“It gets harder.”
I looked up; my tutoring student looked sheepish and guilty.
“I don’t mean to be one of those people who make it worse, but it gets harder. You know. The breakup.”
“Yeah. My boyfriend and I split up too and it just got harder the longer you were apart. I’m sorry. It really sucks.”
“Yeah.. uh, thank you. It’s rough.”
She nodded and turned back to her book.
It got harder. The other night was an exercise in single-minded misery. “It hurts,” was all I could tell my best friend. “Everything hurts.”
And I’m just going to say one thing and leave it at this. I’m not going to self-edit in my internet safe space.
I sat on the hood of my car when we broke up. Beau is tall—much taller than I am—but the Jeep put us at about eye level.
“I’ve been thinking about what you said…”
“I don’t want to talk about what I said,” I told him quietly. “I don’t want to tear you down with little things when they’re not important anymore. The only thing that’s relevant now is when I told you that I was okay if you decided that you loved me as a friend.”
Even at eye level, I watched traffic instead of him.
“I don’t think we should be together anymore.”
“If you think about it and you decide that you love me as a friend… that’s okay, you know? I’m not saying that’s how I feel, but if you do, I won’t be hurt. If you love me as a girlfriend, we need to figure out what that means too.”
I swung between silence and ugly, wheezy mini-sobs on the drive home. I didn’t go home; on a list of places to go when everything hurts, home ranks somewhere just above the DMV right now. So I just drove straight.
I walked into the shop looking for my friend. E could make the Queen’s Guard crack a smile, which is handy when you want to pretend that you can ignore the bad shit that you’re going through for a while. I found M instead, hiding behind a stack of boxes at the counter. Problematic M.
“I’m watching the store.”
“You’re not watching anything. I was right in front of you by the time you saw me.”
“That’s not true. I noticed the minute you walked through the door.”
“On a purely superficial note, can I just say that your sweater is fantastic?”
I laughed, still a little blubbery, and wiped my eyes.
“I’m serious. I love it. I don’t know if it’s the cowl neck or what, but you’ve got this great Muad’Dib thing going…”
“Right? I love it too. I was totally going for that whole desert mouse thing, so it works.”
“See? Perfect. Good luck on your test, dear.”
“Thank you, sugar. I’ll see you later.”
I was just thinking earlier today about how strained things had become with G, but at the end of the day, he was the only one who stuck around and told me that I had a nice sweater.
It’s either fish or birds floating around my mind when I don’t know what else to paint/draw.
This is the best of both worlds.
Detail from a painting of The Marquise d’Aigurandes by F. Drouais, 1759.
’s okay. Thank you. <3