Everyone Responding to Our Break-up


My mom and dad left for California a couple weeks ago. The last time I saw them was at a family function – a big holiday thing just after new year’s eve. Natasha and I had broken up the very same day as that family function. In fact, the day I was crying in the liquor store is the last day I had seen them and said goodbye. I didn’t tell anybody that day, though.

In Edmonton it doesn’t take long for the word to spread. Throughout the last couple weeks I’ve been getting calls and texts from people who want to say “sorry” or want to find out what happened or both. Last night the word reached my mom. She and my dad were supposed to come back to Canada in April and that’s when we’d discuss it – when I was level headed and totally emotionally balanced.

“I’m sorry,” my mom said. “I know she meant… she means a lot to you.”

When it comes to explaining why we separated I mention our age difference and how that just didn’t bode well for birthing and creating a family, which is something I really want. I don’t often mention how numb I’ve been feeling, closed off, almost dead inside. I don’t tell them how painful it’s been watching someone I love struggle with anxiety and self-doubt so seriously. I know my mom called because she cares, and that’s why I don’t give her the whole truth.

She puts my dad on the phone and he says, “That’s too bad. You know, I’m sorry to hear it. But what can you do?”

“You can cry a bunch,” I say.

He advises, “Well, try not to do too much of that. Try not to get too depressed.” Wise-council. My dad doesn’t get too emotional so it’s always extra-hard, in many respects, to hear him get “sentimental.”

So they found out through my Aunty Jo – my mom’s sister. Aunty Jo and I were at my cousin’s 40th birthday the past weekend. And the first thing she (and everyone else) asked was, “Where’s Natasha?”  I could’ve just lied again, like I had that first weekend we broke up, when I said she was sick. But there comes a time when you have to face the farts. I felt my chin quivering, my throat clamped shut, “We broke up…”

My Aunt’s mouth dropped. “WHAT?!”

I always felt my Aunty Jo and Natasha had a real nice understanding. The beginnings of a relationship. I feel as though, had we stayed together, they would’ve grown closer and closer and maybe would’ve been friends.

When she saw my face contorting she said, “Oh, honey. It’s okay. Come sit by me.”

I did. And then later in the week she told my sister and my mom. This isn’t a big deal. I mean, I much prefer to let others do the talking.

Both my sister and my mom ended their phone calls by saying “I love you.” It’s nice to hear. It’s funny that it comes out in just a couple circumstances. You either have to move to another city/country or you have to break-up with someone after a couple years. I’m not complaining. I’ll take all the love I can get.

My friends take me out to talk. Some people buy me beer. Some people buy me supper.  That’s another thing that happens. It’s almost like your birthday. And some people have advice, but not as many as you’d think.

Natasha and I still write to one another, via text. We’re trying to understand what our relationship is. It doesn’t seem to be getting any clearer. In fact, I think the more we talk the more she hates me. She just hung up on me today after I told her I had to meet a friend.

She also told me, today, that she’s going to be working across from me (directly, in the same building… a few feet apart), at the end of the month. So that’s definitely something.

She says that on her end, when she tells people what happened between us, they often respond, “That doesn’t make any sense.” And that makes her feel worse than she already does. It makes me feel pretty shitty to hear it because maybe it doesn’t actually make any sense and that’s not good.

Well, anyway… everybody – thanks for your concern and words and booze. Most of it helps.

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