I called him, he didn’t call me. He was never the one to initiate calls really. This time though it was a bit different. It was around 3am where I was and there was no way he would have ever called at that time.
I was taking a chance, a gamble that he’d be home between trips, between errands. I was homesick, lonely, tired, and yes maybe a little lovesick. After all, he was my boyfriend. It wasn’t so crazy for me to want to talk to him. I had been on the other side of the ocean for over three weeks and we had spoken barely once since I had left.
Twenty minutes later I was still homesick, lonely, and tired, but I was also sad. Sad because my boyfriend, who had been my best friend before we started dating, had just told me that he loved me, but wasn’t in love with me, and even though he would have rather told me face to face, he didn’t want to make me wait until the end of the summer.
Happy birthday to me, I thought as I hung up.
I wanted to be devastated. I wanted to be heartbroken. But fact was he was always a better friend than boyfriend. I was the one who prompted the whole love vs in love debate and I knew which side he’d fall on long before he figured it out. In the end the loss of his friendship was the saddest part of the whole situation.
As sad as I was that night I am grateful that he freed me then. It was a crappy way to do it and a crappy time to chose. But thanks to him I woke up the next morning determined to make the best of my summer in America. I vowed to meet a ton of guys and enjoy myself – consequences be damned. The very next week I attended a party thrown in my honor, both to celebrate my new-found freedom and my birthday. Which is where I met M, and changed the course of my life.
Who knows where I would be today if I hadn’t giddily picked up the phone in the dead of the night to say hello to my boyfriend. If I had called two days later would he have dumped me? Would I have missed him? Would I have waited all summer to hear him say goodbye in person shortly after I returned home? Would I have met another Frenchman and given birth to little French babies? Would I be working on a novel written in French? Who would I be? Who knows?
One night. One minute. Ten years ago, almost to the day. I lost a friend and found a life. One door closed and another one opened and I stepped through it into the life I know today.