The phone call I never expected to receive

I just got off the phone. I’m absolutely drained. We talked for hours. It was TheBoy.

When the phone rang, I saw his name and hesitated answering it. But, I don’t know, I was curious. And I thought I was over him.

The conversation began really stilted. Just a lot of ‘hey’ and ‘how are you’. Then eventually, I just had to ask why he was calling me. There was a really long pause; then he said, ‘I’ve moved out. I’ve left her.’

I said, ‘I don’t care’, but in truth I did care. Or maybe I do care. I just don’t know. Things are going so well with Goatee, so why would I care about TheBoy? But when he said that he left his wife, my heart actually jumped a little. Part of me was afraid; afraid that I’d let him back in my life. Another part of me felt sorry for him. Can you believe that? And a large part of me was happy. I don’t know why I felt happy, but I did. Or, I do.

I should have yelled into the phone, ‘Go to hell!’ But instead, I just said, ‘Oh’. There was another pause. A long one. Then he started talking. A lot.

He said that he realised that he never loved her. If he did, he wouldn’t have cheated. That it was one of those relationships he just found himself in, and how he tried to work on it, but they should have never gotten married. He said he didn’t want to leave her; he felt too bad. That he loved her all the same, but he wasn’t in love with her. And when he thought of his future, she was never in it. That they had different interests, and she never supported him. But he tried to support her, and he knew if he left her it would be too hard on her. He didn’t want to hurt her.

I didn’t say anything; I just listened. Then there was a pause, and I asked why he was telling me this? Did he expect sympathy from me? What was he trying to prove?

Then there was sniffling and in a really low voice he said, ‘I just wanted to explain. I guess I don’t really want anything.’

He was crying. I could tell. Softly, I could hear it.

Before I knew it, I was in tears. I had to respond. I had to tell him how I felt. I said that I was hurt and betrayed. Yes, because he was married, but also because he lied to me for two years. I felt like he took advantage of me, and that I couldn’t worry about his problems.

Then he said, ‘So. You’re with that bald guy now? That was pretty fast.’

This made me so angry. He was married. What was I supposed to do? Hang on? Stay single hoping he’d leave his wife? I told him that I just couldn’t deal with him right now. That I didn’t care what he did, and I was just about to hang-up when he shouted into the phone…

‘I love you!’

There was quiet, and then he said really softly, ‘I have always loved you. I’ve been in love with you for years.’ 

He told me that the best times in his life were spent with me. He was so happy when we were together, and he was so sorry he lied, he was just so afraid to lose me. He said that he never meant to fall in love with me, he just did. He said that he saw me around in my first year, and then when I turned up in his class he was so happy. But he also said that he never planned on us being together. He said that it just all seemed so right. ‘Everything was just so perfect when I was with you. You get me. You are the woman I should have married.’

He stopped, and I think my breathing stopped. He had never before told me that he loved me. And to say that he wanted to marry me. I could barely catch my breath.

He said that the last trip to Paris, the one right before I moved to Glasgow, was supposed to be more than just a weekend away. He told me that he was going to come clean that weekend. But that he wasn’t only going to confess his marrage, but he was going to leave his wife. That he was going to ask me to marry him. That he was going to change his life forever to be with me.

Now, I was in tears. I yelled into the phone. Why would he tell me this now? I’m with someone. I have a new life. Why is he trying to ruin my life now? I couldn’t believe all this.

He said that’s why he didn’t tell me in Paris. That I was so excited about starting my new life; I was so happy to have the placement. He said I needed to go live my life. That I needed to be independent for a while. He said he chickened out because he didn’t want me to sacrifice my life to be with him. He said he then got a new plan, that while I was in Glasgow he would leave his wife, and when I came back he would tell me everything. He swore that he was going to leave his wife, and that me seeing them in Edinburgh only brought about the inevitable.

I just couldn’t believe all of this. I just couldn’t.

Then he started to reminisce. He reminded me of all the good times. He had me in tears and laughter at once. The picnics in Hyde Park. The trip to Amsterdam. The cosy dinners at the boutique hotels. The night we strung my flat with twenty boxes of fairy lights we got from the pound shop. The red wine down the front of his good white shirt minutes before a lecture. The meteor shower we watched from the garden behind my flat.

God, it was all flooding back; then he asked for ‘a second chance.’ He said he just wanted to see me. No pressure. Nothing needed to come of it. That he just wanted to talk.

It’s kind of funny, the first problem to cross my mind was Goatee. Not because it would be wrong to see TheBoy if I’m with Goatee. Not even that it would be bad for me emotionally to see TheBoy. But the first thought to cross my mind was how annoyed Goatee would be if he found out that I was going to see TheBoy.

So, I said ‘yes’. I said that I’d see him, but not until Christmas. I needed time to think about it, and I didn’t want TheBoy in Glasgow. But I said that I’d be home for Christmas, and I’d arrange to see him then.

I could hear the joy in TheBoy’s voice. He said ‘Thank you, you won’t regret this’ about ten times. And then we hung up, and I put down the phone feeling better and kind of happy and excited. Then I thought about Goatee, and also about my friends and what they would say. And now I don’t feel quite so happy. I feel drained, confused, and I wish I’d never met TheBoy. I should have never gone to Uni. I’d be so much happier.

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