The political scene in the country was hot and tense. People were launching parties and others celebrating anniversaries. V was a little interested. Not enough to sweat over it though. She was still looking for a job, something to earn her some money. She was living with Lydia though she felt the pressure to get something of her own; to become independent.
She had long given up her fairy tale love. She had focused on her talents and was now happy. She felt more confident about herself. She’d long forgiven everything and was amazed at how fast her heart was healing. She felt almost complete, and was certain that a good income would completely complete her.
That Saturday she sat down to complete the novel she’d once started and had had to stop when watching movies had become an obsession. She had then paused for a while, written a few more poems, drawn a few faces in her drawing book and become all creative. She had to keep herself busy. After her attempts to make things right with Ali had gone up in flames, she’d been a little depressed, well, a lot. She’d been angry too. She’d felt betrayed but then she’d decided she would get over it in a new fashion. She felt the urge to drink but disregarded it. There was no point in drinking if it meant she would still be single the next day and with a hangover. Rebound wasn’t an option either; she was going to be with another man only when she was ready for it, and not for revenge. Bottom line, she wasn’t going to make things worse in her love life than they were.
Drawing made her feel great. The poetry was depressing yet interesting. The poems were rather sad, sometimes even desperate. She decided she would keep them to herself. She felt amazed by herself. Her face was rather pale though; she barely ever left the house. She accompanied Angela to the gym twice, it felt good.
One night she was alone in the house at Angie’s and felt lonely. It was the worst she’d felt from the beginning. She could almost swear he was with someone that night – she’d had that feeling before and if there was anything V was sure of, it was the accuracy of her intuition. So what if he was with another woman? So what if he’d moved on and had found happiness elsewhere? He had every right. He wasn’t hers after all. Thing is, her brain knew this all too well. Her heart on the other hand was on a totally different page. She still hoped he would say he missed her. She still wanted him to call and admit he’d been totally irrational and perhaps apologize. She knew he wasn’t coming back but she figured a girl could hope.
That night V had then gotten depressed, borderline clinical. She wanted to call him and beg. She would probably call him names, throw tantrums, that was if he would pick the call. She started to think how long it had been since he had wished her a good night. He’d never really broken up with her. And when she’d broken up with him, he hadn’t said a word. She wondered if it was completely over, even when she knew that that kind of thinking would only bring her misery. That night she felt overwhelmed. She could feel her tears forming. She’d hoped she was done crying but that night she realized she had some more crying to do. Perhaps the last? Time would tell.
Her left hand started to ache. It was sort of numb yet with a kind of irritation that was somehow close to a sting. She always felt that when she was in great pain. She’d felt that on their first night together. The first tear broke and the others followed furiously as if on cue. She took her phone, stared at it. She had opened the last conversation she’d had with him but couldn’t read. She shut her eyes in rebellion and dried her cheeks. “Goodnight” she sent the text. She was prepared to feel embarrassed like she did every other time when she sent him a text. Something happened that night. There was no shame, no guilt. If anything she felt some sort of relief. She felt good. The text wasn’t delivered but she didn’t even bother. She wasn’t expecting a response and was therefore OK when none came. She’d finally accepted it was over. She didn’t stop crying though. At 1 AM she got tired and went to sleep. She woke up later the next day than usual and only left bed at midday. Something was different about her though. She suddenly felt lighter. She figured she had done anything humanly possible save for one thing, let go. She was now going to work on that. She took her phone and deleted anything she had on him. It felt incredibly easy. She’d tried doing it before but it had been hard. And though she knew she had memorized one of his phone numbers, she wasn’t scared that she would backslide again. She made it simple. She had made him a promise and she was certain she wasn’t going to break it. So she made a counter-promise to herself. She would leave him alone entirely. And if at all she broke this promise, then she would break the one she’d made to him – which for her was not an option. She had won over herself. She felt happy again
The rest of the days she focused on herself. She did things that made her happy. She was done with all the whining and the self-pity. She edited her CV and left for Lydia’s. She was going to get a fresh start. At Lydia’s, the first thing she did was attend a wedding. The nostalgia was overwhelming. She thought of Ali the entire time but this time she didn’t feel sad, just reminiscent.
Bergdorf Blondes the novel by Plum Sykes was riveting. Sykes was quickly making it to her list of must-read authors. The book was funny, and though V didn’t care about the fashion and the high life Sykes sighted in the book, she was intrigued by the humour, the wittiness and the romance. Plum Sykes was brilliant. V identified with some part of the novel. Toward the last chapter, she laughed a lot. Suddenly she was grateful. Much as love wasn’t on her side, she believed in it. If she’d loved Ali the way she had, then love was in fact a reality. Somehow she felt grateful. She was glad to have met him. She was glad to have felt what she had felt with him. She was glad to have had what she’d had with him. She had no regrets. She was happy again. She felt impressed and proud of herself.