Nota bene: This chapter is uncharacteristically long, things had to be said. Remember to let us know how you are enjoying this so far, and even if you are not, we want to hear from you. Have a pleasant week.
Previous chapter four (here)
Riding the orange train in the opposite direction this time the usual cacophony from the morning was now annoying to me. I was in a bad mood. Only yesterday Jason and I had had another fight. MJ really was a no go zone between the two of us. I understood where Jason was coming from but couldn’t he see that no one had made me as happy as MJ did. That no one could make me as happy as he had the potential to? Granted he had hurt me but I was okay with the hurt…I had moved on from it. I had learned to deal with it. To be honest, I think it made me stronger… Would I live through it again? I doubt it, but it was part of our story – my past and our future.
I knew MJ could be the right man for me, if he simply made the choice to keep me and only me in his life. He was so loving and attentive. My only issue with MJ was HER. She had appeared in our lives out of the blue (as far as I was concerned) one morning and 3 years later she was still roaming about. I just could not understand why he didn’t get rid of her; he always promised to, did, and then all of a sudden she was back. She was like a nasty rash that just did not go away. I knew deep down that he loved me and I rationalized it. Telling myself that he always went back to her because she was so accessible and only lived about 30 minutes away from him – that, she made it impossible for him to go, she kept on throwing herself at him. I think he eventually began to use my own excuses against me when I threw a tantrum.
MJ and I met towards the end of my undergrad year. He was vacationing in Montreal with his brother. It was a private loft party and he offered me a drink. We started to talk and have never stopped talking since. That is the one thing we did best in the beginning, talk. It was easy and crucial to our relationship. I was instantly attracted to him intellectually, physically I wasn’t sure. I didn’t believe in long distance relationships but MJ made it easy, MJ made it worth it. I learned to love everything about him. He called me every night, flew in or flew me over every month. He sent me random gifts and always had surprises for me. I would sometimes get embarrassed when the delivery guy would show up with tons of flowers at my part time job on campus. Jason respected MJ in the beginning, he was happy to see me happy even if he had his reservations. I think Jason just came to dislike anyone I dated, but his feelings towards MJ changed towards the end of 2009.
I was on my way home and thinking about our fight once more. I had no more energy to fight, so I wouldn’t fight. I would just act like it didn’t matter. Besides, it was my life and Jason was building a life of his own. He & Tina were getting married. I had made my decision I would go see Mj. My birthday was coming up in July and it was the perfect present (to myself). Because above and beyond all the drama, MJ and I had crazy chemistry and I hadn’t felt ‘alive’ in months!
Like most women, Lisa often wondered what she had done to the good Lord to have such luck with men. The mantra, the good ones are always taken, although so cliché seemed so true to these ladies – in my opinion, either they were looking in the wrong places or they just had expectations that were too high (or unrealistic). It was so much more particular for Lisa though…she had grown up around men and you would think she had learned a thing or two. But in her defence she had become estranged to half of them, lost one to drugs, one was too young to understand her and another was in the army – the only one she listened to, the one she probably loved the most. So I was her replacement brother; the one she loved to hate. So perhaps she never really had the example, but I thought I had always shown her better…
The last man she dated was a piece of shit as far as I was concerned, like all of them really. No man so far was good enough for Lisa. We men had one thing and one thing only on our minds. How many girls we could get….and how fast we could get out. Don’t get me wrong, there were the rare good ones out there but I killed myself to make Lisa and all other few women (in my life) understand that it was always about sex first with us men and everything else second. That even when you have the good ones they have to have been through their “chasing” phase. Like my boy T often says; “you know if you want to sleep with her for one night or if you want to sleep with her for the rest of your life. But it all boils down to the s-e-x.”
Lisa and I had only had one catastrophic fight in all our years as friends. And that fight had been about MJ, her one true love (so she thinks). She had left our apartment for almost a month after that and had only recently moved back. Here we were again, another fight, not as big but still about MJ. How was I going to get rid of the idiot?
This fight got me thinking, as I sat in front my computer that evening…. searching, looking for the right words to comfort her, I hated how we had left things last night. I wanted to email her – that’s the only form of communication she would entertain from me at the moment. I knew her. I really needed to make things right with Lisa now, and I was tired of fighting.
I came across an email she had sent to MJ a while back. She had this habit of blind copying me on all her emails… (I think she just needed reassurance, and it was her protection. Because, ultimately, if she sent me the email; she would stop herself from saying anything stupid – because behold I would hold her accountable for the rest of her life)
As I read her words, I had a tingling feeling. I often hoped that Lisa had the same passion and the same love for me….she loved me in her own way and was too blind to see that I once loved her (more than anything in this world)….
