It's a weird thing to think about; whether the person with whom you've been intimately close, journeyed and shared dreams with, is actually prejudiced against people of your race and ethnicity.
I had to google to get a proper definition of the word "racist". The term sounds harsh and jarring, it's hard to fit someone you have loved into that category. But 'prejudiced towards people based on their ethnicity or skin colour' weirdly sounds less intense. You can kind of forgive someone with a "tendency" to be prejudiced towards people right? But how do you feel about someone who is "racist"? That's a whole other thing.
I remember when my ex told me his grandma was racist. I gave a kind of nervous laugh and he said, 'don't worry you're never going to meet her.'
And I didn't. I didn't meet anyone really. Every time we were together it was far away from his world. Closer to my multi-cultural London and away from his small town in the south of England, where his grandma lived.
When his best friend got married he toyed with having me as his plus one but in the end he came to see me after the wedding instead. He said he would be too busy with best man duties to spend any time with me so would be easier if he went alone. I accepted this, it was early on in our relationship and he was very attentive when he was present so I turned off my inner warning voice.
He made jokes about black people, Jewish people and other racial groups. Jokes he presumably found on Lad Bible, jokes I responded to with a stony silence. He backtracked, trying to explain himself but I didn't want to hear him or what was really going on with us.
I asked him why he never posted pictures of us on his social media even though he was forever taking pictures of me on his phone. He posted pictures of our travels, our food and of himself. He said he hadn't yet found a good one of us both. I made sure we took one on holiday in Italy, on his phone. He never posted it.
Ultimately I broke it off because he said he could never see it working out with us in the long term and couldn't or wouldn't answer my questions as to why, when we were already doing the whole "being together" thing.
He tried to come back a few times saying he missed me. I stayed strong for about a month. Just as I was starting to come round to the idea of being with him again, I saw a picture he had posted on Instagram. It was a picture of him with his new girlfriend... and she was white.
I don't know for sure. Maybe he wasn't racist...maybe he just preferred the way she looked in sepia 🤷🏾♀️. But if the one thing he wanted was the one thing I couldn't change, then he was right, there really was no future for the two of us.