Letter to My Ex: The Day the Toilet Paper Ran Out

By an anonymous contributor.

[a letter written the day after, never posted]

The day the toilet paper ran out was the day it ended between us. You were home most days, so the task of buying more was your job, one of the only things I actually expected of you.

When you stopped doing the day-to-day, the things that you had once told me were a show of your affection for me, that was it. That was the point I knew to follow my slow realisation, and it was sad.

We started off in perfect synchronicity, you and I. We had so much in common, thanks to our age and backgrounds, our shared feeling for music. I felt like you really listened to me, were truly interested in what I had to say. I appreciated your great talent and, I thought, your passion. It was a relationship of kindness and mutual respect, at first.

Then. Telling you what I wanted and needed, I was rejected. Each time I tried, you retreated into yourself, not closer to me. And your passion turned out to be a profession you wanted to take only so far. ‘I’ve done the hard yards,’ you’d say.

But I didn’t want to be the sole breadwinner.

Every day got more draining, just living. I couldn’t do anything well while I was propping you up in every direction. I was suffocating beneath it. There was nothing left of me for me.

My sense of disconnection grew when you disclosed your feelings of closeness to me at a time when I felt you were most distant. We were spiralling in opposite directions and you could not see! That was the night I cried the hardest, the last night I cried myself to sleep, a fortnight ago. You didn’t comfort me. You didn’t say a word. Did you notice? Did you care?

You were never outright mean to me. We had no name-calling or spitefulness between us. Our rare fights were low-key—one of the biggest blues being about a musical phrase you insisted I’d misheard!—because there was not the fire for anything else.

Now. I have lost too many tears and too much sleep, made enough impassioned pleas for you to treat me special, to exercise, to eat healthily, to touch me. To kiss me properly. To respond. To show. Something. It’s been a gradual decrescendo, a ritardando al fine.

I still think you are beautiful on the inside and out. And I still love you, as a person and not for me. You either can’t or won’t love me in a way that makes me feel loved, this is clear. This ending is the right choice for me, and it came before the acrimony of a resentful partnership bit in. For that, I am grateful.

For you, and for what we had, I am grateful. I wish you all happiness in life.

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