Temporal Manipulation

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Is the closest I'll ever get to going back in time, bumping into my ex?

Ten past midnight, a coffee too many in the day, I sat for a while questioning whether I could be bothered to write anything. Staring at the wall of photos and momentos on the bedroom wall in front of me my eyes scan across a ticket I'd rather forget about. Reading 'November 14th 2014', a ticket to see interstellar. It was a good film, but more than a year later, the memories that go hand in hand with the events preceding and following continue to make my blood run cold. This fragment of my blog isn't informative, it isn't really written for anyone but myself, for the promises I made to write, for clarity and candidness. So let's begin, at the end.

After ending things, a month ago, I'm enjoying the moving on from my last relationship*. Whatsapping a friend about the pleasure that toffee nut latte's bring to anyones life, I finish my break at work. Getting up from my seat, headphones in and subtly miming a few lyrics I turn towards the door. Naturally, I have a quick search across the cafeteria before I reach the door, but this time it's different. Seeing my friend's brother, about to smile as a means of acknowledgement I notice a shirt I recognise. Not the usual white, black or blue shirt, it's a strange pattern, bluey purpley with a deep blue contrasting collar. My ex* has a shirt similar. As a philosophy student, I doubt myself more than the average person, hey, if Descartes didn't trust his senses, why should I? It's not my ex I conclude. I look at the hair, the back, shoulders, overall build. Again, resembling someone similar. Still, I doubt again. Third time lucky and less than a couple of steps from the door I lean over to get as close to a profile angle as I can without potentially getting caught. The same nose. I run. I didn't know I could move so fast whilst at work. Questions along the lines of:

"why?"

"what?"

"how?"

run haywire, as I make it back to the safety of my colleagues and a stockroom where I proceed to make subhuman shouts and cries.


As a brief synopsis, He & I met at work, at a similar time last year. After a few months the scenario quickly became emotionally draining to the fullest extent. Calling it off, going our separate ways, due to a mixture of my inability to trust and my being well within reason to justify my lack of trust, He found a new job and left in April. It seemed reasonable to assume we would never cross paths again. I was wrong. We spoke again in July. It again, seemed better in theory than in reality. Stopped speaking in September. Admittedly, I'm prone, probably more than the next person due to my interest in all things social platform orientated, to do a little social media snooping. His privatising his account was the best decision I had ever been granted with. After all, if curiosity is what killed the cat, cutting the cat off from the curiosity, means the paws never need entrench upon the self-inflicted scorning such prowling brings. It would help me get over, move on, gain closure... Whatever you want to call it, it was more beneficial than creeping Instagram a few hundred times within a four hour time frame.

Mentioned briefly in my synopsis, I speak of emotional drainage. Throughout both the two, very intermittent, connections we had, I felt worn out, tired and quite frankly, insane. The first time it didn't work out, I admit I fucked up. I accused He of being a cheater. I had no definitive proof but peoples words and his fixation with liking photos of women who weren't me drove me to the conclusion that the rumours I had heard were probably true. Yes, allowing a few 'likes' to annoy me is pathetic. I agree. My pride and my ego couldn't deal with it, I didn't have enough confidence to shrug it off, and yes, admittedly that is a problem of my own. Not a problem with He. Although he isn't without blame in the broader equation. Months before, a night at a hotel and everything had changed. Feelings of worthlessness become inevitable in such situations, I questioned myself, I questioned what and why and if there was a who I did not know about. From his liveliness, passion, wholeheartedness, to cold, standoffish and self-diagnoses of melancholic moods, it was only reasonable to propose the problem here was myself. I tried to help him, I listened, I stayed up when he couldn't sleep. His despondency meant my despondency and the self-pity running through both our veins made me feel as if I had betrayed the Nietzschean values I had stood for. I wrote letters, I showed I cared, which for me, is a rare occurrence, but nothing seemed to shake him from where he seemed trapped. Grades dropping, losing weight, no contact with friends and it became clear I was the one trapped. I never found out and probably never will find out whether there was an element of cheating involved, which triggered changes in behaviour and demeanour, but for once, truth wasn't what I was after, it was an exit.

