Introduction – 23 March 2019
I stare at the letter that lays on my counter, seemingly innocent. I know what it is. I know what it’s going to say. And still I am unable to get over myself to open it. A large part of me wants to cry – how did everything go so wrong? The rest of me is just angry. Everything is my fault. I fucked everything up and look where it got me. I walk closer to the table and rest my hands next to the envelope. My hands are shaking and a cold sweat course through my body. I know what the letter will say, and my heart is broken already, so why can’t I get myself to open the damned thing?
I trace my finger over my name, my address, and then I sink to the floor. I’m too weak.
One – 15 May 2016
Today is our two-year anniversary. The last two years went by impossibly fast. In a way I feel as if I was asleep for most of the time. I always hear the phrase that says that time flies by when you are having fun, but did I really have fun or am I just trying to suppress all that has happened? I can’t really with a clear conscience say that the last two years have been my best. Hel, I struggled just to keep my head above the water. But as they say: aanhouer wen.
André greets e with a kiss on the cheek. A weak butterfly or two flutters in my stomach and it takes all my energy just to smile at him. André takes my limp hand and leads me to his mother’s little red car. He opens the passenger door and helps me inside.
“Is a picnic okay with you?” he asks me, “Or is it a bit too much for you?” His voice hangs in the air for an unsure moment. Even after everything we’ve been through – or rather, what I’ve put him through – he still worries that I don’t push myself too hard. André has always been thoughtful and is well known amongst friends for how much he genuinely cares for others. My heart aches; what am I doing?
“It’s fine,” I answer and close the door.
André climbs in at the driver’s side and switches the car on. The first few minutes is silent. After a while André starts chatting away. He’s not really saying anything important; it’s mostly small talk. He’s quite happy with himself though. And even through the small talk he’s focused as can be on the road. André’s always been a careful driver, and it’s like he’s extra careful with me as passenger. He’d never allow me to get hurt, even by something as small as a pothole.
We arrive at André’s house. They live all the way in Gonubie, a small seaside town just outside of East London. The grass beneath my feet is damp and the air hints at a cold night, however a huge blanket on the grass promises heat and dryness. There are no romantic candles; in its place there are beautiful, twinkling fairy lights, as well as a brimming picnic basket. André’s Golden Retriever, Lili, lies quietly stretched out next to the basket. I go sit on the warm thick blanket. With a deep sigh Lili rearranges herself so that her head rests on my lap. It makes me smile and I rub her soft ears while I’m waiting for André to join us. He does so a few seconds later, with a smile. His dimples make my heart happy.
Soft notes from some Pink Floyd song trickles out of ‘n small and beat-up CD-player. The familiar sounds relax me immediately. André opens the picnic basket and takes out the contents, which are a testament to how well he knows me. There is a packet of Speckled Eggs, a dark chocolate, and a bottle of Robertsons rosè. Further he takes out a box of Chinese takeout. Lastly he takes out his laptop which he then sets up for a movie. My heart clenches and tears threaten to fall. I don’t deserve André’s love. I’m a horrible person. I don’t know how to thank him for tonight without breaking down, so a kiss will have to do. He flourishes under that simple gesture and my heart breaks even further.
He begins to talk about his dreams. His hands move in animated excitement and his almond eyes shine with excitement and love. And all that I can do is think about someone else.
Two – 18 May 2016
Once upon a time, back in 10th grade, my mental health was so low that I thought I was going to drown. Everything horrible happened that year, almost all at the same time, and it felt to me like the end of the world. And then I met him. André was (and is) my rock in every sense of the word. He is my friend, my supporter, my fan, and the love of my life. I believe that our relationship flourished right from the beginning, even if we started dating only a year later. Without André and his love and understanding I’d be dead. I’m not just saying that, I really would be. He showed me love, support, caring, and patience. I always felt that he is the only one capable of making me happy – although I do realise now how unfair it was of me to put everything on his shoulders.
And here I am now, three years after our meeting and two years into our relationship. I am hopelessly in love with André. But I love someone else as well. I know it doesn’t make sense, and I know it’s fucked up. I always thought people who said they love more than one person was full of shit, but I know now they aren’t.
André knows. Without me having to say a word, he knows. And I’m killing him.
Depression settles in: cold, desperate and unwelcome. I search for my blades for over an hour. Hopelessly I sit on my bed and cry my eyes out, with a normal butter knife uselessly carving against my skin. My addiction isn’t here and I’m slipping.