Edited on April 2nd 2010
I knew the type of person I didn't want to become. Obsessive, revengeful, scornful and bitter. Love wasn't supposed to leave those scars. I became all that I hated. We couldn't take the distance. It was the jealousy that drove us apart in the beginning, even if there wasn't something or someone that really evidenced our unfaithfulness. We lived off assumptions and we fed on false cases. What if, what if, what if she is sleeping with someone else? What if she has begun missing me? What if she finds her true love? What if I wasn't really the one?
What if she's stopped loving me?
I moved to Spain and lived with a roommate for a while. Sara was absorbed by her boring job in Sweden so she didn't talk to me a lot. She had gone back to the days in which it was difficult receiving emotional expressions from her. All the progress I had made with her was gone. She went back to being an introverted, shy although resentful girl. Away from her friends, family and away from me, she began building a new life for herself, a humourless and complicated life in some small town in the South of the Scandinavian country.
"How are you?" I used to ask her the first months. I had removed the tender words like honey, sugar, baby, sweetheart and love, from my vocabulary. She didn't seem to be responding to them, so I figured she didn't like them anymore.
"I'm okay" she would say.
The conversations were dull and she never said much in them. I asked her what was wrong, but she refused to accept that something was going on. In just weeks we became strangers and losing her was my biggest fear. I couldn't go hunting her in Sweden or being with her every time we had a discussion, so I tried controlling her from afar.
I think I followed the wrong advices. Like that of a silly girl I met at a gay bar in Barcelona.
"Make her jealous! Let her know you're wanted anywhere you go. If she feels threatened, she will react and try getting back what's hers" she told me. I thought that after all we had gone through, that wasn't the brightest idea, but it could work.
I had some online blogs and other sort of internet accounts I knew she paid attention to. I uploaded pictures of great parties I went to, and of the girls I met every weekend. I let her know through random posts that I was having a good life. I had all types of girls around me and if I wanted someone I just had to snap my fingers and there, a new girl. She did nothing. She didn't say anything about it.
I wrote messages to girls saying things like "We should meet", "I've missed you baby", "You are so cute!" or even "You are so mine!", hoping that Sara would somehow ask me about them and I would come back saying "Oh, but sugar, don't you know that you're the only one that means everything to me? Just say it and I'll forget about anybody else" for her. But she never asked me about those girls. She never asked me about the parties, the messages, the pictures, the rumours. One day she didn't reply. She just didn't reply.
Absolute silence. Making her jealous was the most stupid idea. I missed what the point was all about. The point was about loving her and being true to our past. We had a story we had to live up to.
My friends and I were eating pizza at an Italian restaurant. A guy I didn't know too well started talking to me. I quickly summarized my love story for him and he listened carefully and entertained. He told me girls like being treated badly. I already knew that to a certain extent. He told me to attack Sara in a way I hadn't thought of before.
The point was no longer to make her love me. I was willing to get in a heated argument just to have her attention once again. She was not calling me back. It had been weeks since I had last heard from her. Not a word. She had removed me from all the places she knew she could find me. She escaped my territory. I made public my disdain, writing in journals, here and there, about the silly girlfriend I thought I had. I attacked her, demeaned her and bashed her. I was angry, I demanded some explanation. I was fiery.
I never heard from her again. I gave up and cried my soul out. What had happened? I didn't know. I thought she had found someone else and in view of my recent misbehaviour she had decided to cast me away and cuddle with her new love. Who needs a crazy ass lover anyway? I wrote her poems, songs, verses, trying to make it up to her for all the dirt I had spewed. It didn't work, but I had predicted it. Her silence expanded.
"Hello" I picked up the phone in the middle of the night.
"Is this Sloane?" a male's voice asked me.
"Yes… who is this?" I said. I rubbed my eyes and tried turning on the lights, numbly with my hand patting the wall. If someone was calling me by the name I hated, it must have been a real stranger.
"It's Fred" he said.
I didn't have a friend called Fred, but since I no longer knew where my number had gone to, I sat up on my bed and feeling a mild pain across my shoulders, I frowned, trying to remember.
"And I know you from…" I said, making him fill in the blanks.
"Sara" he answered.
