I want to tell you a story about a girl named Jane.*
Jane would be paranoid that someone would somehow find out her true identity if they happened to read this. That’s how Jane’s life is.
Jane is addicted to stimulants. Little orange, devilish pills. You might know what they are or you might not. I don’t even want to write the name because the name makes me feel nauseous.
Anyways, back to Jane. I met her at a local coffee shop. For some reason, she was sitting kind of hunched over with a barrage of papers strewn all over the place. Her skin was oily as if she’d been sweating even though her hands were freezing cold. Her lips looked chapped, her body tense and her entire demeanor reeked of someone who didn’t want to put down whatever task she was lost in. She had this look of determination as she nervously flipped through her papers. Later I found out she was making a to-do list of all the beauty supplies she needed. Along with this list was another one where she was brainstorming business plans she wanted to start.
Jane looked incredibly hyper in a very zombie kind of way. She had a tunnel-visioned quest and wasn’t about to talk to me.
Well, I talked to her anyway.
I wish I knew why but something inside me felt so drawn to her. Not necessarily in a romantic sense. I simply felt the need to be near her. To fix this damaged fragile woman. How typical and pretentious, I know. But it’s the truth. I’ve always been the type of person who is drawn to damaged people. It’s something inside of me that I’ve learned to try to tame. It’s an impulse within my soul that has compelled me to get lost in the most destructive dating situations.
It’s why I write about love for a living. Well, at least part of the reason. I guess in a way I’ve channeled this instinctual need to help those who can’t help themselves.
I can’t describe it but Jane captured the fragility of all that I want to heal in the world.
You can probably guess, that first conversation wasn’t the end.
We talked. Slowly, at first, then faster and deeper as time went on and the coffee shop closed for the day. That day turned into a week, into a month, into half a year.
And then, nothing. I was swallowed whole, like one of her little orange pills, to give her the boost she needed. And then to dissolve afterwards, leaving no trace, other than oily skin and ice cold hands.
Jane is my ex girlfriend and for a while I wanted to get her back but as I grew up, I realized what a mistake that would be.
Jane was addicted to constantly being wide awake. She was and is addicted to the rush of never needing to feel sad. She emotionally got off on the sense of being on point, in control and focused beyond the limits of a typical human being.
Jane felt safe because she could stay up all night and get tasks done. Jane was a super-performer who deep down wanted love more than anything. She felt she was too sensitive for this world and didn’t know how to cope. Jane also didn’t want to be a walking cliche.
This is the story of our little orange breakup. But what did Jane teach me? As human beings, all we want is to feel safe. All we want is to feel okay. And sometimes we use other people to feel that way, and that’s okay. And sometimes things don’t work out between two people who try, and that’s okay.
And sometimes, one person can’t save another. And that’s okay.
*Name has been changed.