My phone pinged as a message came through. Things had been great this past year as our relationship continued to blossom. Jane was everything I had ever hoped for, the seemingly perfect match. We met through mutual friends and the connection was instant and electric. Enamoured by her vivacious personality and infectious smile, I loved this woman more than I had ever loved anyone.
It couldn’t be any more perfect.
I unlocked my phone and read the SMS. Surely it was a mistake, a mistyped message or a gag that she’d reply to later on. It couldn’t possibly be true, not from Jane. But as I kept re-reading the message, those words didn’t change, cutting me to my core. I don’t understand how she could do this to me as thoughts raced around my mind, desperately trying to make sense of what I was reading. The veracity of our relationship had never been tested like this.
Emotions started to get the better of me, but I had to keep it together, the other men in the workshop wouldn’t look kindly on me breaking down, it’s not the done thing. Holding my emotions back I took a quick break off the floor, desperate to compose myself before the floodgates opened.
I had to get out of there.
I went out to my car, away from prying eyes as I was overwhelmed with emotion. Tears ran from my eyes, the dam wall overflowing as I was overcome with an uncontrollable sadness. I could feel my heart shatter into a million tiny shards. My body heaved with tears, feeling so lost and alone as my world was tipped upside down.
I tried frantically to call her but she wouldn’t respond, her phone ringing out. I checked her socials, desperate for any signs that she was unhappy. Scrolling through her feed was a terrible reminder of the life I thought we had. Happy memories and celebrations that we’d shared this past year were now just a lie. I’d clicked onto the replies and I noticed something unusual. Likes from the same person, on every post. I knew this name but I thought he was out of her life, a remnant of a past that she had left behind. At least, that is what she’d told me.
As I sat in the car, the pieces of the puzzle all started to fall into place. How could I be so stupid and naive? I remembered that late night phone call I’d overhead from the bathroom, those words now etched in mind. There was a steady stream of messages on her phone at unusual hours of the day and night and frequent business trips that took her away for weeks at a time. The signs had been there, but I was blinded by love and ignored all of the red flags.
Composing myself, I wiped away the tears and put my phone in my pocket, despondently returning to the workshop. I felt betrayed and humiliated, the world I knew had come crumbling down and I deserved an explanation.
At the very least she owed me that.
© T. Zerafa 2023
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