Conversations with Scott Fitzgerald

“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”

The young man sat opposite of me, the glass of maitai clenched in his palm, a smug smile blossoming on his thin delicate lips. I stared at his static face with a blank look, pondering over the familiarity of the bar, the quirky music, the dim light, the silence of the man I had already taken the liberty to register him in my mind as my soulmate.

– What brings you back here, my beloved little girl? – Finally, he was the one breaking the ice.
– You know the answer. I’m torn. – With a heavy sigh, I started crying uncontrollably. All the emotions suppressed in half a year burst out in a physical form, and unsurprisingly, I only felt more and more pain in my chest.
-You broke up with him this time. – Scott gently reminded, no patting on my back or my shoulder as I thought he would do.
– That’s why I’m torn. I love him but…
– No, you don’t love him. You’re half in love with him at best. Don’t get confused between infatuation and love. There are many states that feel like love, but they’re not.
– Half in love. What does that even mean? – I forced a half smile.
– Maybe you’ve heard too well of the phrase “half of love is sex”. You’ve almost got that physical half, and a bit of the emotional half to compensate for the missing pieces of the full  blown sex. But it’s not complete love. And how could you call it love when he doesn’t call you, doesn’t want to see you, doesn’t care if you miss him.
– I know he doesn’t love me. He only wants to have fun, with no commitment, no string attached, no responsibility. So he could enjoy the companion of a popular girl when he’s lonely, a girl who he knows will just lose herself at his request. So he could freely flirt with other girls, have fun with other girls. So he doesn’t bear the liability of caring for me, to take me out on dates, to let me know any detail of his life. He told me all that, with no effort to cover up, or even sugar coat it. What is wrong with him? What is wrong with me?
– Infatuation, I told you. You’re infatuated with a sick man. – Scott laughed. – The same way I became a slave to my wife, but a happy slave. What matters is you have realized something is wrong, and now you know for sure what is wrong, and you’re turning away, step by step. You’re angry he’s using you, you want him with your half ass love, you’re sorry you misbehaved and pushed him away, you’re sorry for him being all faithless, hopeless, idealless and lost. But you are turning away. Time will heal all scars, and as long as you can turn away once, you will be able to walk away, forever.

I stared at the young man again. He was only 29. I wish I could fall into his arms and stay there forever. I wish I could just love him and he could just love me. But I started cry again.

And I woke up, stared at the phone screen with no notifications. And this time, I cried for real, in the middle of the night.

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