He Calls me

As he has every day for the past 2 and a half years…

I delayed my trip to Bali because he wanted to ‘spend time’ with me

When he returned from Prague.

My body knew something had changed

When he dropped me off at the station and couldn’t wait to leave..

A coldness so unfamiliar.

I’ve been here for a week..

But nothing feels right.

And today, long distance, he tells me it’s over.

Just like that.

He reels off how much he’s learned…

How grateful he is for our time together.


In that frozen moment…

Want’s me to do the same?

I’m paralysed in disbelief…

He’s asking me to sing his praises!

I tell him to return my things and hang up the phone.


An intense sensation rises through my chest… I sit bolt upright… feel on the ground… connecting.

I think my heart is breaking…


As I write… the tears well in my eyes..

The obligatory copy of Eat, Pray, Love lies open, face down to my right..

Through my tears I have to laugh at the cliche… the absurdity of this moment…

I am doing my best not to break into wild sobs,

Not to dive into that beckoning ocean of self pity…

Now, with adamant resolve,

I claim my tears…

Determined to feel without a story.

Right now, he is not worthy of their shedding.

8.00 am

It’s early morning in Ubud…

With the cocks crow,

I feel the abrupt transition

From the spaciousness and peace of twilight to the harsh glare of day.

An unwelcome prelude to the bustle of locals and tourists going about their business…

A small, mottled cat arrives beside me and rubs against my leg…

As if she senses at once,

My aversion to human company and my need for affection.


I meet her on the corner, this new mirror of mine.

Recovering from Bali Belly…and still reeling in confusion

I am fragile…

We walk anyway, along the path of artists…

We discuss the devastation of this so called ‘progress’

Wondering about our place in it all..

A brief distraction.

Seated now at the cafe, we back and forth, as women do…

my anger at him, at myself, transforms into a heart warm and open.

In this moment, floating high above myself

I touch a deep trust for life…


Crashing with a thud…

I meet with the girls on the creativity course… they ask me how I am feeling.

I hesitate with my response… honesty prevails..

We don’t know each other well… And, there is no space for drama, in me or in them…

Not superficial, but light…

The necessary harmony of mothers.

I am breaking inside..


Gratitude for my foresight in booking a session.. Paid in advance..

A moment of urgency… as I realise the wi-fi is down …

I rush to another villa and finally establish a connection…

I give her the lowdown… She is angry at his cowardly behaviour.

Reflecting the collective pain of women.

I tell her I don’t want to go there.

Looks like I’ve discovered self regulation from the inside out…

She commends my ‘stability’ in the face of it all.

In truth, i am numb, frozen in time …

Not sure if it was worth $80.


The sky is grey with volcanic ash.

Male and female pigeons on a roof outside my window.

They sit together, but he is agitated… flighty.

She moves along… he follows, then moves back again.

I didn’t see what happened after that… but the birds are gone

Keeping it real…


I send him a message.

I tell ‘Darling’ that I am ok with his decision because in truth.. I was going that way too..

I don’t like the way he did it, but I still hold him in my heart.

I try to convince myself I’m ‘big enough’ to let this go…

But I feel trapped, powerless and desperate to reconnect..

I try to send it but the wi-fi is still down..

A sense of urgency floods me.. .


He replies.

He ‘appreciates’ my heartfelt message..

Just takes it and offers nothing.

Our whole journey together tied up in a neat little package and tossed aside…

No opportunity offered for openness or closure…

I drop to the floor and cry.

Then anger… at myself… rises like a storm.

Have I just ‘let him off the hook’? Allowed him the easy way out?

He has nothing for me… only for himself…

And I … have .. just … given .. him … my … blessing.


I can’t eat… I’m feverish and weak…

I call Gusti, my driver to bring me some water.

I burst into tears when I see him.

He responds with genuine concern and surprise.

He calls me mum. “Mum, don’t cry”…

He can’t stay… his wife and child are with him

He will come back later…


I am almost asleep when Gusti arrives…

Now it is he who is crying.

He just had a fight with his wife…

He is half-caste, with no family here.

She told him to go back to Java…


I awake in a pool of sweat.

Belly churning I run to the bathroom…

Anxiety rises like a demon

I won’t indulge it.

I read 2 more chapters of Eat, Pray, Love.

Seeking solace in her humanity…

and… her survival.

I roll over and turn out the light.


Rebecca Kingsbury            Website


Leave a Comment:

anna says June 11, 2016


thanks for honesty

u r really beautiful

Maggie Cunningham says June 11, 2016

My instinct is to comfort you and berate him but instead I will comment on your writing. It was powerful. You engaged me from the start. I felt your pain, anger and shock. The “Bali belly” seems like a physical manifestation of your emotional heartache. The association with the novel ‘Eat, Pray, Love provides a strong dramatic irony for your loss. Keep on writing, Rebecca, you are very good. I have no idea whether or not you have done any writing before this but I suspect that you have; as it flows so well.
On a personal note, I am genuinely sorry that you have had your heart broken, Rebecca, but in my experience we learn something about ourselves from every relationship we have had; whether it is good or bad. I hope that you recovered quickly from the ”Bali belly” and that in time you be able to focus on the positives aspects of the relationship and move forward with your usual strength, determination and amazing panache.

    Rebecca Kingsbury says June 22, 2016

    Thank you so much Maggie… I haven’t really written much before… but I always felt I would one day… it’s a shame such pain turned out to be the catalyst… but yes… that’s life. I recovered from the Bali Belly… unfortunately I can’t say the same for the heartbreak yet. 4 months down the track he dropped another bomb which wounded me to the core. … guess there’s another piece of writing for the next submission… I’m glad I decided it was time to air this… your kind words, compassion and encouragement are deeply soothing <3 Much love to you.

Michael says June 11, 2016

With deep respect I read your heartfelt words and hear you. Big love to you my very special friend. Xxxx Michael.

Claire says June 13, 2016

Thank you. Loved this. Such a great writer! You’ve inspired me to share more of my own story, for healing’s sake xo

    Rebecca Kingsbury says June 22, 2016

    Thanks Claire… I’d like to read your story if you feel to share with me x

Cathy says June 14, 2016

Rebecca, That waa Powerful, touched me deeply

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