Love. An emotion I found difficult to understand often. If someone were to ask me what I thought the definition of love was, I wouldn’t know exactly how to answer. I could describe it, give examples of it, but I was far from knowing the true meaning of the often confused emotion. I was only certain on how I felt about it during at that moment. Disappointed, broken... not worthy, rejected. I could go on, but what would be the point? What’s done is done. There’s no going back, no one can erase or fix what’s happened.
“I’m sorry you had to find out this way, Tor.,” he said to me, his voice shaky. John had lost all the color in his face as he stood before me begging for my forgiveness. What could I say to him? I sat there on our living room couch completely speechless. Of course I could think of a million nasty things to say, but I was too busy trying to grasp what he had just told me. I looked at him in shock and wondered what went wrong with us. Was it my fault? Did I do something? Or did I not do something... why didn’t he love me anymore?
“Please... say something, Tori. Yell at me, scream... something!,” his voice grew louder, sounding impatient with my lacked reaction. I went to speak, my lips parted even, but I couldn’t get it out. The only thought or question that I managed to whisper out was... “Why?” His face turned remorseful as he nervously ran his hand through his tousled hair. I had never seen John like this, he was always happy... content with the direction in which our lives were going. He had planned a lot of exciting things for our future. Why in the hell would he do this to us?
“Jesus... I don’t know. I’ve always done right by you... that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. But she got to me... it was a moment of fucking weakness and I wasn’t strong enough.” Oh John, how could you? His words stung my ears and stabbed at my heart. I never would have thought we’d ever be in this situation.
“So what you’re telling me... is that for the last two months, when you’ve gone to “visit your mom”... you’ve been visiting this other woman too!?” The words flowed easier now, thanks to the anger that was quickly building in my head. It was as if a switch had gone off and all the things I wanted to say were standing in line, waiting to be spoken.
“Yes.,” he quietly answered while cowardly avoiding any eye contact with me. I looked at him in silence for a couple more seconds and then rose up from the couch. He cautiously followed me, as I marched into our bedroom. “Tori, what are you doing?” I proceeded to open the door to our closet, reached for his suitcase that sat up on the shelf and then threw it at his feet. All I could see was red, how dare he do this to me?! I needed him gone. I needed for him to get far away from me.
“Oww! What the hell Tori! Did you have to throw it at me?!”
“Yes. Yes I did. Did you have to go and fuck someone else for the last two months?! Really John?! How could you!?” Now, I was able to yell. I began ripping down his clothes that hung in the closet and paused when he thought stepping closer to me was a good idea.
“Don’t come near me and don’t fucking touch me!” I hated looking so weak and fragile in front of him, but he needed the image of how much I was hurting melted in his memory. I slumped and lowered myself to the floor, holding my head against my knees, I began to sob uncontrollably. John knelt down in front of me and rested his hand on my head. “I’m so fucking sorry.” He cried and attempted to wrap his arms around me, I quickly leaned over avoiding his embrace.
“You have to go. I need some time. I need some time to process all this.” I told him. I broke our the closeness between us and picked myself up to stand. “Okay. Just give me a couple minutes to get some of my things together?” I told him it was fine and then left him alone in our room.
I never imagined John to be the kind of man that was a cheater. As far as I’d known, our relationship had been perfect. Sure we were opposites, but our opposites complimented each other. We had a well balanced, solid relationship. We were strong and could be silly with one another. He liked classic rock, where I preferred hip-hop or indie. My favorite food was anything related to seafood and he never missed a fishing tournament. He was currently in his second year of interning, studying to become an orthopedic surgeon, and I was just a waitress; still trying to figure out what I wanted to be when “I grew up” But that was okay, John always accepted the person that I was.
When we needed each other, we were there... he was always there for me. Even with all the arguments I would have with my mother, which was often, he’d been there to comfort me. He would build back up whatever she tore down when it came to my self confidence... my mother and I have never been close.
John and I liked and got along with each other’s friends, and we both shared a mutual love for chocolate cake. His kisses were always sweet, his hugs comforted me and he had a way of making me feel like I was his top priority, until now that was.
I was back on the couch, eyeing up his backpack and duffel bag that sat by the door. I cannot believe this is really happening, this has to be just a dream, or more so a nightmare. John entered the room again, car keys in hand. “I guess I’ll get the rest of my stuff when we figure out... well what we’re going to do.” A single tear fell down my cheek. My confused heart didn’t want him to leave, but I knew better that he couldn’t stay.
“Again... I’m so sorry. I’ll be at Nick’s until Friday and then I’m out of town. If you need me for anything...well... please let me know when we can talk about things. You know... I still love you Tori, I never stopped.” I stared out the window as he spoke, I was silent again... speechless and utterly heartbroken.
“John?,” I called to him, as he picked up his bags. He turned to face me, brows raised in hopes that he thought I might ask him to stay. “We’re never going to be the same again, are we?” More tears fell down my cheeks and my lips quivered with scared anticipation of his answer.
“No... I guess not. But we might be able to try, right?” He walked over to me and held his hand out for mine. I don’t know why the hell I did it, maybe out of desperation? Maybe I needed assurance that there was still a chance for us. Whatever it was had me wanting to feel his touch and I placed just my fingertips in his hand. He then carried my hand up to his mouth and lightly kissed my knuckles. “Let me know when you’re ready... to talk more and see if we can maybe fix this. See if you’ll allow me... to make this up to you.”
Looking into his light brown eyes, I searched for more reasons as to why he had done this to me. John had been my everything for the last three years, he made my heart complete. I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive this shock and unwelcomed change to my world... and what was a better question, how do I go on living or enjoying life without John in it?
Later that night, I checked all the windows and both the front and back doors in the apartment, making sure they were locked. I hated being alone. I had gotten used to it when John would go visit his mother, but that was different. This kind of alone, was on a whole other level. The deafening silence around me reminded me of my new, harsh reality. I was on my own, no one to lean on... had no one to hold me tight and I had no one there to tell me everything would be okay. I didn’t know what the future held for John and I and that scared the hell out of me.
I grabbed a washcloth out of the hall closet and then went to the bathroom sink. I can’t be here alone... I missed him already. I needed to feel his warm arms around me, I need to hear him tell me how much he loves me. Maybe I should just call him? Or... I could go to Nick’s. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll go to Nick’s and tell John that I love him and want him to come home. We can work through this and besides, everyone deserves a second chance... right?
I smoothed the warm, wet washcloth down my face, inhaled a deep breath and then took a look at myself in the mirror. My broken heart was foolish, but my mind quickly snapped me back to reality and reminded of the words he’d said earlier. My poor heart literally was aching for him to be here with me, but I know that I can’t go running back to him. Especially not this soon, he needs to understand the hurt he’s caused me.
I turned the bathroom light out and walked over to the bed, pulling down the covers. When we had first moved in together, John insisted on getting a king sized bed. I thought our bedroom was too small for one, but was proven wrong after it had been delivered and put together. I loved how much room I had to sprawl my legs out. John and I would cuddle when we wanted, make love when we wanted and then when we wanted our own space to sleep, we had more than enough room to do so. But, now... looking at the bed, I dreaded having to sleep in it.
After changing into one of John’s t-shirts to sleep in, I reluctantly crawled into the even more spacious bed now and stared at the large, empty space beside me. My eyes welling up, I knew tonight would slowly drag by and be the most difficult to get through.