The part that I starred moved me to tears, for when I read 'the curve of the back and the swing of the coat so familiar', I saw immediately, in my mind's eye, the sight of Thomas walking away from me, his imposing figure becoming smaller and smaller; and when I continued to read 'as to imply that they should be permanent fixtures of the world, when in fact nothing is more perishable', I felt the loss of him. I heard his words in my mind: 'Yes, we are done. This isn't going to work now and it definitely isn't going to work long-distance.' Was he sure? 'Yes, I'm sure.' Why didn't he want to try? All I was asking for was that he be a bit more communicative. 'It is not that easy.' Why not? His silence spoke volumes. He'd just wanted the benefits of my feelings and none of the burdens. 'Yes,' he said, as if conceding for the sake of ending the confrontation.
My last word to him was 'whatever'. After he'd left, I deleted his number and unfollowed him on Instagram. The only thing that I didn't delete was our WhatsApp chat which I kept for writing material in the future, if needed.
Yesterday, my melancholy found familiarity and comfort in that passage from Housekeeping. I posted that picture on Instagram. After dinner with John and Visa, I opened my Instagram and saw that Thomas had liked the post a couple of hours ago. Of course, I had known that I was still on his following list (though I did wonder if there was a way I could remove someone as a follower) but I thought he'd just ignore it. And of course, I found myself wondering if it'd meant anything, until I told myself to stop being stupid; it was just stupid social media that meant nothing; and so I put it out of my mind, walked back with John and Visa, and then ran into Wei-Yun in the Scholars' Garden. She came back to my room with me and we spent the next 2.5 hours talking - all the way to midnight.
We took turns listening to each other; and much as I love and appreciate my friendships with John and Raffie, sometimes, it is comforting to listen to, and receive advice from, a woman. I appreciate the logic and rationality that John and Raffie exhibit when giving me advice, and it is certainly very helpful. But it is also nice to get advice from an emotional perspective. It was funny when Wei-Yun asked how many times Thomas and I have dumped each other, and I said, 'Four times.' She said, 'It's not dumping. It's a quarrel.'
Be that as it may.
I finally fetched my phone from my bag at midnight. I saw the following messages from Thomas:
'I am sorry I caused you pain that day.' (Sent at 10.03pm)
'I feel like it is a decision I may come to regret due to you being wonderful in so many ways. But I just have a bad feeling. And I'm deeply sorry I made you cry.' (Sent at 10.17pm)
Perhaps he'd guessed that my Instagram post was about him. Perhaps he was feeling an abundance of guilt at the way he'd handled things on Sunday. I do not doubt the sincerity of his apology, even though I was surprised that he apologised. The way he was so resolute on Sunday, the frustration he'd expressed at my weepy soppy state, suggested to me that he'd never contact me again.
As per my usual pattern, I'd finished an angry email to him earlier in the evening. I held off on sending it, not wanting to send off something that I couldn't stand by; wanting to make sure that I was absolutely certain that the accusatory, angry tone of the email was the tone that I wanted to put across. For instance, the first sentence proclaims, 'You will never hear from me again after this.' For instance, too, the last paragraph reads:
I will end this on a positive note. Thank you for making the call to end this shitfest between me and you. I’d gone into meeting you intending to send you into the sunset myself if you indicated an intention to bail (precisely why I reacted with anger and hurt when you started your spiel; I saw it coming and I was disappointed to be proven right), but I am a stupid sentimental fool whose self-respect escapes her at times and I was too soft to do it. Thank you for walking away. That was the best thing that you have ever done for me.
Wei-Yun said that I should send whatever emails I want, but I should think twice before committing to a tone like that. I think she was right. Even before receiving his messages, I had wanted to be the bigger person. Such vitriol, at this age, is childish and unnecessary.
But I cannot help but feel absolutely frustrated by what he said. I am not sure which is worse: my dumping him when I was drunk, or his dumping me on a 'bad feeling'. At least I'd rationalised my drunken impulse ex post facto and gave him proper reasons for my decision, so I guess his 'bad feeling' is worse. Perhaps he means that he has a bad feeling in his gut. I don't know what he means exactly; all I know is that he said on Sunday that this bad feeling arose after my teary phone call with him on Saturday night.
Of course, he went on to make all sorts of unfounded assumptions about me and how I behave in a relationship based on that. If I understood him correctly, he seemed to have thought that I was weepy and clingy and crying because I hadn't seen him in a few days; and if I reacted like that when we're in same city, what's going to happen when we're long-distance? I find this actually insulting for reasons that I won't get into; the point is, this is simply factually false. So I texted him back, 'Do you not think it is important to ensure that the bad feeling is based on facts, and not a misunderstanding or misconception of the event that gave rise to the bad feeling?'
He answered in the affirmative. I thought about whether I want to know what this bad feeling is about. I decided that I don't want to know. I will modify my email, tone down the anger, delete the last paragraph, send it to him, and he can do with it what he will.
