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  • Part IV : The Black Hole and Finally ... True Love

    In October of 2010 I left Chile and returned to England to live with my fiancé and his family. But while I was gone I went through some shit that forced me to wake up and smell the rotten eggs. I realized that the life I had tried to set up in England was not the life I wanted and I felt a huge black hole grow rapidly inside me. It consumed me. And due to the conditions of the marriage visa we would have to get married before March, which felt like my death coming for me.

    There was one reason I was happy to be back in England: my best friend. We met for hot chocolate and went to the Natural History museum and I really looked forward to our time together more than anything else. She became a huge support for me as I poured my heart out to her about my crumbling relationship and everything I was feeling.

    Things got really bad. I tried taking art classes to feel productive (I wasn’t legally allowed to work yet) and I decided to do something good for my future and took a course in teaching English to adults, paid for my by fiancé. But my relationship was dying. Actually, it had died a long time ago and I was just trying to fulfill the obligation I had towards my fiancé, who had taken me into his parents’ home and paid for everything since 2008, when I spent all my personal money on our trip to India and closed my bank account (a very stupid thing I would never recommend anyone to do).

    In fact, I’ll be straight up here, I was with him because I didn’t have money or anywhere to go and I felt like I owed him. He never let me forget it either.
    I spent three months crying, begging him to agree to relationship counseling, and staying up fighting until 4 am almost every night, meanwhile taking an intensive teaching course. And the whole time Gauri was there, listening to me and comforting me, for hours in the day and even at 2 am when I had shut myself in the bathroom with my phone just to get a little space from him.

    “Get out of there. I can’t tell you what to do. But if you want to leave then leave, you have options. You can stay with me. Don’t even feel bad about it, I would be so happy to have you.”

    So finally I did. I packed up and left to stay with my best friend, my savior, in her amazingly warm and cozy room in a shared house in East London. We spent Christmas with our friend Kisori, who made delicious spaghetti and was very kind and hospitable. I had only spent a small amount of time with Kisori before this, being introduced to her by Gauri in early 2009, and she had invited me to her house a few times to discuss art and literature. Both of us are artists and both of us were writing stories at the time. Mine was about vampires and witches and were-wolves and hers was about mermaids. It was awesome to say the least.

    That night when I was having dinner with my friends my ex called me and gave me hell, demanding that I pay him back for the course and calling me all sorts of names. I agreed to pay him back eventually, even though I had about 40 pounds to my name at the time and no job, and I told him off for being a jerk. I spent the entire night vomiting and with heavy diarrhea. I’ll tell you one thing: it wasn’t the spaghetti. Kisori and her husband took good care of me and made me white rice to eat and flat coca cola to drink (to calm the stomach, it works wonders!).

    After that, my time living with Gauri was perhaps the most fun and enlightening of my life. She was studying anthropology and English literature and had her exams while I was there, so I helped her as much as I could and learned a lot in the process. It was during this time that I learned about becoming aware and embracing my menstrual cycle, which was really important to developing self-love, especially after the break-up.
    We cooked together and made the most delicious Korma and Tikka Masala with rice I have ever had. We laughed to the point I was certain I was getting a six-pack. And I made up for all the nights of sleep I had lost in the past few months. There were movies and music and videos, and there was dancing and eating followed by more eating mingled in with the laughter. Considering I had no money and I was desperately trying to get my life together with lots of difficulty, she took excellent care of me and I had a wonderful time.

    By this time we were practically sisters. My time with her brought me so much happiness and wonderful memories that all the suffering and despair I had to go through to get to this point was worth it. That’s when I finally understood what love truly is. It was everything I didn’t have with my fiancé and everything my best friend had given me. It was acceptance without judgment, giving without expecting to receive, and purely unconditional. She gave me happiness in the midst of my greatest struggle.

    But there was one more test to go for our friendship. And it happened in Mexico.
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