About four months before all of this happened Mr M had bought me a mobile phone – it was one of those Nokia ones that could change its outfits, but I never bought it any new clothes. I thought he was being generous, but in truth I think he bought it to keep tabs on me where ever I was. Unfortunately for him that mobile phone just hastened the demise of our relationship.
Mr Jones and I sent each other text messages constantly. Despite deciding that nothing could happen between us we just couldn’t stand to be apart. We met up to talk in secret at various pubs across Hull. Each time discussing what we should do and getting no where. It was terrifying and exciting all at once. There was always the risk of discovery – and while none of our friends would think it odd to see us chatting – finding us alone in an out-of-the-way watering hole would probably raise a few eye brows.
It was exam time and I tried to concentrate on my revision. My friend Miss Robinson and I spent hours together in the library and the Union café – and in between quizzing each other on the Civil Rights movement we dissected my dilemma over and over again.
We’d been back at uni a week and a half when I realised I could no longer pretend that things with Mr M were working. Sharing a house and a bed with him was absolute torture and I felt so unbelievably guilty. I’d stopped eating, blaming a new year health kick, and was addicted to my Cindy Crawford aerobics dvd – read into that what you will.
On a Wednesday night slap bang in the middle of exams I came downstairs and said to Mr M: “We need to talk”.
I took a deep breath and told him I wasn’t happy. I explained that I didn’t think I loved him anymore, that we wanted different things and that I didn’t think we should be together any longer.
He didn’t understand. I was the girl he was going to marry he said. We were going to be together forever, what was wrong with our relationship? How could I say I didn’t love him anymore?
I tried desperately to explain how I felt, trying so hard not to hurt him anymore than I already had. I ended up just twisting myself into knots. Nothing came out right, he had a reason or an apology for my every excuse and I couldn't make him understand that it wasn't going to work.
In the end I decided that someone else’s words would do a better job of it. So found my copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and read him my favourite passage – to me this is what love is and always will be:
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion … that’s just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
In my mind we definitely didn’t have roots, and when I look back now the excitement and the promises of eternal passion were sorely missing too. I didn’t know what else to say. He just sat there and stared at me. Then he stood up, took his keys and left. Slamming the front door in an act to defiance.
I put the book down and called my mum. I filled her in on everything that had gone on hoping for some motherly wisdom. She burst into tears – not helpful - but I don't blame her. She felt guilty for Mr M and worried about that fact that I still had six months left at uni living in the same house as him. She’d told me it was a bad idea for the two of us to live together and now look what had happened.
While she cried I sat there weirdly dry eyes and unmoved. I felt as if I was watching someone else go through this whole thing. I reassured mum that I'd be fine and it would all sort itself out, I hung up and sent a text to Mr Jones.
“I’ve told Mr M that I don’t want to be with him anymore. I had to make a decision regardless of what you end up doing with Miss B. I didn’t say anything about you. Xx”
I think he was a bit shocked that I’d actually done something. But he was lucky – Miss B was at a different university and he didn’t have to see her every single day or sleep in the same bed as her every night. I couldn’t stand it anymore and I knew I didn’t want to be with Mr M.
I wanted desperately to see Mr Jones, but we couldn’t meet without raising suspicion. I felt unsure as to where I stood. Would he end things with Miss B or would I be left single and alone. Part of me was happy that I’d extracted myself from a miserable relationship, part of me felt royally guilty for hurting Mr M, and part of me felt terrified about how I was going to survive living with someone I’d just dumped for the next six months.
If you’re reading this on facebook and have missed the first few “episodes” catch up here http://becomingmrsjones.blogspot.com/