The drive home from the restaurant was a blur. A numb and heartbroken blur. Even now, I can’t remember how I got home. I don’t remember parking my car, walking up the sidewalk or opening the door. I just remember walking to the basement, screaming my brothers’ girlfriend’s name and sputtering out “he left me.” Even now I can feel her embrace. I feel my knees give way and I feel us crumble to the floor together. Tears filled my eyes and stayed there for months, leaving my bed felt impossible, and forgetting you felt even more unachievable.
However, what I remember more than anything is sitting across from you in that booth. Being told that you love me too much to be with me. That you couldn’t fix yourself because you were so concerned with how I was handling things. You couldn’t be with me because you needed to be better for me. You said all the right things, you made breaking my heart perfect. It was something you would read in a story book. You know, the ones where you’re sad for the girl but find yourself thinking how hard it must have been on the boy. However, it wasn’t a storybook, it was my life and at the end of the day, it just hurt.
I sat in that booth, for moments, hours I’m not sure. Wiping the tears from my eyes and being unable to reply. I wanted to ask if you were joking? If this was real life? If this was just temporary? I should have asked, because to me it was. However, for you it was so very permanent. You quickly got a new girlfriend, moved on with your life and pretended that our love story was never written. I didn’t though. I stayed there. In the moment in time that you broke me. For months I cried when people would mention your name. I would have to stop myself from looking down your street when I drove past. The heartbreak remained like a fresh cut deep in my soul. I was frozen in that moment. I was stuck where you left me because I never thought you would.
I was certain, from the first time you kissed me all those years ago that you were my forever. I was convinced that we would grow old together. We would fight the battles and celebrate the victories together. There was no one else I wanted to stand beside. I once told you that loving you was simple. I had forced you to listen to country music, something you hated with a passion, and a song came on and sang about how simple it was to love that one person. I told you that’s how I felt. You drunkenly laughed because our relationship and lives were the furthest things from simple. However, it was true. Loving you came naturally to me. Holding your hand and running my fingers through your hair. The big moments and the small ones. Those moments all felt like they were exactly what I should be experiencing at that moment.
We had some beautiful moments together, until you walked out of that restaurant. That’s where our moments ended and it hurts. I believe I will always love you, not just because of what we went through but because of where we went together. We went places of true passion and vulnerability. I lived my truth with you, there was no hiding, there was no perfection. There were real and raw emotions, we experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Weddings and babies, to death and illness. We were together for some major moments and for that I stay stuck.
I would love to say how far I’ve come. How I’m simply happy that you’re happy and healthy. While I am, the story is still the same, and it’s a sad one. My major love story ended, with tears and heartbreak. I got stuck in that restaurant, bordering on pain and love. You said all the right things. You wanted me to be happy and you wanted me to feel love that you could not provide. You wanted me to have my happily ever after. You setting me from was the most generous and most selfish thing you could have done. So here I am, writing about the heartbreak you caused. Writing about how stuck I felt in our memories.
While I’ve moved on from that night, sometimes I am still right there where you left me.