I think I'm going to make this new model, the man, everything that I am not. After all, no one should live like me. Obviously we will have some similarities, because I work with what I know, but he will be confident, self-assured. In short, he won't be pathetic. He won't have any of the niggling self doubts that keep me awake at night, thinking about her.
I truly believe that whoever said ‘it's better to have loved and lost, than never loved at all’ had never really been in love. If they have I can guarantee they've never been dumped. It hurts. When you find yourself the perfect someone then sure, everything's great. But after she leaves you - after she realises how much better her life will be without you and moves on - then you don't stop loving her. Why would you? Yesterday you were in love, and today you are still in love. The fact that she no longer loves you doesn't change the way you feel. If anything you admire her all the more. She's everything you thought she was, and she has now finally addressed the question that has been nagging you all along: ‘What does someone like her see in someone like me?’. And the answer is: nothing.
When there's no loss of love on your side you have to invent it. To make the break up bearable, you need to find a way to temper your feelings. You spend weeks digging up dirt about her, or lying to yourself about your feelings. If you succeed you get to the point where you convince yourself that maybe you didn't love her in the first place, or that she wasn't who you thought she was. And the best outcome is believing that you spent the whole time in some kind of lust-powered delusion. Regardless of how you handle it, it is a completely soul crushing experience, and your self-image and confidence will be damaged irreversibly.
The thing with Abby, though, is that I knew all of her dirt. I created that dirt. I gave her all of her thoughts and memories. I gave her all her personality and mannerisms and I designed them all to be ones that I would love. I had made it impossible for me to stop loving her. Other people might be annoyed by her laugh, or her brashness or her mode of speech but not me. She was designed for me, and convincing myself that she was not who I thought she was or that I had mistaken love for lust was impossible. She was perfect for me and I loved her. I always will.
I was devastated. I couldn't concentrate on work. I couldn't even think about building these fake people. Not after what had happened to me. I took stock of my life. Who was I? What had I done? How could I force this kind of situation on to others after what I had gone through?
I snuck into work late one night and deleted my designs for Abby and even destroyed my computer. I vowed never to do anything like this again.
After closing up the office, I told Terry I needed to take an extended break. Given my recent success he was happy to let me go, but assured me that he wanted me ‘back in the saddle’ as soon as possible.
So I went home. I wallowed. The usual stuff. I moped. And I obsessed. I thought about her. I tried to call her, but I couldn't. I went to visit her, but I couldn't bring myself to knock on her door. I just sat in the car outside her house, willing myself to get out, and approach the house.
But what would I say? She'd made it clear that we didn't have a future. The irony of her own words screamed at me: ‘It's obvious we weren't made for each other.’ If only she knew.
I wanted to tell her I had changed, but in all honesty I hadn't. If anything I was more pathetic now than when we were together. So I just sat in the car.
For hours. Watching her door. Ducking out of sight when she left. And then waiting for her to get back.
I watched her like this for weeks. Living alone in her flat. Going for a walk to the supermarket every night. Watching TV, and turning off all the lights (except the hall) by half past ten. I watched, and watched, and then one night I realised ‘This is no life; I have to get back to work.’
And here I am. Going into company archives, loading up backups, restoring all the designs that I had deleted, and building a whole new person. Nothing in the corporate world is ever truly lost. I'm building a man this time. Someone that I could not fall in love with. That would not be in love with me. And that would not leave me broken hearted.
And after months of work, redesign, programming and build, he is here. Mark is here.
As I have said, he's a similar body type to me. A similar personality type. He has a similar taste in women. In all, despite a few key differences, he is a similar person. Because it's easy to look in the mirror and replicate what you see. But he's not the same as me. He's more confident. More self assured.
Because I watched her live her life all those months ago and I thought ‘this is no life.’ She is lonely. I made her to yearn for a relationship, and now, because I wasn't good enough for her, she is alone. My programming, which was supposed to make her happy in love, is now making her miserable out of love. It's all my fault. I gave her the need to have someone like me in her life, but I couldn't live up to the expectations that I had created.
But Mark can. He will fill the hole in her life. He will give her as much love as she needs, and no more. He will be everything that she wants, and she is already everything that he wants.
They are made for each other.
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