Music: Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon
Just the two of us.
Usually I go back home to my Mum and Dad’s on Christmas Day morning, but Matt was adamant that as his parents were overseas and we couldn’t see them, that it wasn’t fair to see mine on Christmas Day either. His wonderful idea was for us to spend the day together, just the two of us.
And I hated him for that.
Now you might think this arrangement was nice, romantic and reasonable. I saw it as controlling.
It was just another way of Matt stamping his authority on my life and stomping all over what I wanted and how I felt.
Also, in a change from the norm, we stayed in on Christmas Eve, which was the first time I had stayed in on the night before Christmas since I was about eighteen. It was always a tradition for me to go out with my friends, but not this year. I can understand that this makes me look like a complete doormat, and yes you would be right, but that’s what years of Matt wearing me down had done to me.
So it was Christmas Eve and Matt and I were staying in, drinking wine and watching the television. Rock and roll. During an advert break, Matt put his glass down on the coffee table and turned to face me.
“So are we going to start seriously looking for a house together in the New Year?” he asked with his usual steadiness.
Oh no. Not this conversation again.
“Er, maybe,” I replied as half-heartedly as I could.
I had been side-stepping this issue for months. Due to the way I felt about Matt I didn't want to sell my house so we could buy a place together. My dithering on the subject had finally taken its toll.
“What does ‘maybe’ mean?” Matt asked more aggressively. “It’s always ‘maybe’ or ‘in a few months’ with you. Do you actually want to buy a house with me?”
I couldn’t say yes as it would have been such a big fat lie. I sat there for a few seconds, staring at the carpet, before I found the courage to look at him.
“No. No I don’t want to buy a house with you,” I said quietly.
I couldn’t stop myself and everything came spilling out along with gallons of tears.
“I’m really sorry, but I can’t,” I sobbed. “I don’t feel the same about you anymore. I’ve not felt the same about you for months.”
The tears rolled down my face, and all the while Matt just sat there, calmly staring at his wine glass on the table with an almost icy detachment. I think he must have been letting everything sink in. After all, even though I'd tried to tell him a thousand times, he didn’t realise anything was wrong.
“I’ve been trying to talk to you about it for months,” I continued as I wiped the saltwater from my face, “But every time I tried you just brushed me aside and didn’t listen to me.”
“Like when?” Matt replied angrily. “Not once have you EVER tried to talk to me about this. And why didn’t you tell me sooner? You said you’ve felt like this for months and you only tell me now? Well, happy f*cking Christmas!” he shouted angrily as he threw a cushion against the wall.
He was always good for a bit of dramatic effect, although at least he only chucked soft furnishings around.
“I couldn’t tell you about my feelings back then as I didn’t know how I felt.” I continued. “You always seemed to convince me that it was all in my head, when it wasn’t. I can’t carry on. I can’t buy a house with you. I don’t want to sell my house....” my voice trailed off.
Matt was upset and very, very angry.
I decided not to mention Scott, as he was a recent distraction and I knew it would crush Matt. My feelings towards Matt had changed long before my flirtation with Scott began so I didn’t want to bring this up and cloud the water.
Despite that we still had plenty to talk about, and we stayed up until the early hours. Matt drank bottle after bottle of Prosecco which we’d bought for Christmas Day, whilst I just sipped on glasses of water. I needed a clear head.
We slept in separate beds that night.