Note: This is a story of fiction. It was inspired by Neil Gaiman’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties.
It was over between us.
And then, today was just another day.
I woke up in my bed, feeling all groggy, tired and disoriented. Then my brain registered it almost instantly, “You’ve broken up. It is entirely over between you and her.”
Right there and then immediately, I knew it was going to be another horrible day.
That is what a breakup is like. You feel like a puppet. The strings are tugged at by life itself. There’s nothing really you can do about it. You’ve lost control. That’s how cruel life can be.
“It is absolutely over between us” I repeated to myself in my head.
You hear about breakup stories from all your friends. You know from them that it was going to hurt, but nothing can prepare you really.
I got up. It was Friday. It was already 3PM.
Oh yes. I promised Adam that I’d head over to the bar with him.
“It has been three and a half weeks now dude” so he said. It was hence time “move on” and “get over it” by “meeting other chicks.”
What a wretched promise. But I suppose something different finally needs to be done.
Time is fluid. And it’s weird. It’s intertwined by fate, or ideas of it. It’s a mess, especially when you’re only feeling like shit.
I’ve tried so hard to rationalize, analyze and realize what I really feel about the breakup. But you can’t really understand anything when you’re feeling all the pain. That is why we tell ourselves about time and fate with that fake, little smirk on our faces and that knowing little nod of the head, “What’s meant to be is meant to be.”
Still hurts though.
I went with the flow. But that flow has been drained.
Anyway, bar. 7PM it was.
I met Adam directly over there. He greeted me with that smile that currently says to me, “I am here for you buddy, but boy am I glad I am not you. If anything, I am just happy to not be in your shoes right now. I say I understand, but I really don’t. Your pain distracts me from my own problems and that’s actually really cool.”
Hypocrite. But what can I really do considering the whole damn world seems to mean well? Meaning well is free of charge.
He hugged me.
“My man! I hope you’re feeling better.”
“Tonight, we’re gonna help you get over that fucking little cunt!”
Please. Don’t call her that. You don’t know her like I did. In fact, that is offensive. That is also insensitive to my pain.
Even though more often than not, you make a lot of sense. Funny how everybody else knows what is right, truly right. You know that they’re right. But you don’t want what’s right. You want to be in love again.
“Come on! There’s somebody I want you to meet. She’s an eight upon ten!” Adam said loudly enough for the people near us to turn their heads.
I don’t. Really. Want to.
But then again, I didn’t want to be alone at a bar. One of life’s biggest contradictions.
“This is Sarah. The girl with the most beautiful name today right here!” Adam said as he brought over what seemed to be a petite girl. I couldn’t even guess how old she was, not that I even cared.
“Hi there! Adam has told me so much about you!” Sarah said with a smile, extending her hand towards me.
I meekly grabbed it. It was nice and soft. At least she was polite. I didn’t have to start the words. Good.
“Yes, hi. I am happy to meet you too” I lied.
“I’ll leave you two love birds alone!” Adam said and pranced off.
Please. Do not use the ‘L’ word Adam.
Sarah and I proceeded to talk normally. About our normal lives, our normal jobs and the normal things we do when we’re bored. It was a normal conversation.
“What do you work as?”
“What do you do during your free time?”
“Where did you study at?”
Among others questions which were all scathing today.
I awkwardly answered everything with a passing grade. It wasn’t exactly enjoyable, but it was okay.
Then the imagination started.
I thought about how Sarah and I would start dating. We would go for our normal movies and normal dinners. Then I would awkwardly hold her hand one day, and succeed. Then we would kiss. Cheek first. Then lips one day. We’d text every day. Eventually, I’d ask her to be my girlfriend. We will get together. All will be good, for a few months or so. Then the first few fights will happen, but we will get over it. She would sleep over at my place from time to time. I’d probably meet her parents too. It was a normal relationship and hence it’d end. One day, a big fight will happen. Perhaps she could not get over her ex.
And that was that.
“Excuse me, you alright?” Sarah said to me.
Apparently I was staring into her eyes the whole time without saying a word. I guess she got uncomfortable.
“Yes. I am fine. I am sorry” I replied.
We continued to talk for fifteen more minutes or so. We exchanged numbers. She had to leave the bar then. I was okay with that.
Sarah walked out of the bar. I was alone. Adam looked over with his hands gesturing, “Whoa, what happened bro?”
I waved back indicating that I was okay.
Girl at the bar counter. About five steps away from me. White girl.
Might as well try something a little scary.
I walked over and said hi to the white girl.
She looked up from her phone, glanced at me and said, “Oh hi there” and proceeded back to her phone.
She is clearly not interested, so I said, “You know, I was just in Nepal a few months ago ”
She looked up, eyes gleaming. She said, “Wow! How did you know I just got back from there?”
“That bracelet. I saw it from over there” I replied.
The truth is, that bracelet could have been from anywhere, but I took a shot and clearly this time, it worked.
“I am Stella” said Stella as she extended her hand to me.
I shook it. It was rough. Stella shifted her stool and turned her body to face me. That was a good sign in terms of body language.
