The decision to go on with the Officers Course was easy to make, but very hard to deal with. I'm not talking about the obvious physical and mental challenges, oh no. Knowing that for the upcoming year I'm not going to see Keren on a regular basis as I was used to was the thing that bothered me most.
Keren knew that there was no point in trying to persuade me to cancel my participation in the course, so she only asked me to "talk about our relationship in the upcoming year". "What is there to talk about? Nothing is going to change! You'll see!" I answered right away. "I'll call you every night and I'll spend my breaks with you and with you only!". I was so naive back then. So naive.
You see, in Officers Course, much like in every other IDF course, you get to use your cell phone only in the single hour before bedtime. In this single hour, though, you have to take a shower, fix your equipment, clean your M16 rifle and talk your day out with your pals. When you finally reach for your cell phone - you can barely text-message your parents that you’re OK.
It was five days into the course when I first called Keren. I was so confused by the new base, the new settings, the new friends and the new routines that I had almost forgot about her. Shame on me indeed, but surely you can understand the circumstances.
When we finally got the chance to talk, it wasn't a real conversation. I didn't have the time and the energy to tell her about everything in the mere 5 minutes that we had on the phone, and Keren was upset about that. And she had every right to be upset.
Our next phone conversation was no different, and when I got my first weekend off (a mere 36 hours of freedom once in 2 or 3 weeks) I spent most of it sleeping and eating my grandma's food. About a month after the Officers Course began, I received this text message from Keren: "Yoav, you're a wonderful guy but I need my man next to me. It can't go on like this. Sorry."
Serving in the IDF as an officer makes me proud, but it comes with a personal cost.
Dedicated to all of the military personnel out there, struggling to balance between duty and relationships.
I know she had some very good reasons to break up with me, but breaking up using a text message? That’s low...