Chapter Twenty-Four: Closing the Chapter


     A true story

     The girl looked down at her phone. She had one message waiting for her in her inbox. "We have to talk," it said, and that was all. No other explanations. She set her phone down on the counter, wondering to herself what it could be. She had a weird feeling that it would not be something good. Her heart did a somersault in her chest. Somehow in her heart, she knew it was over.
     The next day, he came over to her house. Her parents were out of town on vacation, and she was the only one home. They sat outside on the porch swing, their legs dangling side by side. He sat as far away from her on the swing as he could, not making eye contact. "What is it?" she asked him, her heart racing.
     "I don't think I can be with you anymore," he said, and slowly turned his head to look at her. She looked into his bright eyes, seeing nothing. Not love, not compassion, not an ounce of pain. The tears came instantly, stinging her eyes. She immediately hated herself for showing her sadness.
     After a long moment of silence, she cleared her throat. "Why?" she asked, her voice breaking.
     "I don't want to be in a relationship anymore. It's not about you, because I will always love you, and care for you. But it's just different now. I don't feel the same way about you that I used to." The tears were coming down hard now.
     "How long have you been feeling this way?" she wanted to know.
     "It's been a while now, a few months maybe." A few months? She screamed in her head.
     "So, when we went on our anniversary trip a few weeks ago, you were feeling this then? You let me believe you were happy, and wanted to be with me, when all this time, you were really feeling trapped?"
     He nodded, and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't know how to tell you. I didn't want to hurt you."
     "But you're hurting me worse now, telling me months later that you don't want to be with me anymore. I don't think you know what you want."
     "I don't know what I want."
     "So then, can't we just take a break, and let you figure this out and then maybe come back and try again?"
     "We can take a break, but in the end I think we both know this is over. We can still be friends, and hang out and stuff."
     "I don't think I could do that. I can't sit here and not be with you, not kiss you or hug you. It's never going to be the same." She was crying so hard then, her whole body was shaking and she couldn't stop the tears from coming. Her heart felt like it had been ripped out of her chest. He put his arm around her, pulling her closer.
     "I'm sorry, I really am." he said, and then kissed her on her head and left. She sat there for hours, crying and rocking in the swing. She felt like someone had just ripped her apart from the inside out and stomped on her organs. Her future had just been taken from her, everything she could see herself doing and being was now ruined. The person she had been faithful and loyal to; the person who had been her first love, first everything, had just told her he had fallen out of love with her.
     She spent weeks crying after that, and everyone kept asking her if she was okay. She wasn't, obviously, she was devastated. She thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with this person. Now she was single, alone, and had to start her new life without her best friend. She spent all her time working, crying, not eating, not sleeping, just crying and crying for months. All her friends and family kept saying, "You two are perfect for each other. He loves you, and he will figure that out. He will come back to you, just give him time." And she believed them, because she felt that to be true. But that didn't happen. They hung out all the time still, and it was eating her alive. Every time she spent time with him, all she wanted to do was hug him, hold his hand, kiss him, but she couldn't. She stayed glued to her seat with her arms by her side, not making eye contact for fear of bursting out in tears. He seemed perfectly fine, and it made her angry.
     After four months of a long, torturous "break", she had finally had enough. She had been crying every day for those four months, going through the motions and not enjoying life at all. It felt like everything had no point anymore; life as she knew it was over. She was giving up. She changed her status on Facebook to "single" and took down all the pictures of them she had hanging in her room, put away everything that reminded her of him. She told him she couldn't wait around for him to choose her anymore. She wanted someone who would fight for her, to be with her, who wouldn't make her sit around waiting for the inevitable. And it was a long, hard road, but finally, she made peace with it. Life didn't seem so hopeless and tiresome anymore. She found things to distract her from being alone; like art, writing, and hanging out with friends as much as possible. She still hung out with him, but it wasn't ever the same. Even though he had promised her they would still be best friends, he checked in with her less and less. He asked her to hang out less and less, and when they did hang out, it was awkward and felt forced. Finally, she moved on, and closed the three and a half year chapter that was her relationship.
     A few months later, she met someone who made her heart beat wildly every time she heard his voice. She instantly fell in love with him, and she forgot about her ex. She thanked God every day for showing her that the other guy wasn't for her, that she was destined to meet this new man and fall in love, that he would treat her better than anyone ever had. She knew that the heartbreak she had gone through the year before was a blessing in disguise, and that she would spend the rest of her life with this man. If she hadn't gone through that pain, she never would have met him. And she was so thankful to be given this miracle. She was happy, for the first time in a very long time.


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