If there truly was such a thing as hell, I found myself in it. Jay and I met at college. I was there for classes, he was just there. My parents said that he was a lot of toos; too quiet, too reserved, too obsessed with his games. They said he was a lot of nots; not attractive, not confident, not friendly. But he was my toos and my nots, and I was gradually slipping down a slope of quiet obsession. It started innocently enough; too many Facebook messages, commenting on each and every post, wishing each other a good night. All that harlequin romantic garbage that I have come to accept as pure bulk. By the time I realized I was in love, it was too late. There were too many women on the side. There were too many lies and suspicious words and actions. He took my breath away, he took my heart away. He left me out to dry, he left me to rot. And rot, I would. From the inside out, every fiber of my being was burning with a resolute depression that wouldn’t leave. I didn’t know what was going on, nor where he was. Was he alive or dead? Was he in a psychiatric ward or a hospital room? Was he even in the state, was he with her?
Her. Everything I was not. Kat was more than I was, she was less than I was. But in the end, she was the one he chose, and that is a fact I shall have to live with until my dying day. She was heavier, shorter. Her hair was darker, her smile was bigger. She made him laugh, she made him feel, she made him love. While his love for her grew, for someone he claimed was a friend but was too close to be such, his love for me diminished. I guess I was partially to blame for the fallout. My love for him diminished as well. As my trust and faith in him waned, he fell further and further into her clutches. She stole from him, he forgave her. She spoke ill of me, he agreed. She was his til death do us part, she was his life or death. And where did that leave me? Tangled in a web of lies and deceit so deep that finding my way to the surface and grasping a breath of air before the spider came to devour my very soul was a challenge that only grew as the days wore on.
He vanished into the silence, the darkness. He stopped attempting to contact me, he didn’t read the messages I sent in response to his. I suppose the first night when he showed up a few houses away, half dead in the street from dehydration was his last attempt at redemption. He claimed he came to prove she meant nothing, where they were meant nothing compared to myself and our son. He pledged to go to therapy and receive help for his own issues, and swore he’d do everything he could to finally get a job and get his life on track. I should have known his promises, his swears, his proof meant nothing. Just more lies and false pretenses for me to sink my teeth into. I expected him to come flouncing back to my door with another elaborate plan to win back my heart. He never came. I expected a phone call, he never called. I expected so much out of him and got nothing in return. I suppose I set myself up for failure that way, in reality. My heart sank in thoughts of him being in bed with her while I was sitting around waiting for messages and calls that would never come. I was sick to my stomach, I was ashamed, I was disgusted. I was a wide range of emotions that could only be summed up as misery, pure and utter heartbreak. Friends tried to fill the void, tried to socialize with me more and spend more time together. While they were there, I was fine. When they left, I would not. I would weep for something that didn’t require weeping, I would mourn something that didn’t deserve mourning. I was falling, falling harder and faster than I had fallen before. Falling in love was the easy part. Falling out of love was the easy part. Falling back together was the hard part.
Even now, I’m not quite certain where he’s gotten off to. He could be with her ro somewhere else. I dream of messaging his family, his friends, anyone that might have an inkling of where he got off to, but I could not bring myself to do it. I would not be so pathetic to look out for my cheating ex. The lower I sank, the more it burned. The more I tried to claw my way out, the further it dragged me. Deeper, deeper, and deeper still.
What am I to say to our son when he starts to ask the questions I know he’s going to ask? Do I tell him his father has passed? How could I bring myself to tell him that his father is not around because he simply did not love either one of us, love him, to stay? Do I burden him with the truth or do I burden him with a lie? Do I say I don’t know and leave it at that? For the truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know where Jay is or what Kat is doing. Are they together, plotting against me? Are they apart doing nothing? I shall never know, but that knowledge does not lessen the pain any more than knowing the truth would. Something was off, I could feel it in my gut. It would haunt me for the rest of my life, always making me look over my shoulder, listen harder, pay closer attention to the shadows I once found comforting. When was it going to stop? I’ll tell you when; never.
They say it gets better. That’s a lie. It just gets a little more tolerable each day.