“So let me get this straight,” said a baffled Mary. “In one conversation you are telling me about the conclusion of your endless friendship with Steve, and about this gorgeous home baked cookie you had. I have to say, I’m perplexed. From day to day I see how much this guy has effected you, made you laugh and smile and cry all at once, and now finally you're ready to break free, yet I still know more about the damn cookie. Not only that, but I want one.”
We burst into laughter. “Oh you make me laugh, girl. I wish you could sustain this carefree feeling, and acceptance of what’s happened but I know you, and I know it’s short lived.”
“Not this time,” I replied joyfully. “I don’t want to skip to the end of the story before I tell you the beginning, but, something he said crushed me. He didn't even realize, because it wasn’t something of great relevance, it was just said during a regular conversation. When he said it, I felt my heart sink so far, it went deep past the point of just being hurt by it. It just dropped. It was the saddest and unhappiest feeling. Not like the times I have sat bawling my eyes out with my strewn hair stuck between my damp cheek and pillow, but it was just real.”
“Well what did he say?”
“He said that his girlfriend was coming to stay with him and his guardian for the first time.”
“That’s it, that’s the great life altering statement. I mean I have read all those stupid laaa-de- daa self help books, and I know that not one of them says that a statement like that is capable of making you move on and accept that the one great love you have, is not going to be yours.” Mary threw a cushion at me, again sending us into fits of laughter!
“I know it sounds crazy but I think after everything we've said, done and been through, I think that this one stupid point has had such an impact because I could see that he is continuing with his life. He is making plans. He is doing the things he wants to do. When was the last time I planned ahead and actually did it? I never do, because I’m never certain about anything. The odd time I am, it’s because it’s what I truly want to do. Steve wants to be with his girlfriend. I have been, and always will be, a bizarre little blip on the radar. Rather than focus all my time and energy thinking about how I can make him see me. I need to do what he’s doing; having a fucking life!”
Mary got to her feet and started clapping. “I would just like to state for all and sundry, that my friend, is bloody awesome.”
Cocking her head slightly and speaking slightly hushed, she couldn’t resist adding.
“It took a long time coming, but everyone has a eureka moment, and this is yours. You have definitely put the time in, and I hope you feel that the investment was a fucking waste of money. Ha-ha, if only there was a refund policy.”
“Thanks love,” she said giggling “I knew you always had faith in my decisions.”
“Yes well, I did, until I saw how deluded you became. It’s normal and perfectly healthy to fall in love with the wrong guy, but when you start twisting all the negatives into some kind of crazy fantasy that meant they were positives, I realized that you were on a lonely path to Pittsville.”
“Check you out, being so wise all of a sudden. You’re lucky you have the best relationship in the world.”
“Yes I have, you're right, but that just gives me more space to observe all your fuck ups,which in hindsight may make me less experienced, but I’m learning just as fast, through your mistakes. If I ever step one foot near that ladder you've been climbing, I urge you to put a gun in my hand.”
“Come here you silly cow, I need a hug.”
We embraced, and Mary said quietly, “you know it has killed me seeing you so unhappy, you’re such a fantastic person, and you deserve the life you want.”
Feeling stronger than ever, I let no tears fall, and smiled. “I know, no pain no gain right? ... Oh!” My hands fell limply to my curled up knees.
“Steve and I are supposed to meet up next Monday and talk about what happened the other night, but do you know what? I don’t need to anymore. I don’t need him to understand me, and why I temporarily lost the plot. I have to stop thinking that by talking to him about it, that it will actually help me move forward. I don’t need his reasons or his input anymore. I do need him to be in my life as a friend, so I know he’s okay and happy, but that’s it.”
“Don’t meet him then,” added Mary helpfully.
“I wish it were that easy. I know what he's like though. He'll think my strength and distance is a temporary thing. He'll say I’m not being myself, even though for once, I am.”
“Didn’t we just conclude that we don’t need to know what he thinks anymore? If he questions your attitude, or your lack of wanton affection that makes good old Steve feel special, then just go. Hang up, walk away, say you’re busy, and better still - be busy. Make less time for him. You may see that he’s confused by this, and feels slightly redundant, but were putting you first now, not him. You are out for number fucking one, and no one else.”
“I hear ya girl. It’s time to eradicate that slushy mushy sap in me. It’s time to get in touch with the girl inside, the leather wearing super-bike riding, fun loving kick boxer inside.”
“Kick boxer? Huh? Erm, are you confusing yourself with Lara Croft now? I’m all for change, but let’s be realistic girl.”
“I’m capable of doing kick boxing, and better still, you're coming with me. I've booked us onto Wednesday’s evening class. Oh, did I forget to mention it?” I asked with a huge grin.
“I don’t know if I like the new you,” she said smiling. “Oh you have no choice, or I'll use my new skills on you.”
“Okay, miss tomb raider herself. I’m still a bit confused though. What does your impromptu visit to a chic little café have to do with anything?”
“Well,” I said. “That’s where the story really begins.”