March 01, 2011


By lightning36 © 2011

The situation was just so frustrating. Break up or continue the relationship? There was no easy answer.

He knew that he had been an extremely lucky guy. How many men get to date television stars? Crystal was beautiful, well-known, and popular. But aside from the usual Hollywood trappings, she had a heart of gold. She exuded warmth and compassion, yet had enough of a bite to keep herself real.

Their meeting had come purely by chance. She was in town to promote the opening of a new clothing store. He just happened to be at the mall that day, looking for a birthday present for his father. Their common ground was gemstones, which Crystal loved and he adored. He had once contemplated a career as a jeweler.

From Agate to Zircon, their conversation flowed, and their mutual interest heightened. They discovered that their love of fine jewelry was only one of many commonalities they shared. Similar parents. Similar upbringing. Similar views on politics and life. It was amazing.

They worked hard on continuing a relationship despite her constant travel. Frequent late-night calls and funny text messages and tweets were the foundation of a growing bond. Their time together, although limited, was as precious as the early morning dew on a late summer morning. Was it love? If not, it certainly felt like it. He fell and fell hard. There was no other way to describe it.

There was the other side, however. As much as Verizon helped keep the relationship alive, it was just no match for the painful longing that emotional closeness and physical distance conspired to amplify. He was torn. Perhaps if he had masochistic tendencies he might have survived better, but he was not all about pain. He was about love, and this was tearing him apart, shredding him up like a used piece of paper. He could not take it any longer.

The next time he saw her he did not know what to say. Words escaped him. She saw the sadness in his eyes and did not know what to make of it. Something had changed for the worse and nothing she could say or do seemed to matter. She gazed at him with a loving, yet confused look. It would be up to him to open up about his misgivings. She could only hope that their relationship had not deteriorated over the difficult time away. But she did need to hear something from him. This relationship would not end in silence. She would give him more time.

A day rolled past. Then two. Still, he could not bring himself to reveal the dull pain he felt. He hoped that she could somehow save him, although he had no idea what that saving process would be. There seemed to be no hope.

She was ready to go back home, utterly confused about how this relationship, which showed such excitement and such promise, could suddenly be over just as quickly as it had started. She began experiencing that dull pain herself, knowing that inside herself a small part of her had died. She texted him a short message as a last attempt to avoid the inevitable.

Wallowing in sorrow the past few days, he suddenly woke up and smacked himself in the face for being such an utter fool. How could he allow things to end just because they did not fit his perfect version of a perfect relationship? Did he think that everything was meant to be easy? What damage had his introspective nonsense caused? Could he somehow mend what he had just ripped apart?

Time was short. He knew that he could not physically catch her before she returned home. His last chance to salvage the relationship was right in his hands. A text message was waiting for him.

The message was simple. “I cannot live like this. Can we fix this? It’s now or never.”

A twisted smile crossed his face. The opening was there, right? She did not want this to end, right? He could turn this around.

But he couldn’t. He was frozen in time – paralyzed, unable to move. As much as he wanted to respond, he just could not. It was not in his nature to have things work out. He would not let himself succeed, not enjoy the same happiness that almost everyone else could feel. It was his destiny, he thought. He couldn’t see it any other way. He turned his phone off. His future seemed black … black as onyx, yet devoid of any possibility of change.

Lighning36 is a professional counselor working in higher education in central Illinois.

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