My name is Mau. Well, that’s not my real name, that’s just short for my actual name. I guess it doesn’t really matter. I’m 28 years old, but I guess that doesn’t matter either.
What matters right now is my role in the story that I’m about to tell. We could say it’s a love story, although it’s not necessarily a love story like the ones I grew up watching when Disney was at its prime, or that one movie in which Julia Roberts was just a girl standing in front of a boy – a younger, hotter, yet ever-so-lovely Hugh Grant – asking him to love her. By the way, I totally love Notting Hill, and I also blame that movie for giving me such false expectations about love.
It is a love story, but one with a very sour beginning. Or maybe it is just a love story with a very sour ending. It depends on whether I think of this moment as the beginning of a new story, or as the ending of an old one. In any case, it is a love story. I don’t know if there will be more love in the future, but I can assure you all there was a lot of love in the days long past. I would even dare to say there was plenty of love.
I guess this could also be a mystery story since I have no idea where all that love is now. Where did it go? Did someone else take it? Or maybe, following the Law of Conservation of Matter – yes, unfortunately I do remember high school – all that love simply changed into something else?
All that love certainly took many forms throughout the 10 years that we have been together. Sometimes it took the form of a text or a quick call asking me if I had had dinner yet. Other times it took the form of a glass of that red wine I liked but could never remember the name of. Many nights, this love had become a pair of ears and hands that would listen to my fears and insecurities, and hold me to give me strength for whatever was to come afterward. Some days that love came in the shape of a nice piece of clothing which always fitted me perfectly. A few times, it also turned into airplane tickets which took us to Europe, Japan, South Africa, and most recently, Canada, where I now live.
Yes, that love took many forms and shapes throughout the years. However, this one time a few months ago, all that love came in two very distinctive ways: a question and a ring. Not just any question and not just any ring. It was an actual marriage proposal and a Cartier ring.
It is the exact same ring I wore proudly for a few months and is now safely stored in the bottom of my travel backpack. It is the ring that my boyfriend chose for me and that bears all his feelings, intentions and wishes. It is the ring that every person in a committed relationship wants to have. It is the ring that I was dying to have for so many years now. And yet, it is the ring that I’m about to give back.
This is a love story. I just don’t know if it is about to end or to begin. It doesn’t really matter; it hurts the same anyway.