The Breaker-Upper Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. I repeat this mantra over again, until my breathing begins to feel more natural and not so forced. It’s been two weeks, two weeks since we broke up, since my life fell apart at the seams. Two weeks ago everything was bright and sunny and we were in love. My breath hitches as I fondly remember all of those happy moments we shared; I feel like a sappy romance movie gone bad. I cling to these memories as if they’re my lifeline and as pathetic as it sounds, they really were the only things that kept me going. We used to hold hands and walk down the sidewalk, smiling at each other as people smiled at us. We were that couple, the pair that was so in love that we would spontaneously spread happiness to anyone within a mile. I always giggle when I remember how it started, how we went from being friends to seeing each other in a new and foreign way. We were only in eighth grade when we ‘fell in love’ and looking back it seems like I was so young, but those feelings were as real as anything I’ve ever felt, so I know it was true. After surviving the first of many awkward dates at the movies, with his mom chauffeuring us, I knew we’d be able to withstand anything. If he could deal with my shyness seizing my ability to talk or to breathe, then together we’d be able to handle anything, and we did. We survived our first year of high school together, even though we went to different schools. We survived our first fight, our first almost-breakup, and our first makeup. We survived a month apart during summer vacations. We conquered anything that came our way, whether it was trust issues, jealousy, or setting boundaries; together we were able to work through it all. Together, we spent three years surviving trials and falling more in love, but there was one thing we couldn’t seem to make it through. It was something neither of us suspected, something that I still regret. We couldn’t survive her. Nicole.
She was one of the most popular girls in school, so when she ‘chose’ me to be her friend there was no way I could say no. I had a boyfriend and a cool best friend all at the same time and I felt like I had it all. She was by my side when we had our first fight and dried my tears, she was there when he and I first kissed and shared in my excitement. She was there when I first told him I loved him and he said he loved me too. Through the good and bad, she was the best friend always by side. But she had another side lurking just underneath her sweet façade. One day she convinced me that he and I weren’t really meant for each other and that it was time we broke up. She told me I was too pretty to be tied down and that he really wasn’t as great as he seemed. I’m not really sure how she convinced me or why I even listened to her, but looking back I think she was just unhappy with herself and well, misery loves company. She scripted out my break up and insisted on being there when I called him, completely invading a private moment. I dialed the phone, put it on speaker, and listened to his tears as I told him we should break up. She watched, smiled, and gave me a thumbs-up as I broke his heart, simultaneously breaking my own. Two weeks had passed and every emotion my heart felt was as raw as if it had just happened. Two weeks had passed and she stopped being my friend, claiming she was too busy or already had plans; she had moved on to ruin another innocent’s life. Two weeks had passed and my world had fallen down around me. I did the only thing I knew how to, breathe. Six years have passed and every day starts the same: inhale, exhale, inhale.
Published on Mar 14, 2014