Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Jagged edges

personal 3 min read

Fiona moved out earlier today, into her student halls of residence for the upcoming academic year. I drove her there with her stuff, and helped her move in. We sorted out her net connection, then I stayed for a bit until she had started to unpack, and then I left. Now I’m back home, and it’s quiet even with the music straining the speakers. It’s strange, actually; I feel remarkably calm and somehow still. I felt worse last night than I do today, which makes very little sense to me. I know that breaking up was absolutely the correct thing to do, because the relationship had become stuck and was degrading rapidly, and both of us had to move on with our lives, so I don’t regret that part of it. The overriding feeling was one of guilt at having somehow failed to make it work, and indeed at Fi having to go through all of this.

I do still care about her, which is hardly surprising given she’s been the closest person to me for the past 3 years. I want her to be ok and to enjoy her new life, and to find a great bloke to take care of her and bring her some happiness. I don’t regret for a moment the time we had together, and I really do think I can look back on it all positively in the future. I think that the past two months have given me a chance to come to terms with the change in situation, and I’m reasonably well adjusted to my new status.

All the same, I can’t deny that there’s a new poignancy to many things now. Bare walls where framed cross-stitch designs once hung, empty spaces around the place, and perhaps worse the places that are still the same and bear some object or other reminder of all the good times we’ve had. Those things were always a comfort, and undilutedly positive. Now, overnight, they’ve somehow grown jagged edges; things that can hurt even from across the room. They’re just things; photos, toys, gifts; yet they’re now weighed down with a cloud of bittersweet meaning. What a difference a day makes, indeed.

I have music playing right now; actually, music blasting is more appropriate. I have a sense that there’s a wall of silence pressing in, and the music is just managing to keep it at bay for the moment; though I wonder how much louder the silence will become as the night wears on. I’ve always had music playing; tonight is no different in that respect; how can silence now somehow make itself heard over sound? Perhaps I’m just tired, but hopefully you know what I mean.

I do still love Fiona, as a very close friend, and I’m glad I’ll remember events like the day I asked her to marry me, and she agreed. Those are good memories, even now. The nature of our relationship has changed a great deal, but I believe we’ll stay in touch, and each be pleased to see the other find happiness. I’ll be very happy indeed to see her find that again.

I guess the greatest irony is that, in the situation where you most want to find some comfort, the source of comfort you always turned to is finally not around anymore. That’s just life though, and the way of things. I think I’m holding up pretty well. Like it or not, and for better or for worse, this is my new situation, and I’d best get used to it and get on with my (no longer our) life.

Fi’s net connection in her new flat isn’t yet active, but when she does get online no doubt she’ll read this. Hopefully she won’t mind me relaying the following. Before we left here, she put a card on my desk, with instructions I should read it when I got back. The card read:

Thank you for all the gifts, all the laughs, all the happy times.

Thank you for being the best friend a girl could have.

Most importantly thank you for loving me.

You can probably appreciate how wildly, extravagantly painful it is for me to read that even once, much less to put it up here for posterity, but I think that’s something I need to feel. Also, if the price for the last few years is that I have to feel like this now, then it’s been an incredible bargain indeed. To Fiona, thank you for the same.

Thanks to those who have sent kind words both online and off; it’s much appreciated. Now, back to life.