There is a fine line between sanity and insanity. The two are apparently distinct entities. At least that’s what they said.
The truth is that this line becomes blurry as you get closer to the other entity. Sanity blurs into insanity and vice versa. Sanity becomes insanity in an instant before one can fully comprehend what is happening.
I used to be so judgmental of the girls that were in the position that I find myself in. I was so sure that I would never do what they decided to do. When hearing their stories, I’d roll my head, lift up a finger and say fiercely, “could never be me!”
Now, it is me. I should have listened when they said, “never say never.” I wonder how I got here. The next time I utter words like, could never be me, or why would she do that, there will be zero bite in the statements. You made me deceitful, even to myself. You created this weak, pathetic person who is now asking for scraps from you. All for what?
When I first met you, I thought you were a nice guy. A little nerdy for my taste and awkward. Much too awkward for me. You were short. Well, not as short as I am but not the height I liked in my men. Physically, you were the antithesis of my ideal man. But still, you pursued me, relentlessly.
You once told me that you knew I was the one when you first laid your eyes on me. I laughed and thought you were serving too much cheese with that statement. I remember telling you so. You laughed and agreed that it was extra cheesy but that it was how you felt and that it was true. I think I started to fall then. To fall for you.
I fought it. Lord knows I fought it. I fought the rush of emotions I felt everytime you’d call just to check in. I fought the smile I had when you sent me a text in the middle of the day to ask me if I’d eaten. But it felt inevitable. You were just… there. Relentlessly, quietly and continuously telling me that I was made for you. I started to believe you. I started to fit pieces of my life into yours. Folded myself into a woman you’d introduce to your parents someday.
You showed up at my place when I said I was hungry. You took me out to expensive places and vacations I could never afford on my own. And you were respectful of my body. My autonomy. You never touched too much. Giving me just enough to keep me wanting more. To keep me yearning for you. You were just… there.
I woke up one morning and suddenly I couldn’t imagine my life without you. I couldn’t imagine my life before you. I loved you desperately. I needed to know where you were at all times. I needed to be with you at all times. You became my beginning and end. You became my drug and for that, I blame you.
Perhaps the blame shouldn’t just be on you. But on my friends too.
“Stella, give the man a chance,” they encouraged. They told me that no other man would do for me what you’d done for me. That no man would be as patient as you had been with me. I believed them. I believed them and I went over board, falling in the hole you’d dug for me. And now I can’t get out.
I saw you with her so many times but you kept assuring me that she is your cousin. I saw photos of the two of you on your status and social media. You always posted about her being your family. I believed you. You had no reason to lie. I was your ‘one’ after all. You kept affirming that fact. It was a little weird that you and your cousin had sleep overs but I thought, “oh, he loves his family so much.”
You told me about her struggles with a guy that was stressing her. You told me how you’d adopted her child so he would have a father. I felt sorry for her. But I had you so I couldn’t relate. I wanted to meet her so badly. She was the woman that knew you the most. But you never made it happen. There was always a reason or two for it not happening. You were out of town. She was busy with work, or her kid. When I asked your friends to make the meeting happen, they coughed and giggled and said that it would be hard to meet her as she was always busy. I should have read into the giggles and seen them for what they were.
I met her yesterday. It was a chance meeting. I bumped into her at the supermarket. I was excited. I walked up to her and I greeted her. Happy to have finally met her. I was imagining girl nights gossiping about your family. I saw us talking about the uncles that were a little to loose-lipped after throwing back a couple of beers. I saw us talking about you. I even saw her being my maid of honour for when you finally asked me to be your one wife.
She dashed all those hopes with just one sentence.
“Oh, you must be Stella, Mark’s cousin,” she said.
His cousin. That’s what you’d told her I was. I started to think about how many cousins you had. Sanity would dictate that I would disabuse her of that notion. That I should tell her the truth. That I should say, “you know, it’s funny, Mark said you were his cousin.” But, in a split second, I crossed to insanity. I nodded hesitant, my heart breaking. I asked about her child, wanting to know how deep your deceit went.
She was all too happy to whip out the photos. I oohed and aahed appropriately until she swiped to show a photo of the two of you at your wedding. I was shocked. She laughed and said, “oh, it’s our wedding anniversary today and I wanted to edit this photo to post to social media.”
She said she was sad that I couldn’t attend your wedding because I was out of the country. The smile I had turned slightly brittle but I held it. When I saw that the wedding was a year ago, I was doubly broken. You and I have been together for a year and a half. The weekend you got married was the weekend you told me that you were your friend’s Best Man. You’d even sent me photos of you in your suit. I remember commenting about your handsomeness.
In my mind, I was done with you. I was through. I was already deleting your number. But I had to get away from her first. So I did. Making up an emergency that I had to get to.
You called today. I’m telling myself that I didn’t block your number because I was crying and breaking the glasses you’d bought for my apartment. I didn’t pick the first time. You called the second time. I picked and you called me baby. I didn’t want to melt but I did. I don’t recognize myself anymore. Damn you for doing this to me. You begged me to not tell your wife. You told me she’d asked for my number, telling you that I was nicer than all your relatives. That I was refreshing. I didn’t say anything. You hang up. A few seconds later, she texted.
I was happy to meet you yesterday. We should get together for lunch this weekend. I’d love to talk to you about Mark some more.
I really shouldn’t respond. I should delete both your numbers and forget you both exist. But as your ‘cousin,’ I suppose I can go for lunch with your wife and listen to her woes.
Insane. That’s what you’ve made me.