We were holding hands before we knew it

12 February 2017

I always think I’m stronger when it comes to heart breaks. But once put at the bottom of the wall, with no other choice but to face it, I find myself completely lost, and “håbløs*” like one would say in Danish.

A few years ago I met someone — like always, it wasn’t planned, nor expected. It just happened. It wasn’t supposed to. I didn’t want it to. I was, by that time, in a balanced daily life, and wasn’t focusing on the love front. But this man entered my life. I knew there would be great chances for me to like him the very first day we met. Future proved the very first conversation and the very first impressions right — how I wish things were different. Moreover, I was by then, careless about those things. I was convinced that timing wasn’t good and that I had better things to do than concentrate on relationships. So how did I manage to find myself on the pathway of sorrow just a few months later? Like I wrote, he simply entered my life. Maybe he insisted a little. He sent nice words and sweet thoughts — good vibes that I couldn’t refuse. I didn’t suspect him to be flirting with me in the beginning — I have always been a little naive when it comes to these things. So I said yes and opened the door — we had long talks over coffee and early morning runs. Before I knew it, I was back in the game. Before I knew it, he was filling my head and heart. 

Before we knew it, we were holding hands. 
We kissed, after spending several hours in a row together. After grabbing each other’s hands and arms, letting them do the conversation, in silence. It should have been the starting point of something great, like they show us in movies. It was the total opposite. Of course it was sweet and fun to kiss and to go beyond that. But from that ice breaking night, when we put ourselves out there, and showed to ourselves our mutual attraction, all the anxiety started. I started worrying during the first days of our so-called relationship — was it just for fun? Should we kiss in front of our mutual friends? Should we tell anyone? Should I suggest we meet again? Or just wait for him to call? I was back at being an insecure teenager. And I will always believe that relationships shouldn’t be this way. It should be just as fun as the flirting part — if not funnier. 

But all I got from this point was an interesting blend of rare beautiful moments and never ending questionings. 
A few weeks later I could already feel a decrease in his interest — it took him forever to say “yes” or “no” to a simple cup of coffee. I tried to confront him at this point, I told him that if things would keep on going this way, we should just stop seeing each other. He gave me the most unexpected reply which sent me back up on my cloud: “your personnality inspires me and we should be spending more time together. I’ve just been extremely busy and very bad at keeping you updated. I’m sorry, I will get better at this”. Yet, things didn’t improve. I was lost. I wanted to fight for this story, for several reasons: I liked the guy, I liked our conversations, I liked spending entire sundays doing absolutely nothing in his bed, I liked running by his side, I liked drinking coffee with him. I wanted the whole package, and I strongly believed it was worth the fight and a little patience. Like I said, I’ve always been a little naive and bad at reading the signals. I should have known better. He broke up a few weeks later — we were never officially in a relationship, technically he couldn’t break up, but does it really matter? 

I read his message on a gloomy night in November and could immediately feel my heart being crushed. I couldn’t believe I was going through this, again. It wasn’t the first time. As I was reading his lines, I knew it would be a long process. I cried, a little, then laughed, then cried again. I didn’t sleep that night — I spent it cutting my hair, watching stupid TV shows and doing anything that would keep my mind off of him. I went through that phase when one thinks he/she should just erase and forget, but cannot let go. Mostly, I couldn’t let go. I refused to let go. I listened to The Nationals’ “Sorrow” on repeat, since the lyrics reflected my mood so perfectly. I just didn’t want to get over him. I was wrong. So wrong. 

Photo: Tim Barber

It’s a little like running on an injury. When the runner starts feeling the pain, he/she will keep on running on it, thinking it will pass. Runners are very good at ignoring the signals that the body sends. And like being an injured runner — which I also was at this moment, by the way — I ignored the signals. I thought I would get him back, by showing him, somehow, that I was still there. I believed that if he could see how bright and shinny I was, he would regret it. We did see each other again, over coffee. We did keep on writing to each other. Until I faced the damn wall, and had to admit to myself that we would never be. The battle was lost. Like the injured runner that I was, if I kept on running, I would never heal. If I kept on chasing him, I would never move on. Eventually he would, and then the pain would only be worse. The injury would take longer time to heal. 

So, what is left of us? Well, after making the “tough” decision of moving on, I stopped being in touch with him. I started treating him like the stranger that he was anyways. And I regretted one thing: that we ever kissed, and threw ourselves in a hopeless relationship. I miss the friend that I had before that. I miss the conversations. I miss being able to call him, without things being awkward. 

 It did break my heart, although I know he never intended to hurt me. It just happened. At least, I took my broken heart, and made into art. 

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Håbløs = hopeless


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