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James and I were in a relationship for just over two years. I struggled to understand how he met another woman, liked her and decided to marry her. All within six months of us breaking up.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say.”
I played around with my straw and asked him if I knew her.
“No, you don’t. Keziah and I met when I travelled to Ndola for work. I don’t know if you remember that.”
I nodded, urging him to go on.
“I worked with her during my time there and when I came back home, we never spoke again.” He paused to take a deep breath. “A month before our relationship ended, Keziah was transferred to Lusaka and we started working together again. That’s when we really developed our relationship.”
“When did you decide our relationship wasn’t working for you anymore? Decisions like that aren’t made overnight,” I said.
“No, they aren’t. I can’t say for sure when but I had been feeling like we were too busy for each other. We barely spent time with each other and when we did, it always felt rushed. It felt like a routine. We weren’t hanging out because we wanted to but because we had to. “
I was confused. James broke up with me the day before we could go on a trip where we would spend a whole weekend together. No distractions. No work. Samfya was not a part of our routine. I explained that to him.
“What was going to happen after that Abby? Were we going to wait for another birthday to come around? I don’t know how you don’t see it. We became distant.”
I didn’t see it. I assumed that the reason why we spent less time with each other was that we were not in university anymore. We both had full-time jobs, worked 5 days a week and when the weekends came around, sometimes we would be too tired to do anything. I assumed we both understood that. I should have never assumed because it turned out maybe we were not on the same page.
“You could have told me that was how you felt,” I said to James.
If he had mentioned that he felt we were growing apart or we weren’t spending enough time together, we would have put in more effort to make things work. At least I would have.
I took a sip of my Shandy and swallowed the lump in my throat.
“Why did you choose the day before the trip to break up with me?”
He hesitated and wiped his hands on his jeans.
“I was on my way home from Keziah’s house when you sent the message saying you were excited about the trip. I had just dropped her off because she had a problem with her car.
On that Friday, I realised I had really strong feelings for her and I felt bad for feeling that way while I was in a relationship with you. I decided I couldn’t go on the trip with you and spend a whole weekend pretending I didn’t have feelings for someone else. I couldn’t lie anymore.”
I asked him if he had ever cheated on me during the time we were together. His eyes were everywhere but on me. He brushed off imaginary dust from the table. It was written all over his face. He didn’t have to say anything. I started to think of how many lies he probably told me and questioned every single thing he ever said to me.
That was all he needed to tell me from the beginning. He was right. We didn’t spend as much time as we used to. Not because we were always busy with work but because he was busy with someone else.
Immediately, I looked away from him, fighting back tears. A part of me walked into the restaurant thinking we could work things out but instead, there I was seated across him while my already fragile heart broke all over again.
“I know I should have told you, Abby. I shouldn’t have let things with her go on for as long as they did. I shouldn’t have lied to you.”
We sat in silence for a few minutes and I decided it was time for me to leave. I didn’t care about anything else he had to say. I should have never asked him to meet me. I would have found a way to move on without knowing everything he had just told me.
“I have to go. This was a mistake. I wish you and Keziah…” I paused for a second, “I wish you and Keziah all the best.” I fought the urge to spill what was left of my Shandy on him. I picked up my purse, stood up and walked out of the restaurant.
I drove around aimlessly for quite some time. I wasn’t ready to go back and face Ashley. It would take me a lot of time to forgive James and to accept what had happened. I felt like I had just undone six months of progress and that made me so angry.
I didn’t regret the relationship. The time we spent together was good. I didn’t regret ever meeting him or falling in love with him. That’s what happens when you love someone. You open up your heart to be broken. James broke it in an ugly way but I had to move on.
After about an hour of driving, I parked on the roadside and called an animal shelter to find out if they had any dogs I could adopt. Sasha needed a friend and I could use the extra love. I then put on a breakup playlist I created six months ago and drove off. I had to start healing all over again.
Hey guys!! Welcome to day 22 and the last day of the Afrobloggers Challenge. This week’s theme was “Storytelling”. I decided to try something new and go into the fiction world. I hope you all enjoyed this.
It goes without saying, honesty and communication are very important in any relationship. Avoid making assumptions and ask when need arises. Ensure you’re on the same page with the things that matter. Also, sometimes closure isn’t necessary but it can be helpful. Otherwise, let him/her go.
This is the end of the 22 day blogging challenge. I can’t believe I didn’t skip any day and was able to come up with fresh content everyday. Thanks for keeping up with me on this ride!
Follow the blog to find out what happens next! Also, find all WinterABC 2021 related posts here.
Thanks for reading!