The Story of Us

We were beautiful and then we were disaster.

The Story of Us

It is seven thirty on a Thursday when you wake up next to him. The sun is streaming in through the open window of your fifth floor walk up, casting shadows across the dark features of his perfect face. Your eyes are closed as you trace circles on the soft skin of his back, and you know one thing to be true: you are in love.

It is late on a Friday night when your eyes meet hers from across a crowded bar. Jealousy threatens to swallow you like quicksand each time another man dare to lay a hand on her. You aren’t sure when you stopped referring to her as “that girl” and desperately began thinking of her as “my girl." You know one thing to be true: you are in love.

It is a stormy Saturday afternoon when you have your first fight. The weather matches your mood, and you both spit out words you don’t quite mean. You jerk away from his touch when his hand finds your shoulder, only to slowly melt into him moments later. Whispered apologies turn into fervent kisses. You know one thing to be true: you could never live without him.

It is a Sunday and you are attending dinner with your mother. You slowly realize you’ve begun instinctively glancing over to see if she laughs when you crack a joke, only to be met with disappointment when she is not seated next to you. Even a few hours apart feels like eons, and part of you loathes her for making you into this. She is the sun and you orbit around her without question, lost when you are without her. You know one thing to be true: you could never live without her.

It is daybreak on a Monday when you leave the first time. Loss has changed you, and not even he can put you back together again. You leave no note, hoping to become nothing more than a ghost to him. Your heart shatters as the door to your shared home clicks closed behind you, and tears fall silently down your cheeks as you make your way down to the bustling New York streets. As the crowd swallows you whole, you know one thing to be true: he cannot see what you’ve become.

It is midnight on a Tuesday the first time she returns to you. You’ve left the door unlocked for weeks, hoping that she will creep in one night as if she’d never left. You are half asleep on your couch with a half empty beer in your hand when you hear her footfalls on the wooden floor. You do your best to quickly sober up, desperate to remember the mask you once wore so well. You pray she doesn’t see through your facade and glimpse how her betrayal has destroyed you. You know one thing to be true: she cannot see what you’ve become.

It is twilight on a Wednesday when you dance with him again. His hand on the small of your back sends shivers down your spine, and you pray he doesn’t notice how your hands are shaking in his. Small talk is all you can manage when his lips are this close, and you look away every time his eyes bore into yours. You have committed terrible crimes in his absence and you never felt shame until you were under his watchful gaze. When the song ends, you tear yourself from his embrace and disappear out of the nearest exit. You know one thing to be true: your relationship will never be the same.

And you are the one to blame.

Meredith Philbrook
Meredith Philbrook
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