Getting to Acceptance.
I once read there were five stages to a breakup;
Denial. The first couple of days were hard. I wanted to call him and tell him about the stupid things Lola said or just talk to him about my day. He text me asking to talk things through and I almost replied but then I locked my phone away in a drawer and didn’t pick up again for three days.
My mind continuously whooshed back and forth trying to work out how Liam could do this to me. Searching hopelessly for an explanation that made sense but I never found one.
Regret. I missed him, terribly. I regretted breaking up with him in the heat of the moment. I love Liam. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, he warned me this was going to be hard and he didn’t know if he could do it but I pushed him to try anyway. The second things do get hard for us I’m out the door. But I stood by him when he gave me the cold shoulder. I stood by him through his many struggles. I stood by him as he moved from girl to girl. Now I needed to love myself enough to know it’s not okay for him to break me so badly like this. I can’t stand by him any longer if he can’t respect me.
And that’s when the third step kicked in.
Anger. It rolled in around day five. I replayed that picture in livestream through my mind a thousand times a day. I pieced together the information I had about Liam and Reece. Understanding why he never wanted me to meet his roommate and how he lowered the volume on his phone just so I wouldn’t hear her voice. My mind went on a frenzy, conjuring up all the possible things they could be doing together in that dorm room. Or possibly have already done.
I was angry at him, angry at her and angry at myself but then something much worse came.
Depression. So far it’s the worst stage I’ve faced. My pillows are laced with tears every night just at the absence of a goodnight text. There is Liam shaped void missing from my heart, it’s painful and empty. But above all I just want to know that he’s okay.
I’m just another person in his life who has turned their back on him, left like I promised him I wouldn’t. But am I meant to stay when he’s kissing other girls?
How long until that becomes unfair to me?
Acceptance. I’m yet to reach this stage and at this point I don’t believe I ever will.
I jumped up from my bed and changed out of my sweats, dragging a brush through my hair and then shoving a baseball cap on my head.
“Woah, where are you going?” Lola asked but I think she already knew the answer.
“To his game.” I slipped on my jacket and added my possessions to the pockets.
“Why are you going to his game Liv, you deserve better than that cheating scumbag.” Lola got up, positioning herself in front of the door like her small frame could stop me from walking out of it.
“Don’t call him that Lola.” I defended strongly. Lola raised her eyebrows at me with judgement and I rolled my eyes.
“Don’t go to his game Liv, seeing him will ruin all of your progress.”
I backed up and sat down on the edge of her bed, her body relaxed a little but she still didn’t remove herself from the door. I didn’t give him a chance to explain, I just left. Liam’s past with girls has always been a colourful one, he needed it to cope. Sometimes victims of sexual abuse are troubled with sex addiction. Maybe that is what was going on here, with Reece. I couldn’t stand by that from a relationship point of view but I could stand by him, support him, as a friend even though it would kill me inside. He doesn’t have anyone else here that he can trust. I can’t turn my back on him completely, I won’t.
“I just need to know that he’s okay. I need him to know I’m still here if he ever needs a friend to talk to.” I told her honestly. She looked at me like I had grown two heads.
“It’s not your job to console him through his breakup, he caused this and she’ll be there you know.”
I stood up again, straightening my body out to appear taller, more confident and a little intimating.
“Lola, I’m going.” I told her with an assertive head nod. She sighed but willingly stepped aside to allow me access to the door.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She said.
The match had already started when I took my seat in the stands. From underneath my baseball hat I searched the turf for him and I felt like my insides exploded when I found him after exactly T-minus six seconds.
He was the poster child of contentment and that upset me but then I reminded myself of talented Liam is at hiding his inner turmoil, especially when engrossed in a game of soccer.
He ran his hand through his hair, pushing the lose strands back off his face as he ran down the pitch. There was something about seeing Liam in his soccer uniform that really did it for me. I liked how muddy and scratched his cleats were, telling the story of how he really doesn’t hold back with his game. I loved how fitted his jersey was, able to see the shape of his toned back through the material. But what I liked the most was how the socks that stop just below his knees only hide bruises made from playing soccer now.
The crowd erupted around me, pulling me out of my Liam haze. I was too focused on checking him out to realise he scored. I could see him scanning the stands so I tilted my head down, hiding my face further beneath my cap.
I don’t know what I would do if our eyes met.
“It’s going to penalties” the guy next to me said. I nodded with a faux smile that I have unfortunately perfected over the last week.
I watched as the two teams lined up and took turns shooting the ball into the net. I didn’t care about the score or the game, I just watched Liam. He was eyeing up each player on the opposing team, I could see him studying and analyzing each one. Whenever a player on the opposite team didn’t make the goal he grew a small secretive smile and I mirrored it.
Then it was Liams turn to take his place on the line. Before taking his shot his head turned to the stands, searching every face watching him. Including mine.
Sad blue eyes to green.
I felt like my heart stopped on instant and fell out of my mouth. Every emotion I have felt this week came flooding back to me, slamming into me like a truck. Denial. Regret. Anger. Depression. I bowed my head, breaking the link between us and only looked up again when the stands were cheering for the goal.
I watched Liam be celebrated but there was one player that showed him particular attention and it wasn’t one from Stanford. My brows furrowed as I watched Liam hug the enemy player tightly.
How had I not noticed before?
Maybe because I was too busy staring at Liam the entire time but there’s only one person those dark curls could belong to.
The stands started clearing out and I didn’t linger. I came here to make sure Liam had someone to talk to, that he wasn’t struggling alone. It broke me just to look at him, I’m certainly not strong enough to talk to him. Lola was right. Besides Liam had Jordan, I shouldn’t have doubted that. Liam is loved and supported by many.
Maybe now I can finally enter acceptance.