I don't know what else to say. This 'relationship' has been marred by a seemingly unceasing series of misunderstandings right from the start. Instead of taking me at my word, he was utterly negligent in not addressing the problem that I outlined painstakingly for him. While we did not have a proper conversation about it, and while I should have brought it up at some point (though he should have, too), I was already making the effort to take his word seriously and to stop caring about how quickly or slowly he replied to my messages because I knew it wasn't a reflection of his feelings for me.
But what did he do when I was doing all that? He was busy not taking my concerns seriously. His conclusion that 'this isn't going to work' is therefore tautological like fuck. Of course it was never going to work if only one person was making the effort to address the problem. And now he says he doesn't want to date me anymore because of a bad feeling? Dude, seriously, don't you think that I deserve a better, more plausible and actually rational explanation than that? Maybe the bad feeling is a knock-on effect of his never-having-tried.
I hate how he was so adamant in saying no, he didn't want to try; no, he didn't think it was as simple as his being more communicative. How did he know this? How did he know it's not going to work? 'I just know,' he said.
I'm not going to argue against some supernatural sixth sense bullshit. If he's the kind of person who would dump someone whom he'd purportedly really liked based on that - and clearly he is - then he's not the right person, is he? The annoying thing, however, is that even as I am typing this, even as I feel all this frustration and anger, I cannot help but feel like it is such a damn bloody waste. If he'd actually put in the bloody effort, if he'd taken what I told him seriously, this might not have happened. And even as I say that he's not the right person because he did dump me based on some amorphous bad feeling, my bloody stupid weak stupid idiotic heart, at least a part of it, still wants him.
Here's where my mind comes to the rescue: I want the person that I think he is. This person is the person that I would fight for. But if he isn't this person, then he's not worthy of my time. The problem is that I don't know anymore. I want him to be; or rather, I had really wanted him to be the person that I thought that he is. But he'd let me down so fucking thoroughly. I don't even know why he said that he may regret this decision. If it was somehow his way of suggesting that he's not sure after all, that he may want to get back together, as it were, then it's not bloody good enough.
It is striking how our roles are reversed now. I almost feel as if I can send to him the message that he'd sent to me after my March 1 email: '...I still feel you have given up too early and made decisions based upon feelings skewed by the mysteries of still discovering someone early in a relationship.'
Maybe we aren't that different after all. I don't even know anymore. I spend too much time thinking about him and writing about him and writing to him. I didn't even want to write so much about him in this entry, so I will just stop now and move on to tennis.
I played three consecutive matches: Saturday (which I've already written about), Sunday and Monday. Mid-match on Monday, I finally started feeling the effects of the consecutive matches in the form of a painful tightness in my upper left thigh.
Still won though, and easily, too: 9-2. I played against Guy whom I beat twice previously, I believe; but he's only been playing for a year, maybe less, so this was really too easy. It helped that the sun was out and we played on the fake grass, not the gross carpet courts that seem to absorb the bounce of the ball. On the fake grass, though, the ball came through really nicely and I was hitting all these winners off his short balls.
It was nice to get an easy win even though it wasn't challenging. The upside was, however, that because it was never in doubt that I was going to win, I started to relax and enjoy tennis for its own sake instead of wanting to win. That is, I enjoyed the feeling of hitting the ball cleanly, of hitting it where I wanted to hit it, and simply enjoyed tennis per se. That rarely happens when I play a match because I'm almost always angsty and high-strung.
That said, I still got annoyed when I couldn't break a long service game of his where I had multiple break points. I was already up 7-1 or something, and I'd wanted to break just for the sake of it. But I couldn't string two good points together. I'd hit a great return winner, then on my advantage, try some ambitious down-the-line backhand return winner, just to miss it wide. He held that game in the end. Basically though, save for one cross-court return winner that he hit and a lob, I think he won most of his points on my errors. It was nice to get an easy match.
The match on Sunday, however: what an utter shitfest. Even though I played another beginner, and even though I was clearly going to win, I was so pissed off. First, I was upset about Thomas, so I was already in a bad mood. Second, my shitty level of tennis exacerbated my sour mood. Putting aside the grossness of the carpet, I just couldn't hit the ball properly. My backhand kept misfiring, my forehand sucked, I totally sucked. Winning 8-3 did not feel good at all because of how badly I was playing.
Anyway, so that's that. My scores so far are 6-5, 7-4, 8-3 and 9-2. I am playing Alessandra at some point, whom I've beaten twice. Wouldn't it be nice to continue this pattern and get a 10-1?
She's actually not too bad, though, so I doubt that would happen. In fact, I won only in the tiebreak the last time we played, so I cannot be cocky and overly confident (like I was when I played Olga on Saturday) when I play her. It should be fun.
(Edit: I did have a 10-1; against Jenny. So: 6-5, 7-4, 8-3, 9-2, 10-1. No way in hell I'm going to win 11-0 though!)