It was distance. We agreed that it was because of the distance. I moved to Toronto and commuting back and forth to Ottawa just didn’t make sense. We had only been dating for what, like five months? Did we even call it dating? It’s been so long I can’t remember now whether you ever referred to me as your girlfriend. Because you’d never put in the work for someone you didn’t introduce as your girlfriend, right?
It was distance. But not just physical. There was an age gap. Sure it was only two years and many people will argue that that is nothing. It was something. I felt like a teacher, like I was constantly supposed to set an example of what an adult is supposed to look like. We had the same job, same living situation, same social circle, but there was always a divide. Maybe I put too much focus on being the older woman. Mrs. Robinson in training. But the truth is, being the older woman is not as fun when you’re not in a loveless marriage.
It was distance. We wanted different things. You started your own business and it was really picking up. You were setting up deep roots within the country’s capital, and I was so proud of you. But I wanted a life in film and television. I wanted food at every hour, entertainment every night of the week, and full immersion in Hollywood North. Sure, you could have moved your business here. But you never felt that thing that was undeniable to me: that feeling of being without.
It was distance. You came from a French family and though I have an understanding of the language, I still felt like an outsider in your home. I’d walk into a room where your friends and family were speaking French and everyone would switch to English as if my presence and the switch were completely coincidental. I knew this was no coincidence. Would I ever be seen as an insider?
It was distance. We agreed that it was because of the distance. I slept with someone else. It wasn’t the distance.