The week before the eastern holidays I drove to London in our car. I was quite cheerful as I knew we were going to solve our problems, we always had done so far. I had a few options in mind from which I thought they could work. I could try to switch colleges and find one in London to continue my study. Or I could try to find a place to stay in Cambridge so we could see each other more often in the weekends. I was even prepared to come and work in the Fish and Chip shop, if Barbara's mother would let me. Enough possibilities I thought.
After I picked up Barbara up from college that Monday afternoon we went to her room and started talking. Barbara told me that she noticed that I was much happier without her. Now I got my freedom, I enjoyed myself so much with my friends and with the sporting activities that she felt that I didn't need her anymore. Barbara got the feeling that she was keeping me from the life I really wanted to live. She was just waiting for the moment that I was going tell her that I wanted to break up. She couldn't stand waiting for that. Because of this feeling she had stopped believing in our relation. It had nothing to do that she didn' love me but it was because she didn't believe in us anymore. This faith in us and having a future together had kept her going till now. It had given her the energy to fight for our relation, to resist the pressure from her family, to live her lonely life in London, to do the tiresome travelling every week. Now the faith had gone she couldn't bring up the energy anymore. She was tired.Tired of the travelling, tired of the arguments with her mother, tired of worrying about our relation; she wanted peace in her mind. She needed time to think things over, she wanted be left alone.
Wow, I hadn't seen this coming. I was still thinking that if we be together more often it would become okay again. But no matter what suggestion I made to change my life, Barbara turned it down. She used the same argument every time. She said that I would be just offering myself up for her, while I really wanted my other life. She couldn't live with that thought. She said that it would make me very unhappy. Missing all the things I enyoyed. She couldn't stand that, seeing me unhappy while she knew I rather be doing my sports and seeing my friends. Also her family would never accept me, they only make our life impossible.
I wanted both, Barbara and the 'new' life I was leading. I wanted that Barbara became part of that the life. But that seemed no option for Barbara. Barbara gave me no chance to choose; Barbara had already chosen for me. She didn't say it but it was obvious where this was going to. Therefore I asked her: "do you think we should split up?" "Yes we should": she said. She said she had enough of living the way she did now, she wanted some peace in her head, and she wanted time to sort things out for herself.
After this was said,we didn't say much anymore. I couldn't think of anymore arguments to save our relation. This had taken me completely by surprise, I wasn't prepared for this. I also had great problems with the way that Barbara showed no emotions during this conversation. No crying, no rising of voices, not trying to convince me. Just an ordering of thoughts. She stated her thoughts as they were facts. There was nothing more that could be done about it. Obviously Barbara had been thinking about this a lot. Her arguments where clear and well prepared. It seemed as all her emotions had flown away.
I felt restless and uneasy. I suggested going out that evening, just to clear our minds. But Barbara didn't want to. She said: "why dont you go on your own" and I did. I went to the local cinema and saw the movie; The electric horseman with Robert Redford. There were about ten other people in the cinema. The movie wasn't interesting enough to keep my mind of things. When I came back Barbara was sitting in the same place as when I had left her, it seemed that she had not moved. But her attitude towards me hadn't changed either. She had not changed her mind and she was still convinced that breaking up was the best thing to do, for both of us.
The following morning things hadn't changed. It was a strange situation. Barbara had decided to break up, showed hardly any emotions but she didn't ask me to leave either. I felt very awkward and guilty. Awkward because I never experienced Barbara like this and guilty because the cheerful and very expressive Barbara had turned into this empty shell. I felt responsible for this. After I accompanied Barbara to her college that morning, I decided that I couldn't stand this the anymore. I didn't want to stay for the rest of the week. It makes things only worse and it would also put too much pressure on Barbara. Therefore that morning I bought a ticket for the night boat to Holland for the coming evening. I went to the college to see Barbara again. I still remember the conversation we had then.
B: Where have you been all this time? I have been worried about you!
R: I bought a ticket for the night boat tonight, I am going back to my parents
B: (surprised) So soon! What about this evening?
R: (confused) There is no point, we just be in each other's way.
