By ROSIE WATERLAND
My relationship ended because of a bike.
Well, not really – it was a lot of things. But when a relationship has been dying for a while, there always seems to be one ridiculous thing that finally pushes it all over the edge. And for me, the bike was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Allow me to explain.
It was my first serious relationship, we’d been dating for three years, and things were fizzling out. He lived with his parents and couldn’t drive (hey – we were only just 20), so when I would catch the train out to woop woop to stay at his place, I was faced with a 300 km walk to his house. Okay, it was more like seven. But still, SEVEN KILOMETRES.
When we first got together and there was all the romance and sparkly heart feelings, he would do the round-trip: walk the seven kilometres to come and meet me so I wouldn’t have to walk to his place on my own. That’s true love.
But it didn’t take long for that to wear off, and eventually I found myself walking the route alone.
Until we started using the bike.
We figured out that if we put footpegs on the back of his little brother’s bike, he could ride out to meet me in half the time, then I could just stand on the footpegs and hang on for dear life the whole way home.
Two 20-year-olds cramming on to a 12-year-old boy’s bike because neither of us could drive. We were pretty awesome.
One night, after a particularly crappy day working in my particularly crappy retail job, I begged him to come and meet me with the bike. I wanted to see him, but I didn’t want it enough to walk seven kms after after being on my feet for nine hours. He promised that if I came over, he would meet me – bike at the ready. (Again – we were so so cool).
I got to the station. He wasn’t there.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
Half an hour passed – half an hour that I spent thinking about every single annoying thing he had ever done. Half an hour that I spent fuming over the time he didn’t come to that dinner, the time he was late to that thing, the time he didn’t listen when I talked about that girl, the time he planned a night out when we were meant to see my friends.
Then I started thinking about the bigger things – how he was so unmotivated, how he still lived with his parents, how he didn’t know what he wanted to do in life and WHERE IS HE AND WHY THE F#@K CAN’T HE DRIVE?
It was right at the point when my brain started thinking in capital letters that he arrived.
He didn’t stand a chance.
“Don’t even talk to me,” I said. “Let’s just go.”
I went to get on the back of the bike. NO. FREAKING. FOOTPEGS.
“Where the are the footpegs?” I asked, with a level of calm that shocked even me.
“Oh… Shit,” he replied. The fear in his voice was obvious.
We spent the next two hours on the side of the road arguing about our relationship under the guise of the bike. How could he forget the footpegs? Why was I overreacting about the footpegs? Why was he late? Why wasn’t I clear about the time? Why does he always make me feel bad about being busy? Why do I always expect him to read my mind? How could he be so disorganised? Stop trying to change the subject, THIS IS ABOUT THE BIKE.
Obviously it wasn’t about the bike.
We broke up three days later. The relationship had run its course and we didn’t quite know how to cut ties. But that bloody bike was definitely the cause of the final demise. And you know what? I don’t really mind.
Yes, it’s ridiculous that we argued for three hours on the side of the road about a 12-year-old’s bike, but we needed that extra push to get our break-up moving. We had been together way too long. Way too much stuff was bubbling under the surface and the bike was just the thing that finally gave us permission to explode.
Have you ever fought about something stupid with your partner? (Hold on, of course you have – let’s narrow the field…) Have you ever broken up with a partner over something small?
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