Over the years, I have been been dumped in a number of creative ways. This particular breakup happened eons ago on an overnight train from Amsterdam to Paris. We had just boarded and were settling into our sleeper compartment when Boy kicks things off with, “So… I’ve been thinking…”
I stood at full attention because we all know that this opener never announces anything positive. He continued:
“I’m really happy with you.”
Stellar. But… where are we going with this?
“But I’m not sure if I might not be happy with you later.”
? ? ? ? ?
“I think we should break up.”
Ummmm…. Okay…. But could we revisit the fucked up logic of your previous statement before we tackle this one?
“But not right now.”
What. The. Fuck.
“Things are great, so I think it should start later, like in August, when I go back to school.”
Humans, it was APRIL at the time.
At this point, I’m pretty sure my eyeballs started leaking from sheer shock, confusion, and frustration at myself for not having a snappy response. This was also the point in the conversation when the train conductor entered our compartment to check our tickets. The Dutch pride themselves on their punctuality, but I had no idea they could also have such impeccable timing. Looking back, I wonder what kind of scene he must have stumbled upon back then: stern-looking white man, Asian woman with tears streaming down her face and knuckles that were white from rage-gripping the sides of my seat.
The conductor looked from one of us to the other, and after an uncomfortable pause, he politely asked for our tickets. After validating them, he turned to face his back toward Boy, leaned over toward me, and whispered,
“Madam, are you being held here against your will?”
At the time, I was too shocked by his question, and I was too busy raging at Boy for the dumbest breakup script ever. So I didn’t really comprehend what was happening or what the conductor was getting at. I only vaguely remember just wanting this conductor to go away so that I could begin yelling at Boy properly. So I think I just shook my head (still crying, by the way) and waved him off.
In retrospect, this was the most epic wasted opportunity I’ve ever had in my life to inflict sweet, sweet, karmic justice on a guy who royally dicked me over in a breakup. It wasn’t until hours later that I realized what damage I could have done. THE CONDUCTOR THOUGHT THAT I WAS BEING TRAFFICKED! It suddenly all clicked! Amsterdam… Red light district… Dazed, weeping, and apparently mute brown woman in a train compartment with much larger Caucasian man.
WHY DIDN’T I SAY YES?!
Ever since that day, I have fantasized about how I could have convinced that conductor to call the police and have stupid Boy thrown into a cell somewhere for sex trafficking. I just wasn’t clever enough or vindictive enough to ideate and execute that quickly.
In case you’re curious, Boy never did figure out why I was so furious about his idea of giving four months advance notice of a breakup date. He spent the next four months berating me for being irrationally upset, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get him to leave our (studio) apartment before that four-month mark either.
To this day, I am still waiting on karmic justice for that breakup. But unfortunately, Boy is doing fine. No, Boy is doing fan-fucking-tastic.
So much for karma.