I was breaking up with the love of my life (I will call her Music) on the phone from my office. She was in her office in another city, in another country. We were engaged. The weekend before we had been together in Boston. But we didn't spend a night together. We never kissed properly. We didn't make love there. We hadn't touched each other properly for a month before that, and hadn't spend a good long time together for a month before that. That was how distance, and family, and the fact that neither of us were independently wealthy, had arranged our lives for us. I'd gone there so we could figure out whether we should try to stay together or not. The feeling was wrong, for both of us. When I got home we broke up. On the phone.
"I think it's clear what we have to do", she said. But she left it open to me to not do it. But I did it.
"You're what I love most in this world," I said. I was crying.
Today I think that if we'd made love on that last trip we would still be together. I think that I should have not left. To make a life with someone, to get married, it's always a leap. There are always second thoughts and doubts. That's what makes it a leap. I was hoping for an uncomplicated feeling. It was not there. There was only the whole complicated mess of feelings: the strongest desire I've ever felt in my life, a fear I'd disappoint her somehow, a fear I would get bored and leave her and ruin her life. Now I know she felt all those too and was ready to leap anyway. But I didn't get that that feeling was as good as anyone ever gets.
I used my office phone. The long distance bill came months later. The minutes on each call are recorded. This one took 44 minutes.
Months later, before we stopped talking on the phone.
"Let me ask you something: do you think you made the right decision?" She was curious, but in no way re-opening the door to us.
"I don't know", I said. I didn't think so.
A few months after that, I did know. I knew I'd made the wrong one. But it was too late. She'd moved on, more than once, and made a point of telling me so. What a feeling that was. My warm guts were replaced with ice, that I had to carry around in me for, I don't know, months at least.
The only thing that can make good on a loss like this is learning. What have I learned? To make the leap, I guess. That relationships are not made for creating complete inner serenity.
I spent most of the past three years alone, at some low level of misery and dull pain. It was the second, or maybe the third, biggest mistake of my life.