I was running away, but just to see if you'd follow
He holds me, tight, as though I am the only thing keeping him upright, holding him onto the earth. He holds onto me unaware that I am falling too. I always have been, and there’s nothing he can do.
I try to push him away but I can’t. I love him. I forge barricades of words and lies but he knocks them all down and tells me that it will be ok. Will it? Will it ever really be ok? When you can’t see that I am not perfect, that I am not beautiful and I will not make you happy for the rest of your life.
I dread the day when you realise these things because that will be the day that my heart really does break and I lose everything. All the secret stashes of hope I had held onto for so long that someone would love me will disappear. You’re my last hope, and you’re fading fast.
I see you looking at other girls and I know you think I don’t notice. I hear the way your voice goes soft sometimes when you say someone else’s name. I know then that she’s your new infatuation, the girl you will flirt with for the next leg of the tour.
You won’t ever do anything. Just sweet talk and joke and have fun . But it hurts all the same because you used to do those things to me and now you don’t. We hardly sleep together, we hardly talk. You used to creep up behind me and wrap your strong arms around me and I would feel safe. Safer than I could ever feel anywhere else. Now a peck on the cheek and quick hug goodbye are all I get. Maybe that’s my fault.
It’s easy to blame you. To say that you’re falling out of love with me and that I can’t do anything to stop you slipping away but I pushed you away. It was only once you really did start to fall apart from me that I realised how much you meant to me. It’s too late now to pull you back in, the tides too strong, the current too fast, and I’ll never get you back.
You ask me what’s wrong as sit and eat, I’m barely touching my food and I can’t look at you. I tell you that I love you, something I haven’t said in what could be months and you blanch. You can’t say it back. I run to the toilet and lock myself in before you can see the tears rolling from my eyes. Then I’m sick, because I never really wanted to loose you. I was just running away to see if you would follow, but you didn’t.
Three days later I leave the tour. I sit around in our empty flat and wish you’d spent more time here because then I could mope around remembering all the different things that had happened. But nothing much ever happened here and all I have to remember you by is a dirty sock I find down the back of the sofa and a mug you brought me saying ‘my angel’.
When you come back we fight. You smell of beer and I hate that I’m to blame for that. I sleep on the sofa, you offer me the bed but after spending nearly two months on tour you deserve it. I’d had it for the last few weeks anyway, and lying there alone was breaking my heart.
In the morning you won’t speak to me and when I try to hug you you move away. I know this is my fault but it breaks me in half all the same. I need you to know that I love you and that I miss you and most of all that I’m sorry for pushing you away, but the words wont come out so we stand there not looking at each other in silence for a few minutes until you walk away and leave me staring at nothing.
Days drag on and we still don’t speak to me. I find out on day four that you slept with the sound girl who works on your guitar. I hate you for it but mostly I hate myself. The ball in my throat grows so that now I can’t even say good morning to you without choking and hurting my throat. We’re sat in front of the TV when you speak to me.
“I shouldn’t have slept with her, but let’s face it, you shouldn’t have left me either.”
“I didn’t leave you I left the tour.”
“You left me months ago.”
“No, I just… It’s hard to explain.”
“It always is isn’t it? When there’s no real explanation. Oh I’ll just say it’s complicated and then I won’t have to think up some excuse as to why one day I wake up and suddenly decide to treat my boyfriend like shit.”
His voice rises and it makes me flinch. “You make me sick.” He spits and my throat catches fire. I know I’m going to cry but I don’t move, I can’t move, because instead of testing his love, I’ve made him hate me, and no matter how much I tell myself that it’s all well and good I can’t believe it. He was the one thing that got me up in the morning and the last thing I thought of at night. I would think about him constantly and just being with him would cheer me up if I was down.
“I don’t want to loose you. I never wanted to loose you. Can’t you see how much this is hurting me too? I didn’t want to push you away, not forever, I just wanted to see how hard you would fight for me. I never meant for you to hate me.”
“This was just some game to you? Did you not think that this could completely fuck us over? Didn’t you?”
“I love you. I love you more than anything, but you needed me more than I could be there for you. You were holding onto me for dear life without realising that I was what was pulling you down. Can’t you see that .”
“I knew you were falling, but you weren’t pulling me down, you were keeping me safe. I knew you were falling too but I held onto you anyway because if we’re both going to fall, we might as well do it together.”
I fight back the tears still threatening to fall and throw myself at him. At first he doesn’t know what to do but then he puts his arms around me and I cry.
“We’re not going to be the same again are we?”
“No, but we weren’t that great to begin with, maybe this time we can be better.”
“I’m sorry for running away from you.”
“I’m sorry that I didn’t follow you… and for sleeping with… her…”
I turn my head into his neck to smell the patch of skin behind his ear that always smelt of cinnamon. “It’s ok… I deserved it…”
“I love you.” I look into his eyes and see that he means it. “I realised when I was with her that what I was missing when I was with you wasn’t the sex and the kissing and the intimacy. It was you, I missed you… all along… and I hadn’t even noticed you were gone.”
We hold each other for a long time. Falling through everything, crashing down in a heap on the floor, injured, bruised, broken, but together.