They told you to follow your heart and so you did exactly that. So when your friends start telling you to prepare for the storm you knit your brows and ask them what it meant.
You think you hit the storm when you start dating him. It was a slow spin at first, the same way the wind waltzes in a gentle haze as he takes you out for coffee every other afternoon and holds your hand as you walk, picking up speed as you count the roses he sends you, before it hits a crescendo, mirroring that tempest in your heart as his kisses sweep you off your feet and into the gray sky.
And you think you know what you’re getting into, as you muffle the voices in your head that sound oddly like your best friends’, telling you to get out while you still can.
So when the real storm hits you’re caught completely unprepared and off-guard and, ironically, almost mockingly, it starts out the same way. It was a slow but steady tempo in your chest as he starts keeping his phone close by, his face causally wary as you occasionally peek at the screen, when he suddenly has to work weekends and no, he can’t make it to dinner tonight, he’s got plans and you don’t have to wait up. And it builds rhythm as your friends keep telling you what they’ve always told you – to stay away because this is going to be messy, but you stay anyway.
The climax hits when he stops answering your calls and ignores your texts and you realize it’s been weeks since you last saw each other and who’s that girl he’s with on Facebook?
You feel the ground tremble as thunder claps and as he dodges your attempts to make it work with his ‘It’s not you; it’s me’ bullshit and he’s ‘just not ready for a commitment yet’. He’ll tell you that you’ve changed, that he’s looking for something else, and how everything just feels too perfect with you. And he just like the storm he leaves you among the wreckage and rubble, nothing more than discarded bits and pieces of what you used to be.
And you blame yourself because ‘How could you be so stupid?’ your friends chime at you over the countless bottles of wine you’ve consumed, the unavoidable end result of your soiree. You couldn’t hear anything else over the thump of the speakers in the club and the empty chatter ringing your ears, and numbly you ask yourself why did you allow yourself to be so stupid?
(You’ve gone through how many bottles already? Was it just your mind playing tricks on you, the same way his words obscured your sense of reason and dampened your better judgment?)
You find yourself thinking up scenarios, the could-haves and the should-haves, wondering what would have happened if things went a different way. Maybe if you had been a little wilder, a little less reserved, or if you had worn less make up. Maybe, maybe, he would have stayed. You could spend forever counting all the maybes because it’s all you have left, while he’s running around with another girl no wiser than you, gearing up to stir another tumult while uncaringly leaving a debris of broken hearts in his wake.
You can be any of these, but whatever you do, don’t ever blame yourself. For inasmuch as it was your choice to ride with the storm, it was his choice to leave you in pieces. Remember that it was his choice to break your heart and waste your trust, that it was his choice to be blind to your worth.
Don’t ever blame yourself for believing in love, for giving the relationship, and him, a chance.
So when you find yourself crossing paths and all you want to do is to avoid eye contact and go the other way, I want you to do the exact opposite. Stand straight, hold your head high and look at him dead in the eye as you walk by. Let him know he didn’t break you completely (and he tried, oh he tried). Let him know that you’re stronger than he or you thought. Let him know that you’re being the bigger person here, because you still have a shot at happiness while he continues his empty existence endlessly chasing skirts.
Don’t ever blame yourself, because they told you to follow your heart and so you did exactly that.