"It's 2.30... go back to sleep," I said quietly as I twisted the handles of my bedroom door. At this point I wonder why I let him sleep in my bedroom.
"2.30? Did you even sleep or were you up the whole time?" By now he's sitting on the bed. In the dim light I could tell how drowsy he is. Honestly, I am envious. He's the kind of person that falls asleep within 5 seconds of his head resting on the pillow. Me on the other hand, an insomniac.
"Sorry I woke you. I thought I'd get a glass of water." We were on separate beds, his literally across the room, mine just beside the door. Yet somehow, between the rusling of my blanket and those few steps to the door I manage to wake him up.
"Yeah don't sweat it. I'd wake if an ant dropped his food on the floor anyways. And there's a jug of water and a cup on the bedside table. Where were you going, really?" I remembered the night before I had poured the jug in case he got thirsty.
"Owh, right. I forgot." Lame excuse.
"You wanna talk about it?" I had let go of the doorknob without opening the door. I turned to him wondering if it's a good idea to talk now. It is in the weird hour of the night and we both need to go to work tomorrow. Sleep for me is less of an importance, more of a luxury that I can never seem to afford anymore. But for him, and every normal human being, sleep is a necessity.
"It's late, you have work tomorrow. Go back to sleep." I said, reaching once again for the doorknob. I didnt know where to go or what to do at this hour - probably just roam the seven hundred square foot, one bedroom apartment until I bore myself and go back to bed hoping sleep would come eventually.
"Yeah I'll get the beers. You tell me what's been bothering you, and if it's the same thing, please, by all means refresh my memory." He lit the bedside lamp and was already on his feet. I opened the bedroom door and headed left in the hallway towards the kitchen. "Look, there's always a solution to every problems. For those you think you can't solve, seek help. Give it time. Talk to us. We're friends, right?"
"Yeah," I replied solemnly as I sat on the island. He took our two bottles of beers out of the fridge, handed one to me. "Cheers," I said.
"Cheers. You know, I've known you for so many years, this isn't the first time for you - surviving a break up - but I can tell that it's probably the worst."
"You think?" I sniggered.
"Yeah. It's been what, a year? And you're still depressed as fuck." has it really been a year? Nah, he's exaggerating. It felt like yesterday when she left. "What I don't get though, is this is the shortest one but it had the biggest impact on you." I must've been 16, 17 when I had my first girlfriend. We stayed together for 7 years. The one after that was 5 years and with her, it was only 3 years.
"At this rate my next relationship would probably last a year." I quipped, finding the statement both morbid and amusing at the same time.
"Or it could last a lifetime?" It could. I suddenly crave for a cigarette but I had finished my pack earlier and didn't buy a fresh pack. Now I come to regret my decision. "What was she like to you? You know, back when you were together?"
"Real." It was a sort and quick answer.
"Real? What do you mean?" It did beg an explanation.
"It felt real, like we had a future together. I had it planned out , when my business gets stable enough, we'd get a place together. We made plans for the future."
"And when she got that job, it felt even more real. Yeah, she had to move away but I read that as an opportunity - a choice, whether we'd settle down in a new city or wait for her to come back."
"She never did." he said.
"She never did."
"What I don't get tho," he took a swig of his bottle, swallowed and continued. "... is why did she broke up with you. If things were going so well, why did she dump you?"
"Wise choice of words to say to a broken heart."
"I'm not a poet."
"Well it was my fault. Remember a couple of years back, thing thing with the car and how business was slow, I had a lot of things on my mind?" Wow it really had been a year.
"Yeah? You were just about like this. Less extreme, less suicidal, but just about. What happened?"
"She took it as a sign that I didn't want her in my life."
"Wow.. really? She hasn't seen that side of you before?" I met his eyes, and I saw a glimpse of bewilderment. This person, and another girl I like sharing drinks with, they eased into my life without much adjustment. Understanding that I am a chaos of contradiction.
"Nope. I guess it scared her away. I've probably seen her at her worst, loved her for who she is - may not yet completely but we were definitely learning."
"but that's not what's been keeping you up all night every night? How do you do it, by the way. I mean, for sure I'll be a little tired tomorrow morning but you, with literally a couple of hours of sleep every day, how could you function?"
"haha. You tell me. Naps, I guess?" I do tend to nap a couple of time throughout the day.
"Yeah, I noticed you need more of those lately. But tell me, what's bothering you?"
"She gave up on me. It was simple as that."
"She gave up on you, so you decided to give up on yourself?" the silence that came next was so thick you could cut it with a knife. "She stopped loving you so you decided to stop loving yourself? She didn't want you in her life anymore so you decided it's not a life worth living anymore? Is that it?"
"There's not much to go on for after she left."
"I'm not gonna say I know how you feel, but trust me, I'm trying to understand. It's not the best feeling to be invalidated like that, but these feelings, they will pass."
That's what I tell myself every day. That today is another day. Work the routines. Eat, maybe go for a jog. A smile, a laugh, couple of texts from other friends. A quick shower at the end of the day, maybe read off a few pages of a book, then sleep. Or pretend to sleep. Rinse and repeat the next day.
Every now and then there's bound to be outings with different groups of friends. Some drinks, maybe enjoy a movie, maybe go for a karaoke night. There'll be deadlines to catch, new projects, new clients.
But in all of that, I'll probably never feel valid ever again. But this is my burden, not yours.
"Yeah, I'm sure it will. But for now, let's go back to sleep."