Things were awkward for a while. I got a promotion. He handed in his notice.

Months went by, things seemed fine. I got an internship. I was working seven days a week. Maybe I could put my following actions down to being overworked. I wanted to see how He was, so I messaged him. I can't tell, even now, if I was the intent was to brag about my life, or whether I missed him. We started speaking everyday as before, when we met things seemed different. Things seemed positive. He didn't speak highly of his new job, but he seemed happier than before. We spoke about philosophy, the future, the little things people did that wound us up and we slept in later than we planned. Saying goodbye, he whispered "Don't work too hard" before the tube doors shut. I wasn't doubting myself this time, it was good, I didn't feel like I was going mad like before. It wasn't long until this changed. He started to play the melancholic card again, this time with considerably more disagreeableness. He changed his strong-held beliefs, he didn't know what he wanted. He knew he didn't know what he wanted, in fact the only thing he could know was that he didn't know what he wanted. I knew what I wanted but he couldn't tell me I wasn't it. I was never told where I stood, what I meant. He made me angry, he made me question myself, if there was something wrong with me again, if I was the one who spun him into his depressive states. The following actions are my most regrettable, yet favourable.

After asking to be told if I was not wanted both categorically and definitively, and after my receiving a response bearing no real answer, in a state of impulse and rage, I fake drunk texted. Anyone who knows my name also, by association knows me as the girl who doesn't drink. The girl who doesn't drink and yet ~shock horror~ whose decision is not based on religious foundations, but actually, is from choice. Tonight I 'drank'. I texted almost incoherently, with the spelling mistakes I knew my friends would make. I texted needily and desperately things along the lines of

"you're a good person, I am not"

"I wish you were here with me"

and "I'm sorry"

I was doubtful I would receive a reply, the indecisiveness of He on so many previous occasions meant he found it difficult to say how he saw things. He surprised me. He told me I cared more for him than he cared for me. He told me I was more emotionally involved than he was and from his inability to remember the basic fact I didn't drink mixed with my own understanding of my feelings, I knew he was right. He had rejected me. My friend told me the only way I let go of things, is if someone else was ready to grab the reigns from my hands, and he had. It was beautiful, I was finally granted the 'give up' that I was in desperate need of. It was all over. I said thank you and I apologised for the texts.

Initially it's always difficult to not speak to someone you've spoken to everyday, but it got better over time, it got better with the help of my flatmate. We went to a private exhibition of the Louis Vuitton Exhibition, I won clothing from Glamour magazine, we started a new and final year of university. Everything was exciting and new and I didn't have to concentrate on anyone else but myself and my future, I didn't have to worry about anyone else's mental states or where I stood with anyone. I was meeting new people and spending hours reading, ready to write my dissertation. I had caught up with everyone, many of my friends were now back in the city, we went for dinners, birthdays and range reviews for work. What had started off a dreadful year, had begun to turn into a blossoming of getting my shit back together. There were a few hurdles like not being able to make it out to Singapore with my family, but they were easier to tackle now. I wasn't crying everyday, in fact there were days when I couldn't recall the last time I had shed a tear and it felt good. It got to Halloween, around the time I had met He and I was ok, I wasn't neurotic, I was sane and happy. I was back to being myself.

Until we end, at the end, where I began.

He came back.

When I ran from the cafeteria I felt the way I felt the very few times I have experienced fainting. Lightheaded, like everything wasn't real, my legs like matchsticks shaking I was going to collapse if I didn't run. I can't go through the self-doubt experienced, the lack of appetite, the obsessive behaviours in hindsight I had hated myself for. I texted He asking if his job was part time or full time staff, the former would be bearable, the latter not so much. There was no response to my text. Two days later, he saw me, he said hello. His actions have no consistency. There is no coherent thought process. Two hours after beginning to write, I look back at the Interstellar ticket and can't help but wonder, is this the closest I'll ever get to temporal manipulation and if so, will I ever find an exit?

 


 

*Term used loosely

** In order to maintain their anonymity in some instances, He is understood as a noun, to keep the name of the individual private. 

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