How Two People Fall Apart

girl in beach
Drew Coffman

You match on Tinder after drinking too much wine. Truthfully, you swiped yes because he had a really cute dog. You look closer, moving deeper into his profile and take another sip of red wine. His smile is warm. You say hello.

He writes something funny to you about how he ‘super liked’ you. You giggle along with the moon, with hope suddenly bubbling up inside of you.

You talk every night for a few weeks before you get the courage to actually go on a date with him. You don’t want to be disappointed. You don’t want him to be disappointed.

He arrives and you stand on your tiptoes and put your arms around him. It feels safe. He feels safe.

He smells like pine needles and the woods and like your ex boyfriend’s deodorant. It’s comforting and almost too much. Suddenly, you feel 16 again.

The date was seamless. There were no awkward silences to be found. He played you guitar. And you kiss on the living room couch like teenagers drunk on love and hormones. When he leaves, you smile. A real smile. The kind of smile that drips of infatuation. The kind of smile that you can feel inside your entire body.

He calls you the next day. No, really. He CALLS you. It feels like high school. Yet, more than that too. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. Your cheeks are rosy and you’re glowing.

Is the beginning of falling in love? Could this be it?

You let your guard down with him and you tell him all about the dark parts inside of you. Then a week turns into another week, and another. You think to yourself at night, maybe this time, it’s not going to end. Just maybe.

Suddenly, the mood shifts. Like a thunderstorm in the middle of summer, everything begins to change.

He says something about work being too demanding. He says something about needing space. About how he needs to think. He needs more time.

A week goes by. He’s not calling you anymore. He’s not answering back to your texts. He’s not it. He’s not it.

You sit on your bed knowing that it’s done before he officially calls it quits. You brace yourself. He sounds so cheerful, asking about my day. You gulp up his happiness, thinking maybe he changed his mind.

I’m sorry. You deserve better. You’re going to make someone so happy one day. I’m sorry…I’m sorry…

You feel your heart drop to your stomach and your face heat up in anger. But you just say thank you. Thank you for making me feel special. Thank you for giving me a piece of you.

Tears drip softly down your face and it stings when it hits your chest.

‘Bye’, you say, knowing fully well he can hear your soft cries.

‘Bye’, he says, with his own tears soaking through the other line.

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