I write but I don’t feel. And my mouth has answers for everything, venting truths before they reach my heart. The breathing of my yoga students soothes my thoughts. The Novocaine at the dentist works. It’s all sedated. It’s all numb. Valentijn has someone else.
” We’re now putting the lamp on it,” my dentist says. What type of injection it is. A switch of drills. Which part of the tooth is almost done. She tells me in detail what to expect.
Valentijn has someone else.
” Why didn’t you tell me this last Saturday?” I chew my cheek. ” I specifically inquired.”
Saturday November 19, 2011
” Don’t blame yourself for anything,” Valentijn’s voice said on the other end.
Marieke came over at my request. Comforted me as I cried wet faces in her blouse. His can of toothpaste. His souvenir shirt from Berlin that had ended up in my suitcase. Before we made her guest bed I asked if she could collect Valentijn’s stuff. And last week’s bedlinen was still on my bed. The intimate memory of sex had kept me company all week. The sheets filled the whole laundry machine. It was midnight when I turned it on. I was going to bed a single.
Saturday November 12, 2011
My mother and I managed to head for the station on time, with a filled picnic basket.
” It won’t be with brothers and sisters,” I reassured myself. The night with Valentijn’s family had been a welcoming loud clan of mischievous kids and life-loving parents. ” But we’re going to make it a special none the less.”
On the platform I ignored Valentijn’s small, tired eyes. I bought his excuses on why I had not heard from him since the night with his family. I enjoyed the picnic with him and my mother. It was near the river.
My mother left after a few hours.
” When I drove over the bridge on my way back, I could still see you guys sitting there. Snogging.”
Saturday November 5, 2011
” I thought you were done with it!” Valentijn shot back, when I complained he made his bed behind my back the moment I got up to make my own breakfast in bed, now that he had served the tea and croissants no further than his desk.
Valentijn had awoken at 7am and was doing everything to make sure I felt as miserable as he was.
Worrying about our relationship, I had been unable to sleep.
” What are your plans? ” Valentijn asked after breakfast.
” A talk. A good one,” I announced. ” Before we draw our families into this.”
It was on the same couch where we first kissed. Word by word I carefully phrased my concerns, as if the wrong ones could spark, crash and burn it all. And I cried before I was finished, as if I already knew I had failed.