I hope you regret it. I hope when I am finally over this, and in due time that will come, I hope it eats away at you and cuts hours from your sleep. I hope that you’re out with your friends, maybe even the new girl you found, and see me dancing with a guy I just met. Maybe he’ll pull me closer, and kiss me, and I hope you remember how I tasted. I hope you see me at a bar, having the time of my life, and miss my smile.
For now though, I’m a mess.
I had to leave lecture early because as soon as your message came up, I lost it. I guess you thought I didn’t deserve anything more than a simple text saying how you were “glad you met me” but had recently been “seeing someone else”. I tried to keep it together while my professor spoke about ethics, but I couldn’t. I was learning about how it was unethical to cause harm, physical or psychological, to another human being, thinking about how your act was an unethical one.
I curled into a ball on my floor the instant I entered the solitude of my apartment. Everything hurt, and I wasn’t quite sure why. I could feel my chest begging me to force air into my lungs, to just take longer breaths. I scrambled for my inhaler, just trying to stop whatever was happening to me. You know in The Grinch when he says “help me, I’m feeling”? That’s what it was like. I hadn’t felt this type of pain before, and the newness of it scared me so much I think I had a panic attack.
I hope you see me around, laughing with friends, flirting with a guy, and living my life without you, and realize you weren’t the end for me. Hell, two days after you so gracefully gave me the news, I did exactly that; I had a party and laughed, got drunk, and had fun with my friends. I was completely fine, marveling in the feeling that was happiness because I hadn’t felt it in the past 48 hours. I cannot wait to feel like that all of the time.
I’m not quite there yet. I tortured myself with old texts, reliving how sweet you were to me, how you made me want to commit to someone. I neglected bathing for three days and only got out of bed for the basic survival reasons. I kept the blinds closed and blanketed myself in the darkness. The only source of lighting for a while was my phone illuminated with another text saying how I deserved better. I remember for a few nights I would look at the clock and force myself out of bed, realizing it was 10:45 pm and I hadn’t had dinner yet. I would eat the bagel or crackers and cheese and not taste a thing. I only felt the pain of my lungs collapsing against my rib cage and the burning in my eyes from crying all day.
I was consumed with the feeling of nothingness that you left in me.
I’m just going through the daily motions now, but I call that progress. I go to lectures, I go out to Dollar Beer nights and don’t cry myself to sleep every evening. I want you to know that it meant something to me. I’m not sure which parts, if any, were real for you.
I know I’m going to be okay. I really hope I’ll be better than that, but I’ll settle for anything other than numb. I’d like to be the bigger person and wish you all of the best, but I’m not there yet.
I hope it haunts you, the way you left things.
Feature Image via Barbara Ines.