A short story inspired heavily by Shawn Mendes’s It’ll Be Okay.
Are we gonna make it? The thought ran wildly through my mind. A slow decay, that’s the reality of us. Yes, life happens and it occasionally gets in the way. But I sensed it began with fewer texts, fewer calls, less of everything that shined eagerly in the beginning.
They say when you are with someone long-term, everything about them becomes a familiar routine. Sinking into that routine is supposed to feel mundane and it’s normal. But I came across something/someone said that when you’re used to chaos, the mundaneness of your romantic relationship terrifies you or makes you uncomfortable, when in reality that’s what is supposed to happen in a thriving, healthy relationship.
Is this gonna hurt? At first, that was my assumption. As with any breakup, we’re bound to feel hurt. Hurt because our partner abused or manipulated us, hurt because of betrayal, and so forth. Since day one, despite the moments of excitement we shared together, my inner self has been preparing for this goodbye. Because rarely do people stay around in our lives, except for a select few such as our closest friends or family members, I’m always in the state of ‘fight or flight’– in the sense that if I absolutely have to flee, I would prepare in advance.
Oh, we can try to sedate it, but that never works. Indeed, my ‘preparedness’ can never save me from this inevitable fall.
I start to imagine a world where we don’t collide. The universe sent you for me, perhaps for obvious reasons. A preview, almost– of what it looks like to love the right person. But because it was the wrong time, we had to leave after meeting halfway. I don’t regret, per se, that we were together for a while, but perhaps it felt like ‘what a shame’ to witness such an ending.
Because as soon as I heard you discreetly implying you were willing to let me go just like that, I couldn’t process it, at least not at first. It could be because of the way you casually dropped this in one of our long calls. Yet a part of me knew it was bound to happen and I shouldn’t be taken aback– but I did anyway. “I don’t want to keep you to myself if you find someone better than me. You deserved them way more than I do. In fact, I’d be happy for you, Elise.” That’s what you said. So you knew it too? If you tell me you’re leaving, I’ll make it easy.
It’s making me sick but we’ll heal and the sun will rise. Now I’m surrendering to time to nurse me back to life. I might feel stuck for a while, but I don’t want to deny what I’m going through. If it takes me crying all night for weeks on end or feeling the bitterness all of a sudden, then so be it. It’ll be okay if we can’t stop the bleeding.
We don’t have to fix it, we don’t have to stay. But you know what? I’m relieved that we chose to move on in the most respectful, mature way possible. Forget the blame game, forget the silent treatment. And since we’ve been fostering this at the beginning of our relationship, to sit down and discuss our true feelings, closing this chapter became bearable. Almost like we slowly slip our hands away from each other in a sea of people. Because I will love you, either way, Henry.
It’ll be okay, soon. The right person and the right time will come. I wish you all the happiness in life, Henry. And thank you for loving me. I hope what I offered you throughout our time together will be cherished.
It might be so sweet, it might be so bitter.
By Elly Zulaikha