The green screen in the airplane says we’re flying over Newfoundland and about to enter Quebec. I loathe that little airplane. It makes all of this too real. Twelve hours ago I was waking up from a terrible sleep in mine and my ex-boyfriend’s flat. My ex as of a week ago. My ex because he said he is a different man than he was and he no longer has the same feelings. He says he no longer sees a future. He said it no longer feels right. Every millimeter that plane creeps forward seals my fate. I am on my way home. Home to a place I was so miserable in. Home to a place that he rescued me from. Home to the hole that is destined to suck me in to mediocrity and conformity. It doesn’t feel right to me. It doesn’t feel right that I should have left Ireland. It doesn’t feel right that he fell out of love with me. I thought he was depressed. It made sense. It fit. He wasn’t showering much anymore, he wasn’t cleaning up after himself. He stopped trying it seemed at life. Of course, he informed me a few days ago that he stopped trying at us. I feel as though I’m ripping in two. The airplane taking my body back to the land it came while Ireland still has my heart.
I put earplugs on as soon as I got on the plane. I needed to try and sleep, but I can never sleep well on planes. They blocked out the noise for me, but they really just made me less aware of the people pausing to listen to me cry. Ninety minutes to Paris from Dublin. These early morning flights suck. Was I trying to torture myself? We take a bus from the terminal in Dublin to the plane. The flight attendant does her best to leave me be, despite checking my seatbelt and telling me to turn off my cellular phone. I need to talk to him. I need him to reply to me. I can’t believe this is over. How can this love affair be over?
I think I slept, but it wasn’t a good sleep if I did. In Paris we get off the plane and cram into another bus to go to the terminal, conveniently passing the terminal I need to get to for my flight to Toronto. I get inside terminal 2E and must immediately queue to get on another bus to get to terminal 2F. I get to my gate just as they begin boarding the enormous 747. I have never been on one. I always wanted to fly on one, but I can’t be bothered to care right now. Whoop-to-do, a two-storey plane.
I find my seat and I text him. Just any response. Any response that shows me he’s still there, that shows who he has always been to me. There is no response and the tears begin to form, cresting over my eyelids in a manner I’ve never quite known them to do until this week. I text him again, this time explaining that I am crying, he can’t freeze me out. A response. He is saying good-bye. And now the sobs come and the flight attendant looks concerned. Maybe it’s his French mannerism, maybe it’s the French’s love for love, but he leaves me be for a few minutes. I try to hide my face, but I don’t really care who sees. I am a crushed human being. Crushed under the over-powering blow of my loved one’s rejection.
That little plane is a menace. I keep reliving the past twelve hours over and over again. I keep reliving the past week over and over again. One minute we were fine. We seemed fine. And then out of nowhere, five minutes in the door after we go to see the new Star Trek film he tells me that we need to talk.
Ten months ago he was promising me the moon and stars. He was promising me a long life with him. He was telling me we belong together, telling me we were made for each other, and especially that I was made for him. When someone says that they’ve been looking for you for 28 years … you don’t expect them to just sit down next to you and tell you that they don’t feel the same way anymore. That you’re not what they want anymore. That they care for you and love you and still consider you their best friend, but there’s just nothing there for them anymore. No spark. No passion. No insatiable desire.
Ten months and he calls it quits. And that little airplane tells me that I’m nearly back where I started. I gave up everything to be with him. I gave up my whole life, sold everything I had and more and he finds himself changing and doesn’t even do me the courtesy to talk to me about it. To try to figure it out. He says he just didn’t want to try anymore.
I feel like a fool and that stupid screen needs to change. Something needs to change. He betrayed me. He offered me the world and then took it away. I would have grown old with him. I would have stayed with him through any ordeal. But I guess that’s why he says I’m a better person than him. No, I don’t think better. I think wiser. I think he has no idea what he’s really just done. I don’t know if he’ll ever quite figure it out even. But the reality for me is far more real than it is for him. The reality for me is reflected in that little airplane and the flight attendant’s eyes. I’m a mess and I’m going home to the place where he saved me from. He saved me and then killed me. I can’t stop the tears this time. And the flight attendant is encouraging me to let it all out, but I can’t. The only person I want consoling me is my ex. He’s the closest person I have in my life. I gave everyone else up for him. He doesn’t realize. He doesn’t get it. I don’t know if he ever really did. I think he was too scared to think about it.
I think he’s killed me. I’m going home a dead woman.