THE WORST BREAKUP IS A FAILED BREAKUP – New Rules Novel | New Rules Novel

EMMA - CHAPTER 50

THE WORST BREAKUP IS A FAILED BREAKUP

The West Village was innocent on a weekday morning, bakeries pumping fresh smells into the air without too much traffic to corrupt it. I liked running past dogs and coffee drinkers and I always played chilled music before I hit the West Side Highway, Lana Del Ray in the headphones.

I hadn’t seen Alex since the night at the Gramercy, over five days ago. He’d said over email that his lawyer was looking over a couple things and finishing some papers, so I was just kind of waiting. I thought Charlie might have sent me a text or something, I checked her Instagram account last night, no new updates. She had posted a couple of articles on Twitter and was chatting with someone about a new home storage startup that just launched in New York.

The weekend had been spent catching up with friends, most I hadn’t seen in a while. Outdoor music and morning movie sessions. Michael had been super chill and fun to hang out with, he actually wanted to do something for a change, then last night after dinner he hits me with this passive aggressive ultimatum from nowhere, about getting ‘more serious’ – more serious! What the fuck? We have been seeing each other for over eighteen months and he has been the one so keen to keep it super casual – countless times I’ve asked to define what we were doing, pushed for him to at least say the word ‘exclusive’. But I swallowed his bullshit about us “being young, in New York, not wanting to put labels on things or conform to some set relationship stereotype.” Now this. I didn’t even know what to say to him. I realized what a position of power it had given him all this time, him dictating terms and me going along with it all, thinking I wasn’t cool enough because I wasn’t totally comfortable with it all, because I was always worried of who he was with – if he was having sex with someone else? Was I not fun or adventurous enough in bed? Like he was some accomplished lover. Mr. Desirable sitting around in his five year old Xbox track pants. I’d taken his suggestion and slowly turned it on him, suggesting that maybe we call it quits. Then it all blew up, a blame game at first, then shouting and a crying session to follow. Once I got started, I had to run through the full cycle, the tears would flow for a minimum of fifteen minutes generally.

Hitting the water I switched the playlist up, it was great not to worry about crossing streets and just head straight down the island, the city rising on one side, the water on on the other. I had taken a generic Valium or Zanax equivalent to chill me out so I could sleep, I always needed exercise in the morning afterwards, to shake it off, sweat it out.

It pissed me off that he was like this now. Why not earlier? Why not a month ago? Now that something is actually happening for me, when I want to keep more for myself, and I don’t have more time or energy for him – this is when he wants it. Was that the trigger? Has my value gone up and I need a tighter leash? He is so weak like that. This is his way of combating my momentum, to put restraints up. Bullshit. Such New York male crap, thinks he can have it all open when it suits him. If anything I wanted more distance, I was over it. He had lost his edge. Perhaps I was falling for a derivative of the ‘treat em mean’ mentality, either way. I think maybe I needed a fresh start. I felt horrible about what happened with Alex and Charlie, but we were essentially in an open relationship, I bet he hooked up with people and didn’t even worry about it. I could feel the tears coming, pawing at my eyes and running harder to hold them off.

Back home I went up to the roof to stretch, spotted the guy in the apartment across the road drinking his coffee, letting his stomach hang out a little – holding his big red mug of steam. I swear I could smell it. It had been too long since yoga, I was way too tight in my back and hips. I’d seen a tweet the other day: Humans are one of the only mammals that don’t stretch as soon as they wake up. Sure some of us do, but all others animals stretch straight away when they wake. Imagine what life would be like if you couldn’t stretch.

<Emma> (Group Msg)

Loft party this sat, should be fun, who is keen?

<Viv>

Is that Mason’s party. :-p Going out with the banker that night anyway.

<Charlotte>

In EMOJI

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