Your tears haunted me for months. So much that I couldn’t bring myself to sleep some nights. Each time I thought I was over you, I realized I was held captive by the memory of you.
I know what you’re thinking. Why do I miss you when I was the one who broke up? I ask myself the same question. Was breaking up with you better than being lonely? I have had no invites for double dates in the past so many months. While it’s disappointing that in a world where men are defined by how successful at life they are, women are still struggling to be acknowledged for what they bring to the table without a man in tow.
But enough about my feelings. They weren’t of much meaning to you ever anyway. We had a relationship of the utmost convenience. I took you to places that you couldn’t afford. You kept me protected from the painfully heartbreaking word “single”.
I’m single again despite my desperate efforts to keep you in my life. I broke up with you, a fact that people don’t believe.
I mean I get everyone’s confusion over the end of our relationship. I was considered lucky to have scored a guy. Many people marveled at me being in a committed relationship despite my strenuous working hours and boring personality. Some friends openly commented on how you were so much better than me. Their remarks were usually wrong and always painful.
But I won’t blame you for the apparent successfulness of our relationship. I wanted it to look perfect and blissful. I wanted to look like I truly deserved you. To match your tall, dark and handsome looks and look like a worthy partner I paid special attention to my skin, hair, outfits and mannerisms. I changed myself for you. What it did to my soul isn’t describable without a feeling of intense loss! I’m just glad I stopped the downward spiral myself.
I know that when we split up, people openly supported your decision of not trying to win me back. They already didn’t think I was good enough for you. But the same people questioned my decision to break up. They thought you were in an incompatible relationship but they thought I was in a compatible one? It’s ironic and sick and makes me sad.
The world is a lonely place for women. When a woman is single she is considered a loser who is single because no one wants her . Someone who is waiting to be picked up at a bar, the workplace, the church or the mosque, her sister’s wedding.
But when a man is single he is called an eligible bachelor. The narrative is flipped to please him. The narrative is that he’s single because he can’t find anyone good enough for him. Your singlehood is so different from mine. There isn’t an eligible spinsterhood.
But you’re not single anymore. You asked my best friend out as soon as we broke up. She said no and made me proud and embarrassed for life. Why couldn’t I say no to what the society expects from me in the line of a relationship status?
But you’ve dated my sister’s best friend since then. You’ve dated your colleague who you swore was like a sister to you and whom you engaged with in a friendly banter every now and then. When you call flirting with another woman in the presence of your significant other a healthy banter and then follow it up with dating the said woman after breaking up with your girlfriend……. you’ll see where I’m coming from. You’ve also dated many girls whom we knew mutually. You’ve shamelessly continued. I’m still trying to find the answers.
But this morning my vision cleared a bit. The reasons behind the break up opened themselves up to me again. My thinking became critical again. Guess what? I saw you with your girlfriend and it was like a gut punch that pulled me out of my reverie of the past several weeks.
I saw what I refused to see always. But when I did see it eventually, I could see nothing else.
Your sly wandering eye while she asked for your attention.
Your perfunctory responses to her questions.
Your autopilot “I love you too, honey”.
Your sarcastic and deprecating humor at her expense.
Your brushing off of her touch.
The hint of misogyny in the profile of your face.
The vibe that you send out of being the better gender, of being “the catch” of this relationship, of being in charge of this whole operation.
I saw her looking at you, a girl so much prettier than I would ever be, but resembling me so much now.
I saw her looking at you, following your gaze, landing on the same set of legs that you are eyeing, then wistfully wondering if she’d ever be good enough.
I saw her pulling the compact out, examining her flawless face, reapplying her lipstick and touching up her blush. I saw her trying to get your attention again. You barely noticed her.
I saw her edging away finally. I saw her becoming used to you not being present with her. I saw her eyes take on another look. A look I had come to wear almost all the time during the last days of our relationship.
She has caught on faster than I did. She has gotten it much faster. That she’s better than this. That this isn’t worth it.
She has heard many a story of my unkindness and ruthlessness by breaking up with you. She has called me a “cold-hearted bitch” and a “frigid nobody”. She really thought I was in the wrong. She wondered how I could move on from our relationship. How I could give up a man like you, so good looking, so good in bed, so virile. You’re like straight out of a magazine.
Now she knows that moving on from you will be a lot easier than she thought. That you make it easy for women. That men like you exist to help women choose the good ones. Or remain by themselves. Enjoy their single lives. Identify their worth. Celebrate the phenomenon of “single and still alive”.
If I have understood anything about what you do to women and how you emancipate them from the societal expectation of being with a man or needing a man, she will be breaking up with you soon too. Happy prowling!