Home > Bad at Love(5)

Bad at Love(5)
Author: Karina Halle

“Say it,” she says.

“I think we should see other people.”

Like a Band-Aid. Right off.

She raises an eyebrow. “Is that what you think?”

“Yes.”

She shakes her head slightly, then shrugs. “If that’s what you want. I don’t mind.”

I study her, confused by her answer. “You don’t mind?”

She walks over to the couch and sits down, legs together, hands folded in her lap as she stares up at me with a nonplussed expression. “I’m okay with this, so long as we get to see each other still.”

Ah, shit.

I rub my lips together and cock my head. “Well…”

Her eyes widen. “Are you breaking up with me?”

“Yes. I guess I didn’t say it right, but—”

“You’re breaking up with me?”

“I’m sorry. I really wanted it to work out, Simone. I care about you a lot.”

“You’re not breaking up with me.”

Okay. This isn’t going like I thought. Usually the girl is crying by now, not arguing with me.

“I know it’s hard to hear and believe me it’s hard for me to say—”

“Bullshit, Laz,” she says. “I think I know you better than you know yourself.”

“I really don’t think that’s true.” If anything, I’m a guy who holds all his cards close to his chest. Like, really fucking close.

“You’re not breaking up with me,” she repeats. “End of story.”

Bloody hell.

“Look…” I tell her, trying to find the right words without being a total arse. “Simone. You’re one of the longest relationships I’ve ever had. I care about you. I like you. I like what we had, but that’s only because we’re quitting at the right time.”

“Oh, I ain’t quitting.”

“Right. But the thing is…we need to break up.”

“I disagree.”

I can’t help but laugh. “This isn’t something we can have a disagreement about. I don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. Okay? I mean, I’m sorry, I really am. It stings to say. But this is it.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

I roll my eyes. “Simone.”

“I’m serious, Laz. You’re talking crazy. Things have been perfect. Haven’t I been the perfect girlfriend for you?”

“You have been perfect,” I tell her. “Absolutely mint. But I don’t always want perfect. Doesn’t it mean something that I don’t want this anymore? I don’t love you. I’m sorry, but you deserve to be with someone who does.”

“Shouldn’t I get to decide that?”

“No.” I throw out my arms. “No, that’s not how this works. If I thought it was something I could work on, I would. But it’s not. So, I’m out.”

“You’re not.”

Jesus.

“I am.”

“Do you realize what you sound like?”

“What?”

“A scared little boy. That’s what you are. A scared little boy. You know if you gave me time, you could fall in love with me. But you’re running because that’s what you do.”

I sigh, running my hand down my face. “Fine. That’s fine. But this is over. And I’m really sorry it had to be this way. I really am. But it’s over.”

She falls silent, stares at her hands. A part of my heart shrinks, starting to feel bad about it all. She’s been so carefree, so it really surprises me that she’s so defiant over our break-up. I kind of thought she’d be hurt yet able to accept it.

She glances up at me with tears in her eyes. “Are you going to write a poem about me?”

Ah, shit.

A poem.

This always comes up. I mean, how can it not?

“Do you want me to write a poem about you?”

“Will it be a poem about heartbreak? Will breaking up with me ruin you inside? Will this create some of your greatest work? Will I be in your book?”

Just run with it, I think. Run with it and get the hell out of here.

“Yes, of course,” I tell her. “This hurts me so much to do this to you.”

Which actually was all true…until she turned a break-up into a debate.

She smiles at me, a tear running down her face. “Okay. I’ll let you break up with me if you write about us. About me. About how destroyed you are on the inside. I want the world to read your words and know that I did it. I brought you to your knees.”

“Okaaaaay.” Then I nod firmly. “I will.”

I don’t know how I get out of that place, but I do. It takes a little more convincing on her behalf, both that I am actually breaking up with her and that I will write a poem about her. Finally, I’m able to hug her goodbye, put my key on her counter, and get out before she sucks me back into the vortex of denial.

Traffic is clogged on the freeway, as usual, so I’ve got nothing but time to sit in the car and think. There’s a bit of a pattern here and I’m not sure if it’s in my head or not. Poetry has never been considered a manly or sexy occupation, or at least it wasn’t when I was growing up in Manchester. In fact, I got my arse whooped often for scribbling down poetry and reading Keats when I should have been playing rugby or screwing chicks. The only thing that saved me was always being in a band.

Now, though, ever since I started posting my work online, things have changed. Over the last three years, my Instagram account and blog have caught on like wildfire, to the point where I officially have my first book deal with a major publishing house. It’s all done and being published in two months.

I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to have your fame via Instagram, especially as that fame doesn’t tend to leave that space, nor does it necessarily get a lot of respect. When people ask what I do, I just tell them I’m a writer with a book coming out soon. It doesn’t take them long to look me up and have it point to my account. A lot of the time, especially with women, they’ve either heard of me already or are following me. That’s what happens when you have one million followers. I don’t post pictures of myself, nor do I mention that I’m also a musician, but that doesn’t stop them from contacting me.

The more I think about it though, like how it all went down with Simone, the more I wonder if girls want to date me because they want me to write about them. Either with epic love poems or destructive sad poems. That’s food for a new piece itself.

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