“She gave me nothing but love and I just… sabotaged it. I fucked it up,” I said. My friend Andrés drank from his pint of beer, ate some pizza and looked at me straight in the eye.
“You are a dick,” he said.
“I know,” I replied, chewing on some french fries.
It was sunny. We were both only on a t-shirt, sitting at the terrace of a hostel bar. Some Finish headbangers were listening to loud death metal, a few tables away. But the real noise was in my heart and my head.
“It was not about her, you know? These questions, the jealousy. It was your ego, making you feel like the victim, filling you insecurity.”
“Yeah, it makes complete sense. I became very insecure. I didn’t understand it completely. ‘Us.’ I felt like I wasn’t right for her, that we weren’t compatible. I thought I was taking someone else’s place. Someone better,” I said.
“You really are a fucking asshole, aren’t you?” he smiled. “’Someone better.’ Fuck that! Look, I might not know you for a long time, but I am fairly good at reading people. You are not a bad guy, Eduardo. You are an asshole, but one of the good ones. So the next time you look at yourself in the mirror, just say this: ‘I love you, you fucking asshole!’”
I laughed. “You are right. I have to accept myself just the way I am,” I replied, with a sudden sense of realization.
“Damn straight you have! I mean, how can’t you see how cool you are, how much you have accomplished? You are in fucking Denmark, dude! You have a good job, a nice flat, friends… the whole shebang! Why the hell don’t you love yourself?”
He was right and I knew it. Have always known it, but had gone way too deep into this delusion. I let my ego distort reality, and lost myself in doubts and self-loathing. Why the fuck didn’t I snap out of it before? When did I stop loving myself, and gave into feeding a fake idea of “Me”? A “Me” that went as far as ruining things with the most important person in my life?
Now, I come back to C. When she said she thought I was the love of her life, I laughed inside in disbelief. My mother walking out on me, the years of bullying, all my relationship failures over the years… how could somebody think so highly of me and love me so much? How could I deserve these wonderful feelings? A wounded boy who never healed, was he worthy of her sweet, caring embrace?
And then, again, I think about her. I can’t stop thinking about her. With the clarity of hindsight, my answers are not as harsh and self-deprecative as before. She did love me, because, why not? I have never, ever, given myself as openly and as truthfully as I did with C. From the very first moment and to the last, I was me. The brightness and the dark, it was all me. Of course, the darkness was mostly my fucking ego judging and pushing her away. But the light, that was the purest version of myself. “I’m happy 90% of the time I’m with you,” she used to say. Well, none of that was a lie. Because, unlike in any of my past relationships, I gave my everything without filters, in complete honesty, and never expected something in return. I found joy in her happiness and felt free and comfortable in my own skin, for she loved me as I was. And yet, stupidly, I gave that up in a rush of anger I cannot stop regretting. An anger that I know I’ll keep in check looking forward. Which, in the aftermath, seems like too much, too late.
I wonder how she’s doing, what she’s up to now. Is she in pain? Is she feeling better? Does she still think this was the right choice? And is it too selfish to just wanting to hold her tight, kiss her and promise her that everything is going to be okay? So many unanswered questions. So many.