The words felt viscous leaving my mouth. My syrup words drizzled all over him. We were both choking and blinking through the syrup, suffocating slowly and silently on such heavy, sticky words.
“When did you start feeling this way?”
His breath bubbled as he spoke.
Well, I couldn’t be honest.
“I don’t know” I mumbled miserably. The tears were already dry and tight on my face. “I tried to just figure it out by myself for a while, but everything kept building up and now I don’t know what else to do.”
He nodded slowly; his eyes nailed to nothing across the room. I searched him with my eyes, not moving a muscle, for fear of him mistaking any movement for comfort or impatience. I was the executioner here, trying my best to shrink down to a lamb.
He sat even more still than I. Here we were, covered in syrup, frozen for different reasons.
I couldn’t understand what my defect was. He did everything right. Who am I to turn my back on the type of thing that people spend their lives searching for? I loved him, there was no hesitation in my mind about that, but that didn’t appear to be enough. I had lost myself, and that encumbered upon me a sadness that no amount of love could remedy. For months I had been turning away from that decaying feeling that was taking root deep in my stomach, until it spread like mold onto all my bones and in the wrinkles of my brain. That’s how long I tried to deny it; by now, I was consumed.
I had to experience the world outside of this relationship, and I had to trudge through the carnage of two broken hearts to do it.
So, I sat him down on my bed on a September night and crushed him. A week before we hit one year together.
Guilt is so sticky. That awful, sour feeling that sucks your insides out through your back. What makes guilt so tricky is that it is stagnant yet unrelenting. You are forced to try to distinguish and articulate your more bold-faced, straightforward feelings through a thick film of guilt. This goo, no matter how merciful it may make things appear, only distorts your true vision and in turn, delays and further complicates the inevitable.
Some insider advice: your problems will never cease resurfacing until you have the gumption to dissect them. In prose, same shit different day.
I digress, let us return to that violently uncomfortable night last September and abridge the events that followed.
“Please don’t think I don’t love you, because I do. I love you so much. I just know in my heart that I need to do this now.”
My heart was racing as I spoke, breaking the immobilizing silence. His face screwed up and his shoulders fell as shock gave way to anguish. As he cried, my entire being buzzed with misery and I wanted to take it all back in that moment. To dry his tears and tell him I was confused, I didn’t want to break up, this had all been a mistake and I was so, so sorry.
I didn’t do any of those things. I cried next to him and just wallowed in the fucking torment of it all.
Now that I have painted this wretched image, I must admit that at no point did that instinctual core of my soul ever waver. I had to do this. I felt that some portion of myself would remain dormant if I didn’t force this discomfort, no matter how disgusting it made me feel, and I decided to trust that feeling.
It is now July and I am driving my pickup down a no-name road with the radio popping through blown speakers. My hair dances about my head and the left side of my face is humming with the heat of the afternoon sun that beams through my open window. I sing along to the wise words of Billy Joel; “though you can see when you're wrong, you know you can’t always see when you're right”.
About the Creator
hi :) I write short stories and poetry about emotions, experiences, and interactions with the universe, others, and nature!
Most my stories are fictional, but some are my real life experiences as I remember them.