This shouldn't get to me. I'm hearing my therapist's voice in my head. We need to get you to a place where these things don't bother you, aren't important. You're in a beautiful place, your favorite place on earth. You spent yesterday in a boat out on the sea, saline splashing your face, grinning, with people you love. You cooked Lebanese food last night. You're loved. And yet, yesterday I got an email from my ex-boyfriend. It's been at least five months since I've heard a word, a squeak. He tells me, I didn't block you because I wanted to think you were dead. I didn't block you to hurt you, even though you think I did. I hope we can laugh about this. And then, I check on Twitter, as you do, and guess what? "You are blocked from following XXX and viewing XXX's tweets." What's that about, my friends?
Back from the boat tour, wind in my hair, a skip in my step, excited to cook, the whole of the bay filled with dark blue waves, Norwegian flags waving, sparkling eyes, and there it is, an email from him. And immediately the breath gets stuck in my throat, my heart starts to pound, I feel the anxiety creeping up my legs. I reply breezily. "All is well. Take care." Even now, writing about it, I feel the adrenaline, the tears behind my eyes. I loved you, I think. You were lucky. I don't give it away lightly. Why are you trying to hurt me? Why can't you be kind? Are you really that damaged? Why are you trying to hurt me?
You can do anything to me, I told him once. I am resilient. I bounce back. Just love me and I will do anything for you. But please, whatever you do, don't put me in coventry. I can't tell you why without sounding mawkish and wet and miserable, but don't do that, don't ignore me. It hurts me more than anything. It makes my heart jump into my throat, totally shuts me down, derails me. Do anything but that.
And he did that. Yes, that is who I loved. Someone who did that.
It's my last day here and I'm doing all the things I want to jam into the next year -- eating cardamom bolle with goat's cheese and painting watercolors of the view and listening to my favorite playlists, dealing rounds of patience, pulled out some smoked trout for lunch. I shall walk around the mountain, or further, with my favorite cousin and his clever, singing dog, and pick blueberries, and swim in the cold blue sea. And I will exorcise this. It will go away. But I had to share it. Forgive me. Forgive me.