Landisa: Why I decided to fight for my partner

2019-10-31 07:44
James de Villiers

James de Villiers

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When I was younger, I'd tell people that I have no desire to get married. 

At the time it was an easier answer than to face the uncomfortable truth; the uncomfortable truth that I doubted anyone would ever love me enough to get married. 

Instead, I created for myself grand illusions of what it means to be alone. At 35, I told myself, I'll adopt two children who will take care of me into my old age. And that the vast legacy I leave behind, the hours I could spend working and building my monuments, would leave a lasting impact. 

But, as I got older, I realised these were grand lies I told myself in an attempt to distract me from the uncomfortable truth. Because deep down, if I was honest with myself, I wanted someone to be there. I wanted someone to care about how my day was, and what coffee I had for breakfast. 

"I just want what everybody wants," acclaimed actress Judy Garland said.

In May, when I moved to Johannesburg with the ash grey grass and horrible dry air, I met the person I knew I'd spend the rest of eternity with. A lot of things I am unsure about, I told my colleagues, but about this I have never been more convinced. 

As weeks turned into months and I learned to love, the cracks in my humanity started to show and the uncomfortable lies I once believed came to haunt me once more. And the intense expectation I placed on you overwhelmed us and you walked away, and I thought it was better this way.

I thought that the belief I had in the beginning, that you were the one, was perhaps just another grand illusion. 

But on Friday evening, as I begged to God above, I realised this love is rarely granted to us. And when life happens to grant it to you, you shouldn't dare treat it lightly. 

In June - a month after arriving in Johannesburg - I read this incredible New York Times column about a man who had to fight for his wife. In it, Andrew Lee wrote that one of his favourite movies is "Before Sunrise," where two strangers meet on a train, go on an extended date across a city and begin to fall in love. 

"Celine, the female lead, talks about how when we're young, we believe there will be many people we'll connect with, and how only when we're older do we realise it happens only a few times," Lee wrote. 

"I may have been just 31, but I was old enough to know that this was one of those times." 

As I cried out to God on my concrete bedroom floor, I recalled Lee's words and instantly knew I was making a mistake. At 20:21, on the day you broke up with me, I dared to text you - asking you to see me. Because life grants me but a few chances, and I am not going to give up this quickly. 

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  love  |  relationships

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