I used to get sick to my stomach whenever I heard her name or saw the back of someone’s head with curly black hair that the sun made brown.
When I was younger, I had longed for a relationship. Me and another person, totally immersed in one another. I never thought about the wheel of fortune and the downfall of love. The loss of the honeymoon phase is bitter and sudden like the winter air on my face after leaving my mom’s house.
I knew it was over before she said it. Before she was intimate with another girl on our bed. Before she had the cops send me to the psych ward, a $3,500 bill just for the ambulance ride. Before she drove away in her compact car barely even filled with her things. She left a lot of her stuff with me. Cleaning out her apartment left me with a box of her things I’d swear I’d send over. It’s probably now in the dump.
The way she said goodbye to our dog had more love and genuine emotion than the half-assed goodbye she gave me. “Maybe we’ll see each other again. Who knows?”
I doubt we ever will. For a while, I hoped for it, longed for it. To see her smile at me again, or whisper my name. For a hug, for a kiss. For anything.
Our last months were held together with car rides to and from work and school. Littered with arguments about anything and everything. Times where we both felt like nothing.
I am not nothing.
It doesn’t matter what I’ve been through, who has hurt me, or why they did it. I am not my pain or my trauma or my fear. I am myself.
No one can change my emotions unless I let them. I am not 21 and broken. I am 24 and liberated.
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