2010. Finally I had fallen in love. It was real. She loved me and I loved her.
We were compatible. We had our fallings out like any couple but we talked through our stuff and we worked upon it. I made errors. Some due to stupidity, some due to immaturity and some that were just mistakes. But she forgave me and they never reoccurred. I was prepared to put aside decades of freedom in my love for this woman. My Mexican princess. My darling. Someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who knew me like the back of her hand. Who trusted me and confided in me. Who would patiently listen to me and be there to ease my troubles. Someone who accepted my faults as well as my weaknesses. There were some teething problems. I drank too much on holiday but stopped drinking when we moved in together back in
I got jealous once when I came back from the bar to find a guy talking to her when we were on holiday in
After 7 months of living in
Mexico with her and her family I flew home and had to leave her behind. Her home city was controlled by rival, ruthless drug cartels who would target civilians just for the hell of it. I came back to England thinking I would simply walk into another job. I didn't. It took me 5 months to get a job. The only reason we hadn't split up as soon as I left Mexico was because of how strong our love was. I was going to save up and lend her the money to come back to Italy to get her residency (the privileges of having an Italian great-grandmother). I'd work temporarily in the UK and then with the extra cash I'd fly back to Italy and we'd be together again. Not the perfect situation but without me leaving there was no way I'd have had enough money to bring us out of Mexico. She didn't work one day the entire 7 months we were in Mexico. All rent and food was paid for by me. She said (and I believed her) that it was unfair to criticise her for not taking ANY job as she needed to get a job that reflected her experience so she could build a resume for her artistic preferences.
I believed her.
She talked about wanting to split up as she didn't want to "live for dreams" and it was heartbreaking to love me so much and know that she would probably not see me again.
I approached a friend, told him how much I loved this woman and that I wanted to marry her. He lent me £1000, interest free with the stipulation to "pay me back when you can."
The job I had taken on was reasonably well paid but I didn't like it. I had to get up early, VERY early. It was cold in January when I started and the tasks were mundane and boring. I wore a uniform and worked outside. I came home tired, sometimes exhausted. I would eat loads of sweets just to keep my blood sugar stable due to the cold. But I didn't care. I had the love of a beautiful, spiritual, selfless woman to keep me warm. And soon we could be together again and then we'd settle down and marry and everything would be OK. Better than OK. My life had led to this. After so many disappointments I finally had someone who was there and perfect and wonderful. Someone who accepted me as I am. My soul mate.
One week after I started this boring job, that I only intended to keep for 3 months to save up to be with my beautiful girlfriend again...she broke up with me on a Skype call. 5 days after she had flown back to
Italy, on a flight I had paid for. With most of the £1000 that I had borrowed while living on state benefits.
She told me that I had been aggressive with men who tried to talk to her. She said I drank too much. She said I didn't love her but an ideal of what she was like as I didn't really know her. She said my first words each morning weren't "I love you" but "I'm sorry" for what I'd done the night before. She said I had never been able to relax and had lived my life always hoping for a better future. She said that she'd warned me that if I moved back this might happen and now it had.
I countered that I had been aggressive ONCE when a man tried to talk to her. I pointed out that I had stopped drinking completely when we were in
Mexico and that I had only been drunk when we were in Greece, 18 months previously. I mentioned that we lived in a city controlled by rival drug gangs, hardly a place to relax in. I told her that if she was going to break up with me to at least be honest about it.
After a pause she looked away from the screen and said "To be fair, you didn't make the same mistakes twice" clearly ashamed at what she was doing and wanting to limit her own guilt. All the things that we'd worked on and moved past that were consigned to history were now being used by her as evidence to justify dumping me.
We talked for ages and then hung up. I felt dead inside. Later that night she cropped up on Facebook messenger asking "Are you alright?" I replied "I've felt better" which she misunderstood and typed "Oh good". When I clarified what I meant she again got cross, berating me for criticising and blaming her for doing this and saying it wasn't her fault.
I asked why her love had so conveniently died 5 days after the flight landed and not 5 days before. She insisted it was a coincidence and that she had doubts in the weeks before the flight and had hoped her feelings would change back again but they hadn't.
A few weeks later I asked he to pay back the money I'd spent on her flight. She wrote that she felt like merchandise and that, as I hadn't got what I had paid for, I wanted a refund. She pointed out that her parents had let me pay less rent due to not having much work and this extra money would have gone to pay for her flight anyway so it wasn't just because of me that she had come back to
Europe. This wasn't true but I didn't argue as I still loved her and agreed to waive the debt.
I never heard from her again.
The job I had taken for just a few months. The job that was cold, unpleasant and hard. The job that was semi-skilled, mundane and boring. That job. Walking around in an English winter for 4 hours a day. That job seemed perfect now. I could hunch down in my winter coat and take my self pity in a whole new direction. The physical pain of what I was doing to buy food and pay the rent, was a counter balance to the grief I felt.
My entire life had been negated. Time to start again.