got out of the car and slammed the door with all the strength I had.

I stopped twice while driving back home; I couldn’t manage to control my sob and see clearly the road in front of me. So I cried and cried: before I got out of his car, while I walked to mine, in my car, while I was driving home, at the roadside where I stopped, in the parking spot in front of my house, in my bathroom, on my bed.

I cried because my trust in him and in our relationship had clearly been misplaced, because the man who had done everything to make me fall in love with him was giving up to his self-destructive gutlessness as he always does, and because all of my effort to support him had just proved completely useless.


I spent the following days rethinking about that night and the previous weeks. Despite my awful mood, I analyzed his behaviour and mine. I concluded I had done everything I could and I made my choice. I called him on a Tuesday afternoon and – as he had been doing in the previous month and a half – he didn’t pick up the phone.

For the first time ever, when I put down my phone, I didn’t feel any anger warming up in my stomach. I found myself slightly smiling instead; he was being the same old quitter he had been all his life, but I didn’t care this time. He was still a child; I had just grown up instead.

I called him again some minutes later; he picked up this time and I broke up with him.

I was sure I was going to have a terrible night after that call. I had made my resolution, but I was still unsure about how my mind and my body were going to react to such intense days of mixed emotions. So I was expecting the worst.

I was wrong, I was dead wrong. That night, exactly like during the days in which our relationship had started, I felt free again. I was struck by that unexpected, comforting and refreshing feeling of freedom. The same one I had felt during the days of my recovery, during my slow comeback to my everyday life, during the first part of our relationship.

I was feeling free again. And, to me, that was the best possible proof that I had just done the right thing.


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