From: Lisa T (lisaTmbakop@gmail.com)
To: MJ (email@example.com)
Date: May 23rd 2011
Subject: Magic of 1st love
It is me again…. Again & again, as usual. I often wonder why I bother, but for a long time now I have stopped asking, how, why, and when. I just need you to know some things so that I can move on and be happy in my life too.
For the last couple of weeks, I have thought and over-thought. I have been a mess. I have relived our relationship over and over again. And I realize that as much as I loved most of those moments with you – I hated some so much more. Only God knows where I stand now and he alone knows how he will make me get over you. Because 5 years later it seems am still so smitten by you – in spite of all the hurt from 2 years back.
But as I have relived my past, our past – I see now that I am in this dark and unhealthy place because I have not done perhaps what was the most important thing. I have and had never forgiven you for all the hurt you brought to me. I still carry a huge burden and to me, you were entirely responsible for my pain and worries. I need this to move on definitely.
So in this mail, find my words of forgiveness and my eventual closure. I am from this day taking away that burden and responsibility from you.
I never told you I HATED you (sometimes), how often I regretted meeting you (even if it was a temporary feeling). You never saw how much it made me sick and crazy to hear you say “I love you and care about you” but not FEEL it – to hear you speak yet see no action that confirmed your words. You were too blind to see that I despised the fact that you mistook me for some naive girl. You never talked to me or explained anything to me, and too often you just acted like there was nothing wrong. I loathed you because, you always tried to convince me that everything was ok, or that everything would be ok….when it was clear to see that NOTHING was RIGHT. If your world was OK, then everybody else’s world should be fine.
Do you know how much you infuriated me when you often asked me, “what do you want me to say?”, “what do you want me to do?”. Or how much I cried most nights alone in my room because according to you I was just playing the victim? Do you know how tempting it was to just say FUCK YOU?! Sandra came into your life and hasn’t left it…I don’t know how it happened, but she changed you completely. You became someone else and I no longer mattered the way that I used. You tried your best to comfort me but your words were just empty promises.
I have been carrying this BURDEN all these months and today it feels great to finally get it off my chest. Finally, I do not hate you anymore, I do not hold you responsible anymore -obviously you were just doing what was right for YOU. You were looking out for you. I finally know that sometimes in life it is OK to be selfish! And I am applying it to the fullest. I forgive YOU MJ! I forgive you for taking some many years of my life and for not being man enough to choose me; for being a coward and taking the easy way out.
At long last, I can take back my life and start living. I can stand before you without remorse, without wanting to seek revenge. I can look you in the eyes without having the urge to say and do things to you that would hurt you as much as you hurt me. I can take my share of the blame and I can let this go. MJ, I forgive you.
I am being selfish now. I love me.
“The magic of first love is our ignorance that it will never end”. My love, this is the end of our story.
I had told her that the email was completely, utterly unnecessary – immediately I blew open the can of worms.
When it came to MJ, Lisa was always this erratic, confused and simply incoherent. She hardly ever made sense and to me she just simply loved too strong, too much and too hard… I often wanted to slap her back to reality. She was grounded in EVERYTHING else, but this… This…she had no control. This had been the end of their story (for that period of time apparently). I think MJ has just gotten tired of them making up and breaking up. Lisa had found out she was not the only woman in Mj’s life and had become completely insecure and irrational. She had given him ultimatums and questioned his intentions. She had asked him to make a choice between her and the other woman. MJ had gone round in circles and ultimately subdued my darling Lisa – he had convinced her that his adventure with Sandra was temporary and born out of necessity and satisfaction of his needs. In the beginning she had believed him but with time she saw that they were sharing much more than his bed. However, she kept on falling back into his arms until the next email (from Sandra), the next picture or the next realisation that she was not the only one.
Although at the time I had chastised her for sending this email, it ultimately had been the ‘it’ that brought the end, because he had walked away from her too. She was devastated; I think she had expected her emails to wake him up or to force him into choosing her. Just like the coward I thought he was, he just let their story die. A little over six months ago when he resurfaced I had warned Lisa, but she had walked out on me (the epic fight).And yesterday she was talking about going to visit him. I really did not understand why she was so into him… What did he have?
My Lisa, my darling Lisa, I prayed she would find the right man and that if she did not, after my passing she would always remember the things I told her….Because yes this was fact, the doctor had confirmed earlier this afternoon that I had an inoperable tumour and I didn’t have long to go. It was all these things that had me thinking about Lisa so much and about who I was going to leave her with?
This fight I felt was different. She wasn’t fighting, worse she seemed indifferent. And that was the worst kind. For now, I had to make it disappear, because honestly, I don’t know how much time we had left. I composed my email to her.
Next chapter: Chapter Six (Click here)