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No Turning Back

It’s done… officially ended.  No turning back even if I wanted to.

I settled in at my cousin’s house quite easily, I spent some quality time with the family before they embarked on their trip leaving me to care for the dogs.  I was enjoying the peace and quiet, but I wasn’t completely at ease.
For one, their home was at least a 25 minute drive from the ocean.  As beautiful as life was in the mountains, it was painfully hot and their was no relief other than sitting still in the shade.
For another, the dogs were a lot needier and more anxious than I had anticipated, making it difficult for me to take off on day trips.
And finally, I was completely and utterly alone.  The tiny town was still a 15 minute drive… there were neighbours but they were farther down the hill and I rarely saw them.
With nothing to do and no one to talk to the boredom set in quickly and that boredom lead to loneliness and that loneliness made me think of Nick and how much I missed him.
We hadn’t spoke since I left, and although I knew it was probably a good thing, I wondered what had changed.

A week after my arrival, I heard a small peep from him: “Hey mate, how’s Noosa?” he wrote on my wall.  I eagerly sent him a huge message, filling him in on everything that had happened down to detailed descriptions of each of the dogs distinct personalities.  I even told him how I was getting over a urinary tract infection and how painful that had been.
His only response?  “Well when you clear up, you should get out and have some fun.  You deserve it, don’t let me stop you…”
He’s telling me to sleep with other people?!   I could only assume he had started a physical relationship with someone else and was trying to alleviate his guilt by pursuing me to do the same.
I expressed the doubtfulness of me ever getting laid out in the sticks and he seemed to pity me.
I asked him if he was still planning to come visit me after Christmas.
“I only have two 4 day weekends…” was his (pathetic) excuse.
I could see exactly what was happening, I did understand he was trying to do the best for both of us, so we could both move on, but still it hurt that only a few days ago he was telling me how glad he was to have me in his life.

After that conversation, the silence between us grew.  A few days later, I was chatting with my mom on Skype and she asked about Nick.  “I don’t know anymore… we’re not really talking.”  At that moment, my phone lit up with a message from him.
“Speak of the devil!  Let’s see what he has to say.”  I read his message in my head and then laughed out loud half in disbelief, half in rage.
“What did he say?” my mom asked.
“He’s gotten back together with his ex…” I explained, trying to keep my voice from trembling. “He wants us to keep being friends…”
“Are you alright?”
Thank God I was (somewhat) in my mother’s presence.  We talked a lot about the situation and she kept me calm, but the moment I ended the call, I fell apart.  I cried uncontrollably whenever I thought back to all the times I accused him of still loving her and how he denied it, how he promised he would never take her back and accused me of being insecure.  All those time he would message back and forth with her while swearing they were just friends.  In my heart, I always knew they would end up back together, but I assumed further down the road, maybe after I’d left Australia or we’d lost contact.  Not a couple days after I left town.
I hated her for taking him back.
I hated him for being too weak and pathetic to be alone.
But I hated myself most of all, because my instincts had been screaming at me and I totally disregarded them.  I let myself be swayed by Nick and his friends and my friends.  I let myself be pushed into a relationship that I didn’t want in the first place, only to have my heart stomped on as soon as I began to really feel something.

I drove into town and bought a bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and a pouch of tobacco.
I sat on the patio and chain smoked while slamming wine and listening to Alanis Morissette.  I went on a massive Tinder tear and chatted up all the hot locals I could find.  I talked with a couple friends on the phone and they listened patiently as I ranted about how all men are pigs.
By 9 pm I was emotionally exhausted and collapsed on my bed.  I woke up in the middle of the night when one of the dogs got up.  The first thing that came into my conscious mind was Nick and instantly I felt sadness overtake my body.  Then I felt cold… freezing cold… in the middle of summer in Australia.  I put on sweatpants and a hoodie and doubled up my blankets, I curled up in a small ball for warmth, but still I was uncomfortably chilly.

When I woke up in the morning, I felt like a new person.  My day of mourning was over, I had granted myself just one pity party, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t allow one more tear to fall for Nick.  I got up and did what I always do when I’m trying to turn my thoughts off: I worked out.  For hours and hours.  I also showed myself a lot of love: I made myself some incredible healthy meals, I meditated and read my book, I went to the beach, I did my nails and plucked my eyebrows.  I felt genuinely positive about life.  Nick had done me a favour, I could move on with my life completely and maybe even meet someone new.  I could go back to focusing on myself and my travels, without always having part of my heart back with him.

I read over his message a couple more times.  I contemplated possible responses.  I could tell him to go fuck himself or I could take the high road and wish him well or I could respond with something short and icy.  Nothing would make me feel better, nothing would affect him and nothing would change the situation.
After a lot of thought I decided to simply not respond, I didn’t have anything left to say and I didn’t want to ease his own guilt by either forgiving him or letting him have it.  When he got back together with her, he knew that there was the possibility he would lose me from his life entirely, and he still made that decision.  I had no interest in remaining friends or keeping in touch, surely my silence would reflect that.  I blocked and deleted him from Facebook and every other form of social media to avoid seeing anymore messages from him.
Unfortunately, I forgot to block his email address, because a couple days later, he messaged me, begging to respond even if just to say I didn’t want to talk.  I quickly blocked that too.

Now I’m here.  I’ve assured myself that Nick did not intend to use me or hurt me, I think he genuinely believed he was over his ex, but what he resisted, persisted.  Still, I don’t need his presence in my life.  So now I’m just here, contemplating my next move.

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