He walked into the flat he shared with Kiki, his girlfriend of four years. She was asleep, as he had expected. It was 2:30 am. He smiled as he walked to the amazingly beautiful woman lying on the bed. He was glad he had the privilege of calling her his.
He went to the bed and kissed her forehead, just the way she liked it. As he walked back to drag his suitcase from the kitchen into the room, he thought of what he was about to do. He winced physically from all the emotional and mental pain, it was going to be hard. He had thought long and hard about this decision on his flight back from Sydney, where he had travelled for business. He had to break up with her.
While he unbuttoned his shirt, he thought about everything that had happened in four years. Meeting at his favourite ice cream spot just in front of the building where he worked, taking her to an art gallery for their first date and finding out later (very embarrassingly), that her art was actually being exhibited at said gallery on said night. Finally, he remembered the point where it all started to go wrong, landing the job of his dreams.
He remembered the day he broke the news to her very vividly. The new software that had been designed under his supervision for the company had made the executives of the company very, very happy; so happy that they wanted to change the existing software of the company to his. But, there was a catch, he had to go around the world training the branches of the company in various countries how to use and implement the software.
They had ‘the talk’, he said he was not sure what was going to come out of this job and he wasn’t sure he was ready to juggle the job and her. She said she didn’t want to lose him, she was sure she could manage not being in constant contact with him all the time. Before he left, they bought the flat together so that whatever time he spent when he was in town was with her.
But it hadn’t exactly worked out that way. Time difference, jet lag and work had made it difficult for him to be reachable. Whatever time he spent in town was spent resting and recuperating, working on modifications to the software or attending some family event. From time to time, it felt like there was a stretch of a few days when he remembered he had a girlfriend and actually made the effort to ‘catch up’ with her.
He first started to notice there was a problem on her birthday two years ago. He had called the house to just talk to her and find out if she had got the dozen red roses he had sent her. She was nowhere to be found. Thinking maybe she was with her friends partying, he called her best friend, Kemi. ‘Kiki has been in hospital for two weeks now, she had to have a tumor taken out ofher tummy, I’m not supposed to be telling you this, but she just looks so lonely and tired on this bed, I thought maybe you could cheer her up’. He had talked to her about it, but she said since he was busy with work and she just wanted to spend his ‘catching up time’ listening to him, she didn’t consider it important enough for him to know and she didn’t think he cared anyways. If he did, he never showed it.
One thing held Kiki back from ending the whole thing. He was sure it was the promise she had made him when he was about to leave. She had said she would be comfortable with the distance. He was sure she didn’t want to seem like an ass, ending the relationship because of distance. She was considerate like that.
Kiki deserved more. She deserved someone who would dote on her. She deserved someone who would remind her everyday how beautiful, important and special she was. All the red roses in the world could not cuddle her when she had period pains, or taste the delicious dishes she cooked endlessly, admire her paintings, cater to her when she was in hospital, escort her to family events or be her plus one to one of those events.
He was not enough, he thought as he stepped out of the shower and into his boxer shorts. ‘I am not enough, I am not enough, I am not enough’ he kept repeating to himself. He turned out the bedside lamp, got into bed and snuggled close to her. Tonight, he was going to have to be enough.