Of course, I͛d heard all about it. That gut-wrenching despair, the feeling like there͛s a knot in your larynx that won͛t go away – when you͛ve sobbed so much it feels like your tonsils are the size of tennis balls. That hideous, washed-out, wretched, rotten sensation: that no-one will ever want you again, and how the hell did anyone want you to begin with?
It had never been me, though. I͛d always been the dumper, and until I͛d been on the receiving end, had always thought people who got dumped had it easy. The dumpees got to do the downtrodden, self-righteous, wronged act, and everyone felt sorry for them. Whereas people like me, all we got was the guilt. That and the dreadful nervous feeling in your tummy for weeks before – you know the one? It͛s like you͛re hungry, but also nauseous, but also need a crap? But neither eating nor vomiting nor shitting will fix you. The only cure is to get on and dump that waste of space. But then you replace the nervousness with guilt, and maybe regret, and possibly a bit of doubt, and all your friends are too busy feeling sorry for your poor dumped ex to spare a thought for how you͛re feeling.
Anyway, I get that now. Being dumped is SO much worse. It͛s like being stung by a bee – there͛s no warning. You think you͛re happy, going for a nice walk in the country, then he turns to you and says, 'We have to talk'. When does that ever lead anywhere good? And then you wish you were the bloody bee – you͛ve wreaked your vengeance on the cruel, honey-thieving world, and now you can join the great swarm in the sky. But you͛re not a bee. You just have to keep going, finish the walk, trying not to fall down Pen Y Fan even though you can͛t see a foot in front of you for your tears (let͛s be honest, fucking Wales, the visibility was only about 5 metres anyway!). Then there͛s the silent, awkward car journey home. Why the hell did he have to take me there to do it? Surely a walk down Broadway would have sufficed. I could have run home in 2 minutes and never seen him again. Twat.
Anyway, the first thing I do when I finally get out of his car (and his life) for the last time? Straight into the kitchen to smash that frickin' cactus he loves so much. No, you can͛t come and get your plant, Tim, you gave that to me. I don͛t care if you've had it since you were 10, you gave it to me 'as a token of your love’ and it's mine to do what I want with.
Course, the problem with cacti is they͛re bloody prickly, and the problem with heart-break is it tends to make you a bit irrational. So here I sit, at A and E, a million tiny holes in my fist, and one hundred slowly swelling welts around one hundred snapped off spines, waiting to be seen.