It’s December. You are home for winter vacation during your senior year of college. You are nursing a broken heart – the kind of abrupt end you couldn’t have expected. It’s the betrayal of someone else, a someone else who had been there all along.
He comes over and doesn’t touch you. He’s cold when you kiss him. And it spills – he has been thinking of another girl the entire time he’s been with you. All the nights in your bed, she was somehow there too. He just hadn’t realized it.
He apologizes. Makes some excuses. You feel gutted, stripped of dignity and importance. And you still want to beg him to choose you, to love you, to not do this.
And this feeling of wanting him makes it even worse. So you tell him to get out. And without a second thought, he gets up. He walks out. And you do not see him again. Ever.
It’s December. You are thankful for a month back in your home. You are 21 years old and understand adulthood is upon you, but you sort of just want to snuggle up in your mother’s arms. You want soup and ice cream, some sort of magic cure for the pain of still loving him. The ache of wanting to call him and make it work. But he chose someone else. You are nauseated all the time. Everything tastes like deceit and you can’t stomach the image of him running off to her. He celebrates Christmas at her house. You see an Instagram photo. Unfollow.
You run to the bathroom to throw up. You pull out your phone and check the date. You’re a week late. But you used condoms and it’s fine. It’s fine. You’re just heartbroken. Your body is in mourning, unable to even produce a period. You figure, it’s fine.
And another week it’s still fine.
Three weeks later, and it’s not fine. You sit on the linoleum floor of your bathroom with a plus sign and cry until you pass out. You’re afraid your mother overhears, so you blame the break up. She pours you a glass of wine. You stare at it.
How will you do this? How will you take on the weight of a decision like this when he won’t text you back? You tell him you’re lonely. *Read by*
You run to the bathroom to throw up again. You think about the first time he looked at you, how across a room he looked at you. And you couldn’t believe it. That of all those tanned, beautiful girls strewn about the sweaty college party, he looked straight at you. You want to go back to that moment. To tell him to look elsewhere.
You hear a baby laugh on a commercial and it’s the worst. It’s the best. A baby with his blue eyes and strong jaw. You’re suddenly nauseated again.
You sit in the doctor’s office and she confirms. Congratulates. The burning in your throat starts again. Again, you run to the bathroom to throw up.
You were too nervous ask for those two CDs you let him borrow back. How could you tell him this? You don’t even know what you want. Well, you do. You want simplicity. You want to go back to when it was just you and him. When ignorance was bliss.
Until you wake up one night. You’d been having dreams of a white room. There was no roof so you could see each and every star. They seemed to wink, kiss you softly. The constellations are comforting, leading you towards safety. And then there is a crash. A gut-wrenching howl. You are being chased by something. It’s grey, dark, you can’t tell. Maybe it’s a wolf. Maybe it’s a man.
Then transformation, light strikes. You are now this creature, running on all fours. Until you are jolted awake with a wet pillow, an entire river streaming down your face. You put your hand on your stomach, it aches. Or is it your stomach? That’s when you feel it. The blood.
You lullaby the ending of everything you’d been. Guilt was so busy eating you up that now it was spitting out the carcass.
The same doctor rubs your back and gives you a pamphlet with a statistic “15-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.” But nothing can explain how you hurt so much. How you can ache so much when you didn’t even know what fate you’d decide. That some uninvited hand scooped out your insides, you were just a pumpkin for carving.
That’s how it feels.
Like you are a pumpkin for carving. And you plaster a Jack-O-Lantern smile the very next day. Because you can’t tell him. You can’t tell them. You aren’t allowed to grieve something you weren’t sure you’d even have.
But you do.
You still do.