It will be six months tomorrow since he told me he was leaving. It feels like longer, and it feels like hardly any time at all.
We’d been out, and I was driving us home. I said something, he said something, we got home, I put the kettle on, and we talked. No big argument, no shouting, just immense sadness and a feeling of not really being there.
Once we were over the initial shock, there was a lot to think about, and a lot to discuss. We had proper conversations, for the first time in a long time. We were honest about how we felt. Practicalities – somewhere to rent, the bank account, how to live in a house with someone who is leaving, packing boxes, emptying cupboards, what’s his and what’s mine (when it used to all be ours), moving day. Then, he was gone.
And the house was quiet. Peaceful.
I sat for a while. Then I walked to the shop and bought myself some flowers, the brightest I could find.
We’ve been civilised. Not always easy – but never impossible. It wasn’t a huge surprise if I’m being honest with myself, and there had been times when I’d come very close to calling it a day myself. The fact that it was him doing it really didn’t matter. Neither of us was happy – so best to just stop. Yes, I felt anger – my anger was directed at both of us, for letting something that had been good slip through our fingers. But I also felt relief.
I hadn’t realised how much space he was taking up in my head until he wasn’t there anymore. I feel more relaxed within myself. If I’m sad, it’s because I’m grieving for the life that we might have had together, not the life we actually had.
People sometimes ask if I’m lonely. The simple answer is no. He worked away a lot, so I’m pretty used to living on my own anyway. I enjoy being with people – but I’m happy with my own company too.
Running the house and the car doesn’t faze me. Looking after the garden or doing DIY, ditto. I can manage. So that side of things isn’t a problem.
I think the hardest part has been telling people – and then having to go through that moment when they feel sorry for me. I really don’t need anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m good.
Don’t get me wrong – there have been difficult moments, tears, frustrations and sleepless nights over the last six months. But I want to look forward to the next six months, not back. I wish him well, and I hope he finds what he’s searching for, I really do. But if he doesn’t, if he finds that he’s been chasing shadows, it’s no longer my concern. I’m sorry that it’s like this, but I’m thinking about me now.
We had plans – I still have plans. They’re different, but they’re mine. And there’s nothing stopping me.
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