We started to talk. Stella was… different, to say the least. It was a different type of conversation.
“What are your passions?”
“Where in the world have you travelled to?”
“Really? That’s cool! I too, have dreams of going to Africa.”
“Did you know that the effects of marijuana are less dangerous as compared to alcohol?”
I honestly had trouble keeping up with her. I actually took turns at my beer just to quench my thirst.
I was a little buzzed by then, but that didn’t stop the imagination.
Stella and I would get together. She would have to go back to America, San Francisco eventually. We promised to be together. It’d be a long-distance relationship. The idea would be scary, extremely scary at the start, but it’d get better as it went along. I’d realize that I liked my space, a lot. It felt good knowing that I could do whatever it is I wanted back here, back home without having to worry about her. We’d talk to each other every day, no excuses. Apps make it way too easy. I’d visit her over there, or we would meet at different countries. It was great. To break it down, I’d say that we’d be meeting five out of twelve months. Not too bad I thought. But the pain of the day of departure was always the worst. The pain was inevitable. Waking up that day would be horrendous. Then we’d say our goodbyes at the airport. I’d cry. She’d cry. It was embarrassing. When I reach home I’d feel like there was a void in me, but it was impossible to fill up.
It had to end. We got tired of the travelling. Money was also tight. It was just too damn much. That single text that came in from her to make my entire day slowly lost its effect.
It’d be selfish, but one of us would stop replying. Then we’d talk a little and call it quits. As ironic as it sounds, the travelling and fusion of cultures make you realize how big the world is and love is everywhere if you look hard enough.
“We should exchange numbers!” Stella said excitedly.
“Sure” I responded.
Stella too, left the bar.
By this time, I was tired. I wanted to go home. I looked around for Adam.
There he was, drunk and dancing away with a group of girls.
I went over.
Before I even got to Adam, I was accosted by one of the girls. She had blonde hair. Short. Bob cut. Her mascara thick. Her lipstick black. She looked like the type who would insist on sending her food back to the kitchen if it was not to her satisfaction. She gazed upon me. Our eyes locked. Her body came closer to me. Really close.
I didn’t know what to do. So I just went with it.
I felt the curves of her slim body. Every touch was pleasure and lust as I ran my hands all over her. She went up and down my body with her body.
It was intense.
Adam looked at me and gave me that knowing nod again, only this time it said, “I am so fuckig happy for you bro!” And I knew that he really was.
Blonde girl suddenly turned to me and stare at me, fixated. She grabbed my head and pulled me in. She whispered, “Name’s Sloan.”
I felt like I was in a trance.
Sloan was that girl whom at first glance, I thought was out of my league. She would be wild, too wild for me. We would date. The dates were good. We spent a lot of time together. She’d tell me all about her problems. She was from a broken family and took to cutting herself. I’d be there for her. She allowed me to be who I am ultimately, which was cool. No games. Awesome. Yet, sometimes I’d wish for a bit of normal. We were close, but never together. We didn’t even know what we were. We would fight about it from time to time. The freedom was pretty neat though. We could see other people. But the jealousy always came anyway. We both would get unreasonable. It was weird, yet, it was justifiable kind of weirdness. The sex of course, would be amazing. Sloan would be a mark in my life forever. Her footprint would be different from the rest.
And that’s why it would have to end. I’d be very glad for the experience, to know that someone so different could be with me.
Sloan grabbed my hand and started writing on my palm. Black, dark ink. Her number.
She kissed me passionately on the lips. She turned and literally ran out of the bar. Where did she go? I had no clue.
No conversation, but she said more than the rest.
Suddenly, Adam shouted really loud. “Yeah! Fuck all you fucking cunts and hos!” Real Adam was coming out.
The girls around him froze. Looks of disgust on their faces. The bartender came over. He meant business.
“Sorry, sorry. I apologize for my friend!” I said after I rushed over. I grabbed Adam. I put his arm around me. He was heavy as hell. “We’re leaving” I told the bartender.
We hobbled out the bar. Real Adam started to talk. I could smell the alcohol in his breath.
“I don’t know man. Fuck her, you know? Yeah, just fuck her. But I really do miss her.”
Here we go again.
“It’s just weird. I don’t know what went wrong. I tried my best, I really did. I am so sorry I screwed up. I wish I didn’t do what I did. But it’s too late. Everybody tells me that it’s too late. I fucked up so bad. I just wish people could understand what it is I go through every day that made me do what I did. ”
I stayed silent, holding him, looking out for a cab.
“But fuck all of y’all! None of you know the things I carry!” Adam shoved me away. His hands actually hit me in the chest pretty hard, but I knew better than to react.
“I just… hate my anger so much.”
I didn’t want to say a thing.
We got into a cab. I sent Adam home. I had to carry him in. I decided to sleep over again.
I looked at him on his bed. He was already starting to snore. Soon, it’d be like a shockwave. Adam’s face was tired and sad. You can really tell how a person feels just from the way he sleeps.
I laid on the floor and thought about the night’s events.
“Sarah, Stella and Sloan” I said to myself softly. “None of them is her though.”
“But I think I’ll be fine.”