“Oh, hi love,” he said in a monotonous sing-song kind of way. “What can I er... what do you... what's up?”
“I'd like to meet up later, if that's alright with you. You can say when.”
“I went on a date with you last night. Why do we need to go out again?” his tone was as bitter as an espresso shot.
“I, uh, it's not a date. I want to have a chat,” I said brashly, trying my best to not let my frustration at his prior statement seethe through my voice.
“What is there to be said that you cannot say now?!” he spat.
That is it.
“Very well. I'm breaking up with you.”
There was an awkward moment of silence.
“Wait... what?” I heard him swallow.
The tears were burning in my eyes but I didn't allow them to fall.
“I, I just think, there's no love here anymore, Renzo,” they were falling now, pitter-pattering like a gentle first rain.
It was happening. The moment of regret. I was recalling fond memories, like a vintage black and white reel movie, our tender kisses, the rainy days we spent together watching movies and baking cookies.
“Phil, is everything alright? You aren't speaking,”
“I,” my throat caught the words I was trying to get out. “I don't think I can do this anymore.”
My heart was throbbing. Why was he showing emotion now? Why hadn't he shown remorse four months ago when I addressed the fact that our relationship was heading South, instead?
“I'll meet you. Can I come round to yours later then?” he said, a deep sadness dripping from each word he uttered.
I was bawling now. The ship was sinking. It's all crashing down.
Help, please, help!
“I think that would be best.”
I hung up bitterly and fell straight back down onto my bed, wind knocked from my chest. The tears didn't stop. But why, I cannot explain. This is the man who's treated me like a dog, after I'd been devoutly loyal to him for two years. That was why.
He was the man I had loved with all my being, for two years.
I messaged Mum and told her that Sunday would be a better option and the rest of that afternoon I laid sobbing monstrously on my bed, anxiously waiting on Renzo’s arrival after his work shift.
I opened the door just after 8 pm and just as I thought the wave of tears had subsided, they began to gush down my cheeks and I crashed into his arms. His hold had never been so tight before, and we stood there, holding each other, and crying.
“Do you remember when we first met?” he started. “At uni?”
We were sitting on the floor now, with our backs rested against the wall in the living room, he was holding my hand tightly, fingers intertwined and resting in his lap. I didn't answer. He kissed my cheek lightly and I rested my head on his shoulder.
“I haven't been good to you at all, Philippa,” he said when the silence grew uncomfortable.
The tears were welling again.
Suck it up, will you.
“It’s just, I feel like you were threatened by me getting a job and all. And then you just stopped showing me affection and you know how much I love you, Renzo. I pour my heart out to you,”
“And I grunt and grumble in dissatisfaction because I'm selfish and I was scared you'd run away.”
“What?” I asked, startled, lifting my head.
“I thought you'd like your job better than me.”
“So you distanced yourself even more? That makes no sense!” I sounded a little more emotional than I originally intended.
“It wasn't just that. I noticed too that we were drifting apart, and I was scared.”
I moved away from him, ripping my hand from his grasp.
“That still doesn't add up! Why, why didn't you...” choking up and tears running, I stood up. “Why didn't you show me more affection? Why didn't you come to my flat and, and offer to watch a movie? Or whisk me a way to a candle lit dinner?! Why did you stop fighting for me if you thought I was falling through the spaces between your fingers, Renzo?!”
He stood up as well, startled by my surge of emotion.
“Because I was scared!” he barked.
“Oh bullshit! Scared of what, Lorenzo?! That doesn't make sense! Did you ever even love me?”
“What the hell do you mean by that?!”
“You know very well what I mean by that, and you heard me loud and clear,” I snapped.
“I don't know, Philippa.”
“You...” my throat closed up and my breathing grew heavier. “You don't know?!”
There was a dead silence. It chilled me to the bone.
“You mean to tell me, that I spent two years of my life, devoting my heart to you, writing you letters and telling everyone how amazing you are and following you around like a bloody needy lapdog telling you day in and day out just how much I loved you, and, and for you it was all just a pretence?!”
“You know that isn't true, Philippa.”
He was coming closer towards me.
“You stay right there, Giordano. You never loved me. You never loved me, did you?! Just say it, Lorenzo! Just spit it out already!”
“You're just the girl for me, Philippa.”
“Bollocks! Stop with this crap already!”
“That was not a lie! You're perfect for me, Philippa. When I met you I thought, how proud my parents would be if I married a girl like you. So kind, so affectionate...”
“That's all I was to you? The whole two years we were together I was just something you used to appease your sodding parents?!”
“Philippa, please,” I cut him off.
“No! I loved you. I...” I brought my hand to my forehead, the room was spinning ferociously.
“I'm sorry. I think it just didn't work out the way we planned.”
“No, no! You just got the raw end of the deal, huh?! I got a job and suddenly your perfect little Pippa, your idealistic little trophy wife just vanished, is that it?! I... I knew it. I thought... I thought you were better than that. I,” I started laughing, heart aching. “I convinced myself that it was all in my head but I was right about you.”
“Pippa, you can't be so brash-”
“Oh, shut it! It was all a damn act! There was never any real love! Do you know what this feels like at all, you, you outright pig!?”
“How the hell did I put up with your nonsense for two whole years?!”
“Pippa, mi amore-”
“No, no, no! Speak no more! I cried the whole day over you! I thought you were upset, I thought your heart shattered like mine and that you would come here to try and patch things up, but I was so wrong. I was so, so wrong!”
“Sorry my arse, Giordano. You mean nothing to me anymore! Get out! Go find your perfect trophy wife, I don't give a damn anymore, just get out right this instant! Never come back. I never want to see your face again!”
I was screaming so loudly my throat began to ache and my vision was long gone compromised and soiled by a flurry of tears. And with that, the new leaf had been turned.
Indeed, arrivederci Lorenzo.
And bloody good riddance.