It started like all the stories start. We fell in love in small spaces, in the “mmm” sound he made when we kissed, in blue eyes and freckled shoulders and resting my head on his chest when we watched tv. For me, it was salvation. It had been years since I had even felt the sting of love’s rejection or the promise of hope blooming in a desolate, snow-covered graveyard, petals peeking through the wet, cold flakes. For him, and I’m assuming here, it was like a dam breaking, all the water rushing through the tiny cracks until the weight of the surge destroyed the wall. I wouldn’t find out until much later that there were so many more walls behind that first wall, holding that water in–impenetrable, sky-high walls that couldn’t be jumped or scaled or cracked with time. I don’t blame him for building them; I blame myself for not noticing.
When I finally had to face the fact that the relationship I had with him was not the relationship he had with me, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
Maybe I haven’t actually breathed since.
It’s cliche but that’s how it felt. I moved out of the house, gathering my things and leaving behind the shit I didn’t want or need because I couldn’t bear to be in our house any longer. “Our” house. The house I’d spent countless hours sanding and painting and staining and organizing. The house I’d thought I’d raise my kids in. I’m not crazy. We did actually talk about our future, our plans, our kids. He even asked me once, “Are we going to be the kind of parents with a minivan or an SUV?” An SUV, obviously. I’m not a minivan kind of gal. He laughed, relieved. I imagine we held hands or kissed after that, but I don’t remember those details. I just remember that we were going to have an SUV. And kids. We were going to have kids.
I won’t go into details about our breakup, but it was October 13th, 2016 (but who’s counting? AMIRITE? JK, obviously it’s me).
We spent a little while without really talking. On top of not talking, I was not eating, not sleeping, not going to class, not studying. I would wake up from a fitful night of tossing and turning, cry into my coffee, and turn on the tv. I watched a lot of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is a great show, but now it kind of reminds me of being at my lowest point, so it’s hard to watch sometimes. Actually, a memory triggered this blog post. More on that in a second.
We started hanging out again in late December. I don’t think an entire 24 hours has passed without me talking to him since then, until last week. Again, I won’t get into the details of us hanging out, but suffice it to say that he was clear that he didn’t want to date and I stupidly thought he was changing his mind. He was kind to me and helped me with a LOT of stuff during that time, so don’t judge him harshly. He was up front and honest about what he wanted (or didn’t want). I just thought that I could change his mind. I know.
So last week, he decided he wanted to take a step back and not hang out as much. This was my cue to say that we shouldn’t hang out at all. He was clear, again, that he didn’t want anything to do with dating me, and this time, I decided I needed to accept that, grieve it, and get over it, or at least give him some space and hope that he realizes how much he misses me (isn’t this always in the back of our heads?).
Just yesterday, though, I got confirmation from him that he doesn’t think we are each other’s “happily ever after.” I have to admit, even after everything, that was hard to hear. I cried pretty much all day.
Then today, I woke up, determined that it would be a better day. That I’d gotten the closure I needed to move on.
And then I noticed this super rank smell in my kitchen. “Better Febreze that shit,” I thought, grabbing the Pumpkin Pit Stop Febreze I had sitting on my bookshelf and spraying it liberally in my pantry and kitchen area.
I suppose I used that Febreze a lot when we broke up in October (makes sense–pumpkin EVERYTHING), so that scent memory had me feeling like the actual breakup was just yesterday. When are we going to get that Eternal Sunshine memory erasing technology? I know it’s sad to say I’d use it, and everyone always says “you learn something from every relationship,” and I probably did learn a lot… but I’d do anything to stop this from hurting. Again.
I guess I’ll start again tomorrow.
Don’t worry, I’ll chunk that Febreze.