The Saga

There exists many universal truths which carry far beyond doubt. Pain helps you grow. Nothing lasts forever. And don’t live with your ex. Despite it being a known truth, a few months ago I did move in with my ex. The pandemic was starting, we were working things out, and it helped us both out of bad situations. What I didn’t realise – what I refused to realise-  at the time was that I was trading one bad situation for another.

It is true that I love South Africa. He is a kind hearted, gentle man that has many good qualities and who put up with my bad qualities for a long time. As the universal truth went, nothing lasts forever, and during this quarantine period things are getting tested.

We’ve been split up nearly 3 months now. It’s a decent amount of time, and while there have definitely been moments of ‘will they won’t they’ about getting back together, it’s skewed heavily on the ‘won’t they’ end of the scale for a long time, and is now firmly locked in place. A mix of living with the ex and an isolating pandemic has meant that the usual activities of rebounds and spoons hasn’t seen either of us really get the chance to move on from one another, and living together really exemplifies that.

have hooked up with someone – a friend – and that’s been the most recent issue.

Despite the pandemic and isolation orders, South Africa has a habit of disappearing for a few days at a time and not replying to my texts. Ghosting me until he decides it’s time to come home. Last week was one of these times. On the Tuesday he disappeared and I didn’t hear from him until Friday, when he came home, walked into the kitchen, and told me that I’d given him Chlamydia.

I was a bit taken back. I’d had an STI screen just a few weeks before and my results were all negative, but damn. I felt bad. I apologise and said I’d get tested straight away. He looked me in the eyes and asked me who I’d had sex with. I told him a friend I knew, and he said he hadn’t had sex with anyone else and knew I’d given it him. I left immediately and went to the clinic to get tested.

A few days later and I asked South Africa if he had been taking his medication for the infection, and he said that he hadn’t picked it up yet. Fair enough, it had been the weekend- but why didn’t they give it to him when he tested positive? Tuesday came around and he still hadn’t gone to get it. If it was me, and I had been told I had Chlamydia, I would’ve asked for the medication on the spot.

Wednesday comes around and he’s feeling in a mood and tries to make a move, but I tell him that we’d have to wait until he’d taken his medication – something that I thought was obvious. He gets really awkward, and I press him. I ask him why he hasn’t taken his medication. By now my alarm bells are going off well and truly. Something isn’t right about what he said. So I ask him outright whether or not he really has Chlamydia. He said he did.  Later that day I get the text message from my clinic telling me my tests are all negative. He’s out at the time so I text him that I’m negative, and he responds by saying that I must’ve had it, given it to him, and then my body got rid of it – something that can apparently happen. Sounds like bullshit to me, but even if it were true, the math doesn’t add up.

I had a test at the end of March, and this one now. Both negative. When he gets home I call him out on this, reminding him that I had a clear test only a couple weeks ago, and now this one. I return the question he asked me – have you slept with anyone else? He says no, and goes to his room. He texts me that he never even said he had Chlamydia, but that he got tested for it and is waiting on the results. He grabs his things and heads off for a few days, not replying to my messages.

I have nothing but love for South Africa, but when he plays these immature, manipulative games I just don’t know how to react. The pandemic and this living situation has sent my anxieties into overdrive already, I spend hours, days, beating myself up and thinking I’ve made the world the worst possible place for him, that sometimes I need to take a breath. Sometimes I need to try and frame it that actually, I didn’t do anything wrong here. He broke up with me. I’m allowed to have sex. And if he tries to play manipulative games to unearth that, that’s not on me. If he lies to my face, if he fakes positive tests, and changes stories – that’s not on me.

It’s been a few solid weeks of arguments now, our anxieties clashing and the pandemic not helping. I’m sure that he’ll move out as soon as he can, and I guess my only hope is that he doesn’t hate me so much by then that he never speaks to me again.


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