“I’d just be…prepared. That’s when individuals with what Player is struggling with do it. Birthdays, Christmas, other major holidays” Don says.
I look at the Zoom screen. Therapist Don has been a big help to me over the past year.
I shrug. “He did break up with me on Valentine’s Day in college”.
Don’s jaw drops. I nod.
I see a call coming in. “Omg that’s him now!” I think quickly. I put my phone to the side.
“Let’s finish the session. We only have a few more minutes, I’ll call him back right after” I say.
“You’re doing the right thing Shaz. Supporting him and loving him. It’s all you can do right now.”
I nod. “Believe me, I am! I told player I would FREEZE TIME for him! I would do anything to make him feel better. Whenever I’m working and he texts- I text him right back! I put everyone on hold and prioritize him. I treat him as I do my mom, dad, or brother.”
Don laughs. “Oh Shaz. You are just. So loving. I gotta tell you, I was able to find love being my weird self so if I was able to- you can to. Even if it isn’t him. Because someone is worthy of your love”.
“But hey, we aren’t there yet” Don says.
It had been a week and a half since I last saw player. We weren’t talking much, despite my efforts to reach out to him.
One of the days, player and I didn’t talk at all. That day, my ex reached out. Unreal.
“Are you seeing someone?” he asks.
“Why? Where’s your new girlfriend?” I ask.
“She is very toxic I broke up with her” he says.
“I wanted to see you. Maybe watch a movie or something” he says.
“Yea fuck you. I am seeing someone. And he is way better than you” I say.
“Ouch” he says. “I’m happy for you Shaz” he says.
I smile. I always waited for this day. Where karma would slap him in the face.
“So, who’s the guy? The lucky one” he asks.
I smile. I tell him a little bit about player and say my goodnight. I try player one more time before my eyes shut, no luck. Damn I’m really getting worried.
When I reach him a few days later, he tells me his moods are all over the place. He can’t explain it.
I feel it myself. The entire week after player left sucked. But I just knew it would be the reality of being long distance, at the same time our love was so strong I thought it could survive it.
Player had even said the day before, “I wanna see you again. Soon”.
God what changed.
When I hang up the call with my therapist, I call player back.
“Hello” he says.
“Hey player. I’m so sorry, I was talking to my therapist when you called” I say in my perkiest voice even though I’m exhausted.
“Oh..it’s fine. How are you?” he asks in a very off tone.
“I’m good! How are you?” I ask, again trying to sound as happy as possible and not nervous for what may come.
“Not good. I feel like nothing makes me happy” player says.
I ask player if he tried talking to someone or trying medicine again.
“Yea medications come with side effects” he says coldly.
My eyes widen on the other side of the line. Yea not like I never took medication for my mental health or anything. What the hell would I know right?
Breathe Shaz, I tell myself. He needs you right now.
I stay quiet. “Anyways, I don’t wanna talk about myself anymore. What’s going on with you?” his tone again is so cold it is almost making my mood-
Again. I remember where he is coming from. I bring my perky voice back.
I tell him about how I’m very busy with distributing vaccination and I’m gonna get mine soon too. He doesn’t say anything. Maybe I’ll try something interactive. Make him feel better.
“…also I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Like when I sit at my dining table I’ll look across and remember you there-” I say laughing trying to sound as happy as possible.
“Yea I don’t feel the same way” he says interrupting.
I think my heart literally skipped a beat.
If player could see my face right now.
Feels like someone punched me. In my nose. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I feel like I’m gonna vomit. “Uh. You know what player, why don’t you call me tomorrow? Doesn’t sound like you really want to talk tonight” I say.
Suddenly his tone lightens, but it’s a little too late. “Yea, sorry to open this can of worms on you…”
I feel myself going white. “Uh, yea. It’s fine. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Bye” I say.
Somehow he hangs up first.
I throw my phone on my bed and go to the bathroom. I splash cold water on my face.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
When player said he thought about what our kids would look like, I imagined about my white dress. If it would be one of those mermaid ones or a ball gown- my two favorite styles. Would flatter my shape I thought. One that player loved.
When player and I were walking around shopping holding hands, I imagined doing it with him for the rest of my life.
When I fell asleep in players arms without evening knowing, I imagined how he’d always be able to hold me and take the pain away when I’m sad.
I look in the mirror.
I tried my best.
continued in Birthday Breakup: Part 2