People have always come to me with their stories. They find me empathetic or sympathetic or maybe quiet in the "I can count on her to keep a secret" way. I'm not sure.
For the most part, I enjoy the stories. But there's a particular variety that I enjoy above the others: disastrous relationships.
To be clear, I'm not talking about abuse or stalking or real danger. But I am thinking of stories before those points. The relationships that seem lovely on the surface but, after the fact, turned out to be a hot mess of missed phone calls, inexplicable silences, public fights, drunken texts, and a whole lotta he said-she said.
In college, Lena and I reunited with our friend Natalie one afternoon for lunch. Natalie had been in a relationship for several months and, as far as we knew, things were just peachy.
"How are things going with you guys?" I asked.
She rolled her eyes. "Oh, God."
To me, that just screamed, Tell me more!
I love the denouement. The undoing. I can spy it coming now in stories. He's been a little weird lately, but I think he's just stressed. Watch out, girl. It's on the way down.
But to be fair, I also enjoy beginnings. Quite a bit, in fact. I love learning how people in the randomness of life and humanity and coincidence find one another, start talking, connect. The chance encounters, the nothingness that becomes something.
Then there's "everything is great and we're thinking about buying a dog together" in between. It's great and I'm happy for you.
It just doesn't make for as good of a story.