I woke up, for real. I widened my eyes and stood up, trying to shake the drowsy air off me.
"Her brother?" I asked, just making sure this wasn't a misunderstanding.
"Yes" he said dryly, "I need to talk to you"
"Whatever you want to say, I'm listening" I said. I couldn't walk around, I had to sit down in case he had some bad news.
"I know you and my sister haven't talked for a while now" he said, as a melancholic tone kicked in.
"Yes" I muttered. My heart was racing and I could hardly stay still. My knees were shaking and my hand was squeezing my knee.
"She's been really bad lately. Not in a medical kind of way, but I'm afraid it could get that bad. I'm calling you because I believe you're the root of her… sadness" he said.
I frowned and I didn't know if I could bite my nails, bite my knuckles, push my fingers into my eyes and cry, pass out or stutter and try to scream. Maybe I wanted to do all of that at the same time.
"What?" I cried, "She is the one that walked away"
"Because she saw no reason to stay" he cleverly said. I couldn't agree more, "You know how Sara works, don't you?"
"Apparently not" I answered, "I tried talking to her but she wouldn't cooperate"
"And so you had to be such a bitch" he said. I could spot the anger in his voice and I couldn't say he was overacting. I did deserve that term, "she hates you"
The love of my life hated me.
"Why did she turn cold soon after I came to Spain? Tell me why did she changed? Was it someone else? I can take it, really! I will understand" I told him.
"She just got real" he told me. "You go away and make your life. Not that there's something wrong about it. But Sara knew that sooner or later, you would realize that your potential as a lover is much greater than hers. Compared to the hot girls you hung with, Sara believed she was nobody. All the good traits she could offer, you could easily find in someone else. With your subtle messages of rejection and criticism Sara felt forgotten, disposed and meaningless. She wasn't up for being toyed around like a safe spare heart"
"That was never the case" I told him.
"I will be compassionate and I'll say I believe you. You have no justification to do what you did. What's worse, it wasn't the first time Sara was in pieces because of you and because of that. Now, I'm not calling you to remind you of all the things gone wrong between you. I called you because Sara has a new girlfriend called Erica" he said.
I felt sick. I had a girlfriend too, a fast paced relationship that had gone impressively good for the little hope I had seen in it in the beginning. My girlfriend's name was Fabienne. So I had a girlfriend too, but I didn't want knowing that Sara had someone else too.
"Cool, I guess" I told Fred.
"Yes, and Erica loves her very much" he said.
"Fine! I get it! I won't step on her way to happiness!" I yelled. I stood up and walked into my bedroom again, yelling like a maniac, "We're over! Good for Sara! Good for Erica!"
"And Sara doesn't really love Erica" he said slowly.
"Not my problem" I told him.
"Yes, your problem" he rebutted, "I sent you an email"
"I have my computer right here" I said, sprinting towards my computer. After some clicks I was checking my mailbox.
"Good. I attached a picture" he said.
"I really don't need to see a picture of my exgirlfriend with her new partner" I told him. I had four new messages. Only one from Sara's brother.
"You'll see what I'm talking about Zoe" Fredrik said, following his words with a sigh.
I opened the attached picture. I wanted to see the picture but I didn't want to. I had thrown my stomach into a blender and the resulting feeling was unpleasant. I hadn't felt like that in months. When the picture was down in my computer, I squeezed my eyes refusing to see it.
"I don't want to open the file" I told Fred.
"Fucking do what I tell you to" he said, "you'll see why you are still Sara's problem"
I opened my eyes and looked at the file name "Erica". It was a single picture, under the name of that girl. I double clicked on it and saw it. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe Sara was dating that girl. Spellbound, I couldn't utter a sound for Fred on the phone. He must have assumed I would be frozen and in shock.
"What the fuck!?" I yelled. I didn't know if I wanted to cry, laugh or just digest the news.
"I know. Not only that. Erica didn't look like that when Sara first met her. Sara has been telling Erica to change this, to change that. Cutting her hair and dying it black was the first step" Fredrik said.
"Damn" I muttered, "Sara has been dating…"
"You" Fredrik said, "At least your clone"
I couldn't believe how similar that girl and I looked. And I thought I had gone postal.