It's gonna be so tough to break her heart.

April 27th, 2013, 12am

It was 5°C with few clouds. The breeze was light.

Copenhagen, midnight, the stoop across the street. Two months abroad, two days in town, two dozen Skype calls, and at least one sleepless night later, here I am, back with her again - or about to be - and I know it’s over. In my mind it’s been over for weeks and the problem is, that this tall slender talented beautiful sexy and sad Danish girl whose breasts I’ve called home for the past six months but whose presence I’ve not acknowledged to anyone save my two friends in Toronto isn’t the woman I want. She’s lovely, in almost every way, but the one thing I need (I’ll admit it, I need something), she can’t give me; exuberant affection.

For years I’ve been struggling with this back-and-forth between whether one should keep the best parts of oneself close to the chest, or if one should expound everything right away so that all that’s said is new and true and from the deepest part of the soul. Lately, I’ve been leaning toward the latter, and unfortunately for tall and slender and talented and beautiful and sexy Danish girl (and me) she’s firmly in the corner of the former.

This isn’t to say she doesn’t share her feelings - of which she has many - she does! But she doesn’t share the positive emotions and the negative troubles equally. Where I rejoice the sunset, she remains tall and stoic and silent. And when the contrast in our reaction seems strange to me, and I prod her to tell me what’s the matter, she finds a feeling to share that ultimately, is a melancholy one.

On paper, we’re good together. She’s in the arts, I’m in the arts. She’s tall, I’m tall. She’s the right age, I’m the right age. She’s smart, I’m not beyond hope. But in reality, it’s a trial to be with her and talk about her sadness. And being removed for so long and having met people so full of life and ideas and exuberance in that time away (old WWII veterans included) it’s become clear to me that the girl who’s fallen in love with me for the past six months is not the girl I’ve fallen in love with for the past six months.

No, I’ve fallen in love with someone else. Perhaps this other girl is also Danish, and perhaps she’s also tall and slender and in the arts and perhaps she’s not. But this other girl slides her hand down my torso in the morning and kisses my shoulder and tells me a joke. This other girl stands with confidence and says to me, ‘I love you’ without reserve. This other girl knows her center and doesn’t worry about if she knows what she wants in life. This other girl likes dogs.

And who am I to say that the Danish girl with the tallness and the slenderness and the sexiness and the smartness might not do all these things someday? Maybe she’ll beat her sadness and just be all those wonderful qualities without reserve or fear. I hope she does. But I’m not confident she will - and this tells me something - I’m not the right boy for her. So, it’s over, and I know this as I sit on the stoop of the jewelry gallery across the street.

I fly home to Berlin in two days. In those two days I’ll make sure I’m making the right decision. I’ll ensure that I haven’t missed some golden nugget, some universal key, some ultimately redeeming quality I’ve somehow missed before. I’ll look at the ceiling in her apartment and think about what it’ll be like to stop trying to make her feel better. I’ll wonder how long my picture will stay up on her wall. I’ll ask her careful questions about her concert schedule and her plans for the summer and how her family is doing and if she still doesn’t like chocolate ice cream.

Chances are she’ll tell me the same answers I’ve heard before and I’ll start to feel confident that yes, I can end it between us. But chances are also that I’ll see something new - nothing revelatory, but something hopeful that will stop me from starting a sentence that ends with, ‘and that’s how I feel’.

So during the trip I’ll have started to break her heart a little bit, because she’ll know that something’s wrong. When I eventually write her or talk to her or see her weeks later, we’ll have separated just enough so that the break isn’t operatic, just silently crushing.

She opens the window from her apartment and waves. I smile and wave back. I flash her my chest. She laughs and shakes her head. She points toward the door two stories below and mouths, ‘I’ll open it…come up.’ I smile and mouth, ‘Alright’.

Sanna, Jannie, elle, Craig and 9 others said thanks.

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Jonathan Henning

Image creator, dialogue writer, story-maker, binge-watcher, idea lover, history explorer, hippie eater, art purchaser, island inhabiter.

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