“I don’t think this is working anymore.”
Abby read the words on her phone screen for the hundredth time. And yet, the words made little sense to her.
In the two days since Martin, her boyfriend of nine years, had broken up with her, the world had turned upside down for Abby. She had stayed in bed for the most part and had not even bothered to wash up or eat a proper meal. Empty packets of potato chips lay strewn about on her bedroom floor along with crumpled tissues.
‘How could he do this to me? To us?’ she thought. Tears poured down her cheeks for the dozenth time in two days and she grabbed a bunch of tissues to sob into.
Abby and Martin had been what their friends called ‘the perfect couple’, since they first met in college. One year her senior, he had asked her out right on the day of the fresher’s party. What started out as a tentative romance grew into a strong relationship over the next three years. Even when they took up jobs in different cities after college, WhatsApp messages and Skype calls kept the flame alive. “We’re gonna make it, you and I!” he always told her.
Soon, it was time for Martin to go to Australia for his higher education. Abby wished him luck and kissed him good bye at the airport. “We’re gonna make it, you and I!” she said, holding back her tears. But time made fools of the young lovers, as in less than a few months’ time, Martin admitted to her that he had outgrown their relationship.
Renewed sobs hit her as she thought, ‘I bet he met someone more attractive over there!’ Overwhelmed by feelings of grief and indignation, she tossed her phone aside and grabbed her diary from the bedside table. She had to put her thoughts on paper; it was how she always dealt with emotional upheavals. Flipping furiously in her search for a blank page, Abby found–tucked neatly into the diary–a picture of her and her mother from when she was a child.
The beautiful woman in the picture didn’t look a day older than 25, as she held two-year-old Abby in her arms. With a pang, Abby realised her mother too was abandoned by a man once. Her father, whom she had never met. And yet, she never felt his absence in her life, as her mother was all she ever needed. Fiercely independent, she had raised Abby without anyone’s assistance. To this day, Abby’s mother lived her life with her head held high. She needed no man, not when she was a 25-year-old with a toddler, and certainly not today.
Abby decided that she had cried enough, as she wiped the tears off her face. She got off the bed, freshened up and headed out for a walk. The path ahead suddenly seemed clear to her. She was going to be fine.