Nine days ago, you said you’d talk to me soon if that was okay. I told you that sounded good to me. It didn’t really, but I said it did. I changed my lock screen from a picture of you to one of my dog. I called a friend across town and let her get angry for me until I figured out how to do it for myself. I asked my roommates not to let me drunk text you. I wrote a page a half on the word shattered in my notebook of letters to you, and I called it a night.
The next morning, I texted my mom saying we were over. I figured it’d be easier to break the news then than to have my voice crack when I visited home and she asked how you’re doing. I didn’t sugarcoat it. I didn’t pretend it was mutual. And she just kept telling me that she was sorry. As if she could have stopped it from happening. I’m glad I don’t know how she pictured me heartbroken.
On Day 3, two of my friends carried me off to dinner at a Mexican place. I had a steak burrito the size of your ego, and just half of it left me feeling queasy. We stopped at the liquor store on the way home, and I passed up my usual fifth of Jack for a bottle of absinthe. 138 proof.
I woke up Monday wanting you back. Those real-to-life dreams are a bitch, you know.
I went to work on Tuesday with a clear mind. I was still struggling to pinpoint how I felt, but I had two classrooms of 5-year-olds to distract me. One of them glued his fingers together. Another one spotted my ellipsis tattoo and looked at me with enormous concern before exclaiming, “Dots don’t live on people!”
The next day, I set out for the farms and ended up in a chicken coop before 10 in the morning. It was terrifying, but fear barely registered once I was inside. Instead, you were glued to the front of my mind the entire time. All I could think about was how you used to joke about our chickens at home, saying you’d gladly eat them if they ever hurt me.
I got the day off from work on Thursday because the kids were at a pumpkin patch. So, I spent half an hour roaming around Menards looking for the tools to mend what snapped between us.
At the end of the week, I finally caved and drove two and a half hours back to my parents’ house. I needed a break. It stung a little when I sat in the spot where we first met, but I’m still here so I guess it didn’t kill me. I did my best not to look my mother straight in the eye. I tried to laugh when she joked about hooking me up with the new bearded guy working in the yard (he was cutting down the tree that you used to sit under for lunch). But it’s kinda tough to laugh when you’re convinced that your insides are full of dagger blades.
Yesterday, I bought a kickass beer mug and I snapchatted my friends in Chicago. I ate an entire box of mac n cheese just to say I did, and to try to put on some of that weight I lost when I started losing you.
And now here we are. I was minding my own business – not happy, not sad, not feeling too much of anything. My phone buzzed at my hip. But it wasn’t my roommates or my friends on their vacations. It wasn’t my mom or brother or the bursar’s office. It was you. Nine days later, you decided our “talk soon” was due to happen. I went along with it, not because I was ready, but because I missed you. We exchanged texts for a couple of hours, but they barely scratched the surface of the way we used to talk. It makes sense though. I wasn’t about to admit that I’m still wrecked over you. And if there’s any chance you regret how you ended things, you didn’t bother to say so.