“I can’t fucking believe this…all this time together…I…” He pauses, taking a ragged, painful-sounding breath. Then, his eyes meet mine, holding me with such a power I can’t even begin to explain. “Jesus…Andressa, is this really happening? Are you really…leaving me?”
“Yes. I am.”
The look on his face…I never want to see that look on anyone’s face ever again. I think I’m actually witnessing heartbreak in this moment, and I hate myself for it. Abhorrently hate myself.
He drops my arm like I’ve just scolded him.
“I’m sorry…” My voice breaks, tears running over my lips into my mouth. My eyes lower with shame and the pain of my own heart breaking. I turn and start walking away again.
“Andressa! You can’t just leave like this! You can’t leave me!” The panic in his voice is palpable.
It slices over my skin like the razor blades of pain I deserve, burrowing deep inside, splintering into my bones, crucifying me.
I keep my lips pressed together. If I part them, I’m afraid I’ll weaken and turn back to him and take it all back. So, I continue walking away from the only man I’ve ever loved.
“You’re leaving because you’re afraid, but I’m not your dad, Andressa! Do you hear me? I’m not him. I’m not gonna die on those fucking tracks!”
Stopping at the mention of my father, I turn back to Carrick. “You don’t know that!” I cry out. “I believed with all my heart that my dad wouldn’t die out there! I was so fucking sure of it! I thought because he was the greatest driver in the world that it somehow made him invincible! Immune to death. That he would never die. And I was fucking wrong!” I scream, my chest heaving with emotion. “One wrong move in that car, that’s all it takes, and then you’re gone—forever.” My voice is cold, hard, detached. I don’t even recognize myself right now. “I fell victim to my certainty once, and it tore me apart. I won’t do it again.”
I think it’s in this moment that he truly realizes that this is actually happening.
His hard mask slips into place, armoring himself against me. “You go, and we’re done for good. You walk out that door. I won’t chase you.” His voice is rough with emotion but serious, deadly serious.
A tremor of fear runs through me, seeping into my consciousness. A tiny part of the real me is screaming that I’m making the biggest mistake of my life.
No. I have to do this. It’s the right thing for the both of us.
I take a deep breath. Wrapping my arms around myself, I fix my eyes on his. “That’s the point…I don’t want you to chase me.”
I turn away but not before seeing the debilitating pain filling his eyes. It shreds me with each step I take away from him.
“Andressa…just fucking wait…please! I-I…love you!”
I freeze. My breath leaving me in a painful rush, like I’ve just been punched in the chest, as his words ricochet through me. My body jolting, knees buckling, I have to fight to take in air to stay on my feet.
I hear him move toward me, his low voice nearing. “Please. I love you. That has to count for something. Just…don’t go.”
“I love you, too,” I whisper the words so quiet that he won’t hear. But I needed to say it to him just once.
I breathe through the agony, and tears start to spill down my cheeks again. I pull in a strengthening breath. Then, I start walking, and I don’t stop until I’m out the door and out of his life.
REGRET…it slows down time in the worst possible way. Like a silent killer, it slides its hand around your throat and chokes the life out of you.
Even though I know leaving Carrick was the right thing to do, it hasn’t stopped the regret from creeping in.
When I ran, I was in a haze, trapped in a fog of panic and fear.
But once the fog lifted, it hit me with the force of a freight train. It was like the settling after the storm, coming out to see the wreckage.
I’d left him. I’d actually left him. There was no going back.
I would never again be able to talk to him, see him, be close to him…touch him ever again.
I lost it for a few days there. I couldn’t pull myself out of bed. I couldn’t stop crying. I was a mess.
I still am in a lot of ways.
I know it sounds crazy…that I sound crazy. At times, I think I might actually be readying to board the batshit crazy train. But that night in Singapore, the build up to it, I was so afraid, so consumed by everything I was feeling that I couldn’t see past it.
And now I’m seeing past it, and I miss him with a physical ache. It’s not abating. If anything, it’s getting stronger.
Not much has changed about the way I felt about Carrick racing. I still worry every time he climbs into the car. I still watch on the television from the confines of my home, worrying for him the whole time. The only difference here is, I feel a sense of detachment from it. Not physically being there lessens the crazy in me I guess.
When I left him that night in Singapore, from the track, I went straight to the hotel. I quickly packed my stuff and got a cab to the airport. I had to fly to Istanbul on a connecting flight to Brazil, taking the better part of a day.
Uncle John and Petra had called me while I was on the plane. I’d had voice mails and texts from both of them. While I was in Istanbul, waiting on my flight to Brazil, I texted them both, telling them I was fine and that I would call when I could. I also texted my mum to tell her I was coming home. I just couldn’t deal with talking to anyone at that point.