Andrea and I have had tickets to see this play, "Curtain's" at the Hale Center Theater for nearly a month. The show was tonight, and I figured it was a better idea to wait until after the show.
Prior to picking Andrea up, I tried to prepare myself for what I was about to do. In my mind it was going to go like this: I would pick her up and we would go get some dinner around 6. Then we would go watch the play. Then I would tell her that I had something to talk to her about. Then we would go to the playground by her house, and I would explain to her how I was feeling and that we shouldn't see each other anymore.
I was pretty nervous. I had broken up with girls before, but never had I wanted so badly for the girl I was breaking up with to not be hurt. I really think she is amazing. I really do care about her (despite what many readers of this blog have said) For the past two days all I've been thinking is how to end things and have her be okay.
On my way to her house I stopped at the grocery store and bought a dozen white roses. I wrote on a little card, "You're the most amazing person I know, your influence will be with me forever." Now that I am writing it out in this post, it sounds so lame... but at the time it seemed like such a good idea. Like it would help to prove that I cared or something... Anyway, I put the roses in my trunk so I could decide whether or not to use them later.
I picked up Andrea, and from then on the evening went pretty much exactly like it did in my head. After the show, which I wasn't able to pay any attention to whatsoever, Andrea grabbed my arm while we walked to my car and said, "Now what?" I knew what I had planned to say but then I looked at her and she was beaming with that perfect smile of her's. Suddenly I thought the playground was a terrible idea. We had too many good memories there. And really, if I'm being honest I didn't want to make eye contact for prolonged periods either. I realized then, looking at her smiling face, that I was petrified. So I made a quick ammendment to the plan and said, "Lets go for a drive. I have something I need to talk to you about."
Driving made me feel a little bit more comfortable because I was in control of the eye contact. I would be able to look away for most of the conversation without an excuse. I could also look at her if I felt I needed to see her reaction to something. In theory it was all very good. Unfortunately, it took me almost 40 minutes to muster the testicular fortitude to bring up what I was really there to do. We had driven in a meandering sort of way all the way from Hale up to Wasatch Boulevard. Conversation with Andrea was always easy, so I don't think she even noticed there was anything going on. I made an odd turn and got sort of lost, hit a dead end and had to turn around. I decided that I needed to put myself out of my misery and just do it. So in the third of my four point turn I said, "I think maybe that we should stop seeing each other."
The car was stopped and we were looking at each other. I'll bet 10 seconds passed but it seemed like forever. Her mouth was open and she made a face I had never seen her make. I think it was her "shock and disbelief" face.
She started to talk and I looked away and started driving (phew, for that idea)
ANDREA: You what?
JAKE: I just think that we should step back a couple notches.
ANDREA: ...What? ...Why?
I knew this was coming and I had practiced my response in my mind plenty. I spent the next 5 minutes giving her my dissertation about how amazing I thought she was and how I was feeling inferior and about what I thought she deserved. As the words were coming out of my mouth I felt like my explanation was top notch. I half expected her to just agree with me and say something like, "What a relief, want to stop and get a slurpee before you drop me off for the last time." That isn't exactly how it went.
ANDREA: Why didn't you tell me you were feeling this way? What happened to all this "communication" you're always talking about?
JAKE: I, I couldn't very well just constantly be telling you "you're more righteous than me"
I took that opportunity to see what her reaction was, I could see that she wasn't crying, but her eyes glistened in the street lights, and I realized she was tearing up.
ANDREA: So if I am hearing you right. If I understand you. You think that I deserve someone who is better than you?
JAKE: I don't think that Andrea, I know it.
ANDREA: Bull crap... ...What is it really? Is this some twisted way to let me down easy? Have I done something wrong? Am I no fun? Is there someone else?
JAKE: No! No no no! You are the greatest... so great, that I am not good enough for you. Seriously this isn't about you. You're perfect. You're too perfect.
ANDREA: (she raised her voice a little) This is so stupid. You are being soooo stupid! What do you know about what I deserve?
JAKE: I, I... (I didn't know what to say)
ANDREA: (she started sniffling) Do you actually hear what you are saying? You are saying that in order for you to be happy that you will need to settle for something less. You are choosing to settle? ... And you expect me to believe that?
JAKE: Andrea, I have been going crazy over the last little while thinking that I am dragging you down. Or that I will eventually, I don't know what else to do. All I know is that I can't feel this way anymore, let alone forever.
Andrea started to cry. I had started the drive back to her house and we still had about 10 minutes. I looked at her a couple of times, and she was looking out the other window crying. I started crying.
ANDREA: This is so stupid. I think you're wrong. I don't want to be without you. I think you are a great person. "Deserve" doesn't have anything to do with anything. (She started crying a little more) I'm not as good as you think.
I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say. I thought about changing my mind... apologizing... I hadn't cried in front of a girl I was in a relationship with... well ever. I felt a little bit confused. I thought that maybe I was making a mistake. Then, I just remembered my feelings of inferiority...
JAKE: No one can see the future. Who knows what will happen. I just need to step back for a while.
ANDREA: Stupid stupid stupid. You're being selfish. No matter how you've made this seem like the right thing to do, it's stupid! It's the wrong thing to do. So you're dumping me. I'm dumped.
JAKE: (I pulled into her driveway) I care about you more than you know. I'm serious. Maybe you'll thank me one day. Maybe I'm making the biggest mistake of my life... I'm just trying to be honest with myself, and with you.
ANDREA: You're dumping me?
We were both crying. She opened her door, she turned to say something, but stopped herself and got out. I followed and said, "Can the moron get one last hug?" She looked at me and waited. We held each other and sobbed... this was a totally new experience for me. I don't think I had even cried in front of my mom once in the last 10 years. She whispered, "Don't do this." "I replied, "I have to. I'm sorry." She pulled out o the hug, and stood there looking at me.
I quickly handed her the roses. She looked confused... (at the time the roses seemed like a good idea, but now even an hour later I can't believe how lame!) I got into my car and she just stood there watching me. I drove away, and when I turned the corner I could still see her standing in the driveway.
I cried like a baby all the way home... I'm still a little choked up right now. In spite of the tears, I think I did the right thing. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I'm pretty sure she's better off.