It was a bright and sunny morning. The heat from the sun, its rays unfiltered by a clear blue sky, weighed down on me and I could feel it in my chest, this dull throbbing pain that intensified after every point. I breathed heavily between points like an old woman, and it almost hurt to breathe.
Despite my physical discomfort, I somehow managed to win the match, very narrowly in the tiebreak. We'd got to 5-5, and so the tiebreak was decisive. At 5-3, I hit a laser-sharp forehand return, one that felt so good as it made perfect contact with my sweet spot; my opponent's response sailed wide and I found myself with three match points.
I blew all three of them. It was a miracle that I eventually won it 8-6. I don't even remember how anymore, but I was so relieved. And so my winning streak has extended to a 6-match winning streak.
There was a very long rally on my serve, which I actually managed to win, and by putting the ball away at the net to boot. I was so winded after that.
I made a lot of errors. My backhand kept falling short. I lost a point at the net when I hit a forehand approach cross-court because I was afraid of missing the down-the-line, which would have been the better tactic, and I got passed. A lot of my shots missed the lines by just a little bit, which was frustrating. I also kept dumping aggressive returns into the net.
Most importantly: I played without a serve. All my first serves sailed long. If she'd been a better player, she would have made me pay for all my lousy, weak second serves. After the match, I stayed behind to hit some serves, and I daresay that 80% of them were long. I've lost all notions of how to hit a serve after my two weeks away from Cambridge. I don't know why that is.
I got my period late, and so it was with a sense of relief that I welcomed it this morning. So I wonder if the anger and hurt that I have been feeling over the past few days were partly or mostly because of PMS.
After my last entry, I typed out a long message that I'd wanted to send to Gareth; but I eventually decided against it. It was late, and I wasn't coherent anymore, and I didn't want to send something that I couldn't stand by.
I wrote him a letter the next night. It was mainly a cathartic exercise. But I didn't finish it either; it'd got late, I was tired, and I didn't know how to end it. Did I want to end it on a good note, or a bitter one? My sense of fairness told me to go for the former, but my indignation and hurt from the unfairness that he inflicted on me inclined me towards the latter.
I question, of course, whether I have overreacted. Was it really so bad of him to send me the message that he sent? Objectively, though - and I can be a bit objective now that my hormones are no longer out of whack - what compounded the shittiness of the initial break-up message was his refusal to deal with my clear attempts at seeking some kind of closure: my request to meet, which he shut down immediately, and then my questioning him on his motives, his purported feelings for me.
It's been more than 48 hours since I sent the message about him not liking me enough. Not only has he not replied, but he hasn't even read it (read it in the sense of clicking on my message thread in Whatsapp, not read it in the sense of reading it on his locked screen or whatever). I've gone back and forth on whether or not to tell him, explicitly, I need closure; can we please meet?
This shit made me cry a lot more than my 'break up' with Bruno. But there was more substance with Bruno, a real connection and emotional closeness, than with Gareth. The conversation that Bruno and I had to end things helped to soften the blow; it made the outcome easier to accept because he handled it well, in a manner that is fitting of my importance to him at the time.
But Gareth...I feel like I had no significance to him, like he simply doesn't care. I feel like it meant nothing to him. Yes, it didn't go on for that long, and we didn't get anywhere close to taking it further; but still, there was something there beyond meaningless fun (I hate this word; I really do; it's cheap and demeaning and connotes pure pleasure of the flesh that is devoid of any meaning beyond the physical, directed towards the emotional). There was some emotional connection, some genuine feelings. I thought it was the same for him too. Now I wonder if he'd meant anything that he said.
I know that this matters not at all in the long run, that this shall pass too, that, quite frankly, I was always too good for him, and in any event, I was never once deluded into thinking that I could be in a relationship with him. So why did I persist, then? Why did I not jump off the sinking ship? Why did I keep trying at something ill-advised, trying to break past the barriers of a man determined, subconsciously or otherwise, to shut me out? I liked him, but what does this mean? What did I like about him? He fulfilled a fantasy, he read books, he seemed to share some of my values; but he was also somewhat broken, damaged, fragile. At the risk of grandiosity: there was a lot of empathy; I had empathy for him; and it cancelled out the red flags that I should have heeded.
So perhaps the question isn't how he could have done this to me, but how he could have done this, period. Perhaps it's not at all about me, but about him, his own coping mechanism - and the fact that he seems unable to cope like a normal, respectful person suggests to me an emotional dysfunctionality, one which makes sense in the context of his mental illness.
It still hurts like hell, though. It would still be easier if we talked and ended things on a respectful note. But...poor Gareth. I really wouldn't want to be him at all.