Music: Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
Despite everything I had built up the courage to say the previous night, Matt’s manipulations were still inside my head, and overnight I had convinced myself that maybe it would all be alright and maybe there was nothing really that wrong with us after all.
As we lay there and I looked at Matt so lost and upset, my heart went out to him and I felt so guilty for making him feel that way. I lay behind him and put my arms around his waist, and after almost an hour of stillness I was the one to break the silence.
“We can try again,” I said in a whisper. “Please don’t be upset. We can get it back to how it was before. Just say you want to try again and we can.”
For the first time, Matt had listened to the worries I had about our relationship, and even though deep in my gut I knew things could never be the same again I still offered him that chance.
“OK,” Matt replied as he fought against his tears. “OK, we will try again.”
Looking back now, I think I did this as self esteem was so low and I really didn’t want to hurt him. It was Christmas Day, and it’s too awful to break up with someone on Christmas Day isn’t it?
Even as he said yes, half of me was kicking myself for letting him back into my life after everything I had finally managed to say, whilst the other half was relieved that we might be able to salvage our relationship.
We talked for about an hour, and I said I would really try to get things back on track, all the time knowing that I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. But I wanted to save the remnants of Christmas. I never wanted to split up with him on Christmas Day but my feelings after finding the present at the start of December ate me up inside to a point where I couldn’t see any other way out.
We finally got up and went downstairs and sat on the sofa.
“Well, I might as well give you your presents as I’ve already paid for them,” Matt said in a detached voice, as he lifted a small pile of gifts onto the coffee table.
Who said romance was dead eh?
I didn’t expect to see the box that had been neatly wrapped by the jewellers as he would never propose to me after what had happened the night before, would he?
However, the box was there, on the top of the pile.
Matt passed me the presents one by one. A DVD. Some vouchers for a spa. A new purse. And then he handed me the neatly wrapped present. The one I had been dreading.
“I hope you like it," he said in a flat tone.
I carefully untied the bow and lifted the paper at one corner. Breathing in slowly, I opened the other corner. The paper came away in my hands and I held the box nervously in front of me. I took a deep breath, steeling myself for what was inside.
I lifted the lid and there it was.
It was a silver bangle. The one that I had circled in the jewellery catalogue. The knocking noise on the side of the box when I had shaken it was the bangle hitting the side, not a ring box. It was beautiful: silver, with a white and black mother of pearl inlay.
I felt so relieved, but also so stupid. It wasn’t a ring and I wasn’t engaged but Matt and I were still together despite everything I had built up the courage to say.
We had an OK Christmas together. I think we put a brave face on it for each other, especially when we went over to my parents on Boxing Day.
We eventually split up a few days later after a disastrous New Year’s Eve. Matt had finally realised that things were different and my feelings had changed but the truth was really hard for him to take.
I still feel bad for how it all happened but I don’t think it could have happened in any other way as my self esteem had been at an all time low. Maybe I was a bit depressed (something which Matt suggested as I was constantly tired and feeling low) but who knows.
As for Foxy Scott...
On our return to work after the Christmas break our email flirtation picked up where it had left off. We were arranging to meet up and go out for a drink, when at the end of the first week back, Scott and a few other salesmen were called in to see their manager and were made redundant.
It was a total shock, not just to Scott, his colleagues and me, but to the entire office. Quite understandably Scott’s priorities changed from organising to go out for a drink with me to looking for a new job, although he kept saying that we should definitely go out. He even suggested getting together on a night when he was supposed to be going to football training, cheekily saying that he could tell his footie mates that he was going for a massage.
We never did meet up.
I told him that I had split up with Matt but that he was not a factor in my decision (and honestly, he wasn’t), and whilst the emails continued for a while after he left the company they did start to fizzle out.
The final email that I received from him said that his fiancée - shit I thought she was his girlfriend - had read one of our messages on Facebook. He had been forced to lie and say he had been organizing leaving drinks with everyone from work and not just trying to arrange a date for me and him to meet up.
Whether this is true or not I don’t know. Part of me thinks it might be, but a bigger part thinks that he enjoyed the flirtation but when it looked likely that we would take it to the next level his conscience got the better of him.
Either that, or he just wanted a bit of harmless fun and enjoyed the thrill of the chase but never actually wanted to cheat on his girlfriend.
Whichever way it was, I don’t mind. If anything more had happened between us then I would have been cast as the “other” woman which is horrible when I stop to think about it.
It’s weird, but in all the time that Scott and I were flirting with each other, I hardly stopped to think about his poor, unknowing girlfriend - I mean fiancée - even though I know I awful it would have been for her if she found out. I feel terrible about this now and can’t believe that I acted in such a way.
I think I’m going to stop calling my ex the Evil Cockbag now, as whilst I can’t forgive him for sleeping with someone else behind my back, I can understand how he felt and how easily it can happen.
I know all this might make you think I'm a total bitch but I promise you I'm not. I've never cheated on anyone physically and I don't intend to start now. Through this I learnt just how easy it is to cross that line and whilst I can never justify having an affair I can understand how they can start oh so easily.
So that's how I became single. A bit of a mess eh?