For two, hellish weeks, the arguments raged between us. I spent the time sick, constantly on the verge of tears, exhausted and slicing more than ever. Finally, it all stopped. Matt, despite my best efforts, walked out of my life. For good, apparently.
The time after that was...bleak. I took refuge in my friends, throwing everything I had into taking care of them, protecting them and generally being the best friend I could to them. And they took care of me. After three weeks, I cracked.
Stephen says: Hows you? :)
Me: Ok, you?
Stephen says: :D Good
Stephen: How are you doing without Matt?
It was like someone had force-fed petrol to me then chucked a match down my throat.
Me: I miss him :'(
Stephen: :( Stay strong big sis
Me: Hard tbh...
Eventually, he got the truth out of me.
Stephen: Don't you dare! Don't you fucking dare. I need you.
Me: You're the only person who'd miss me. And tbh, you're better off without me, I mean, I don't do all that much.
Stephen: Don't. Do. This.
Me: I'm sorry :'( I love you..
Stephen: Don't say that like you're saying goodbye!
Me: Its okay.
Stephen: ??? What have you done.
Me: It'll be done in a few minutes. Nothing you can do.
Stephen: GET SOMETHING ON THAT NOW.
Me: No, I can't face another day of feeling like this. I'm sorry, its not your fault. I love you so much. If it wasn't for you, I would have done this weeks ago.
Stephen: If you go, I go.
My whole body went cold. It wasn't the blood dripping from my wrist that caused it, but that short sentence. Even though I was planning to be dead by then, did I really want him gone too?
Me: Okay. For you, I'll stay.
It was the first time I'd seriously wanted to kill myself. It was a theme that would haunt my days for another year or so. And throughout that time, Stephen would be there to pick me up.
Fast-forward another three months. Still no word from Matt. I'd figured that was the end of it. No doubt he'd forgotten all about the girl he'd kissed in a bus station once.
A late summer afternoon, I was enjoying a cold cider, mildly tipsy, chatting online to Stephen as we poked fun at each other. I was, for once, feeling happy.
Matt says: Hey
I nearly choked on my cider. My head span, my heart almost stopped.
Me: Hey! How are you?
It seemed inadequate after all the time that had passed, but somehow, we repaired our relationship in the space of that afternoon. Lying in bed that evening, my laptop and phone turned off, the impact of that hit me. He'd not forgotten. In the dark, I smiled.
He remembered me.