I remember walking up the high street in Hampstead and picking up a card from the Catto Gallery about this exhibition. I love the painting and just managed to buy
a print of it after years of seeking one out, oh my love of the internet is justified. Now I have the print, I don't actually know what I will do with it, & whether I can actually bear to look at it.
The person I walked up the street with that day was the person I thought was "the one" even though I loathe that phrase. I am told that little girls imagine their wedding day, I never did, but I did want to marry that man. When it ended, he said that the relationship just wasn't working for him anymore, & that he was sorry because he knew how I felt about him. He was sorry, & he was kind, & he was lovely to me even when I turned into the almost psycho ex-girlfriend. I say almost because I was in agony & people in pain don't behave well, I just kept clear of restraining order territory, but not entirely of stalker type behaviours.
Even now, I can't believe how long that pain lasted. It became more manageable, as these things do, but I managed to feel it for 5 long years. I valued that relationship so highly that its ending devastated myself and my psyche. No doubt I projected all kinds of features onto/into it that didnt' exist and I still find my way seeking a way to stop regretting the waste of those 5 years when I kept waiting to stop feeling the pain so acutely. The pain receded but it remained a part of my emotional make-up.
Now I want to tell him I am sorry, but I'm not entirely sure what for, for being hurt, for behaving in a way which hurt people do, or just for him being the screen for those projections. I loved him truly but would never want to see him again, & that's unusual for me, but maybe that is because I still harbour a wish that he had wanted to marry me even if that would have been a terrible idea. I hope he is happy but I don't want to know anything about it. I don't really know what I want to be forgiven for but I do know I have to forgive myself first. I could cringe at the memories, but we are only human, and we are almost entirely fallible. In the end, he was more honest than I was & I am grateful for his bravery and kindness when he ended the relationship.
The print tells me about a happier day when the sun was shining and I was a little overdressed, I remember knowing I looked good (& that I wouldn't have those legs forever!), but feeling the heat. I didn't have any faith that I would be the right person for him, even then, & we do after all have to be the right person for each other for relationships to work. My clothes weren't quite right & we weren't quite right.
Now that I've bought it, I think I have to find a way to co-exist with the memories before I can look at the print on my wall.