B: Well, if that is what you want.
R: yes, that is what I want.
We went back to Barbara's room to collect my stuff. There was this bizarre situation that we suddenly had to divide the things we shared. Even this went very sensible and without emotions. Barbara kept the car as I still had my motorbike. Barbara also kept the shared saving account as she always was the most determined to put her spare money into it. We didn't really know what to do with the engagement rings; finally we decided that we each keep our own ring.
Barbara went with me to Liverpool street train station from which the train to Harwich left. On our way there by underground, we didn't say much. We were both far away in our own thoughts. It didn't seem that we were going to say goodbye, as we were still holding each others hands and we were still gentle and kind to each other. Barbara did ask me not to try to contact her; she wanted to be left alone and needed the peace in her head. I could understand that, I told her that I respected her choice and promised that I would leave her alone and that she always could contact me if she wanted, she just smiled.
At the platform we gave each other a final goodbye kiss. At this moment Barbara finally lost control of her emotions. She started crying and kept on crying. She pushed me away told me to get in the carriage quickly. And there I sat, very confused, guilty and not really realizing what had happened the last two days. While the carriage drove away, I saw Barbara standing at the platform covering her face with her hands to hide her tears.
周一下午我从学校接回Barbara, 我们回到她的房间开始了谈话。Barbara说她注意到没有她的存在我更加快乐。现在我拥有了自由。我享受和朋友们一起的时光，各种体育活动，她觉得我不再需要她了。Barbara觉得自己妨碍了我过我真正想要的生活。她只是在等着我和她分手那一刻的到来。这是她不能够承受的。这种感觉令她不再信任我们的之间的感情。并不是她不再爱我，而是她对我们的感情失去信心了。这种信心曾经给她爱的动力。给她力量为了我们的感情抗争，抵挡来自家人的压力，给她勇气在伦敦独自生活，每周疲惫地在路上奔波。 现在这种对爱的信仰消失了，她再也提不起劲来了。她累了。她厌倦来回奔波，厌倦和妈妈争吵，厌倦担心我们的关系。她想找回内心的平静。她需要时间考虑事情，她希望能够一个人待着。
我感到焦虑不安。我建议晚上出去走走，冷静一下大脑。Barbara不想去，她建议我自己出去走走。我走出来，去了附近的电影院，看了场Robert Redford出演的"电骑手"。电影院里坐着大概10来个人。电影乏味，无法令我停止思考。我回到房间的时候Barbara还坐在原来的地方，好像从我离开就没有动过。但她对我的态度没有变化。 她没有改变主意，坚持认为分手对于我们两个人都是最好的选择。
第二天早晨一切都没有改变。有点奇怪, Barbara已经决定分手，没有表露任何情感，但她也没有让我离开。我感到非常不自在，同时又感到内疚。 不自在是因为我从来没有见过Barbara这个样子。内疚的是那个快乐的善于表达的Barbara变成了像个空壳似的人。 我觉得是我把她变成这样子的。在那天早晨我送Barbara去上课之后，我觉得自己承受不了这一切了。我不想再待多一个星期，这只会令事情更糟，也会给Barbara太大压力。因此我去买了当晚的夜船回荷兰。 我再次到Barbara的学校去找她。我至今仍记得我们的对话。
Barbara送我到Liverpool Street火车站，从那里我乘火车回Harwich. 路上我们几乎没有说话。我们都已接受现实想着心事。看起来我们不象是要说再见的样子，我们仍然手拉着手，对彼此的态度也温和友好。Barbara告诉我不要再去找她，她希望一个人待着，需要内心的平静。 我能够理解。我说我尊重她的选择，并保证不会去打扰她，但是她随时可以联络我。她只是微笑。
在站台上我们相互亲吻告别。那一刻Barbara终于不能控制自己的感情。 她开始哭泣，不能停地哭泣。她推开我让我快点上车。我坐在车上， 感到困惑，内疚，搞不清过去的两天到底发生了什么。车慢慢开出的时候，我看到Barbara还站在站台上，掩面而泣。
(thanks to Natalie for the translation)
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