They say that getting hurt is an essential part of life and to live life with no regrets. They also say that it is always darkest before the dawn. Throughout the twenty-one years of my life I have lived so far, I have learned this to be true the hard way.
It all started with that boy with the hazel eyes and the blonde patch of hair in his Mohawk. He was my “high school sweetheart,” my first boyfriend, and the first guy that taught me what happiness was. He stole my first kiss on the two train during the Spring of 2012 and nothing was ever the same for me again. All those years of being that ugly duckling that no guy would even consider giving the time of day quickly changed into having someone who actually wanted to be called mine and made me feel like I was actually worth something. Our first four months together was full of laughter, kisses, and memories that are now distant yet still remain implanted into bits and pieces in the back of my mind. There was also “I love you’s” exchanged, but we were sixteen and naive. What did we know about love?
As quickly as our beautiful relationship blossomed that Spring, it died out once that horrendous Summer ended. Our two-hour long phone conversations every day where we talked about everything and nothing turned into forced five minute conversations that ended in my tears. His sweet, gentle tone turned into a cold, bitter one that left me questioning if he had grown to despise me for some unknown reason. Whenever he was near, I would find myself noticing those hazel eyes of his that were once locked on me began averting elsewhere. Seeing each other every week turned into him making excuses to be away from me for three weeks until school came near and facing me would be inevitable for him. Then, just a week before my senior year began, he hit me with what I had been warned by my friends was coming but I was too in denial to accept.
He dumped me.
Oh, but he didn’t do it in person, I wasn’t worthy of that. He did so by having me travel to a play of his downtown one hot day in August after deliberately avoiding me for three weeks, hardly acknowledging my existence by having me sit on the sidelines with a depressed face as he took pictures with other women, then sending me home while I was in tears alone in the middle of the night by myself on the train. When I finally obtained the balls to confront him about this on Facebook, since he refused to answer my calls to even at least make sure I was home safe, he made it as though everything was my fault and for a long time I would believe it. I was too shy and boring, he said. He wanted a girl who he could have fun with and didn’t cling onto him all the time because she was too socially awkward to stand on her own two feet. After he was done with his side of why he was leaving me, he decided he had no time to hear what I had to say. He simply left me on seen and changed his relationship status to single, and that was that.
For him, anyway. For me, it was devastating. My first relationship came to an end. The one person that made me genuinely happy for the first time in my life left me with nothing but a broken heart. The week following the breakup was full of starving myself because my stomach ached at the sight of food, and being awake until five in the morning with tears in my eyes as I obsessively stalked his Facebook in hopes of signs of closure and that he missed me.Instead I found him writing about the importance of moving on in life, and dedicating that one Fall Out Boy song where they sing in the chorus, “I don’t blame you for being you, but you can’t blame me for hating it…”, to me. I was convinced that he truly had forgotten me and that five months together meant nothing to him. All the kisses, laughter, and I love you’s meant nothing because I was not interesting or sociable enough for him.
When senior year began, I decided to wipe away those tears and put on a bold demeanor to prove to him that I didn’t need him. Despite the fact that I was still talking in my sleep about him, and resisting the urge to both slap him in the face and beg for him back, I still held my own when facing him in the halls as we walked passed each other as if we never met. That is how it was until one day in the cafeteria, three weeks into the school year, his eyes were planted on me as I talked and laughed away with new friends I made. He then approached me, hugged me, and asked me how I was. In his face, I kept my cool. For the rest of the day, I obsessed over that one interaction wondering if it meant anything. I should not have wanted him back after he abruptly dumped me and expected me to move on, but I didn’t care. All I knew was that he made me happy once, maybe he could again and we could put the horrendous break-up behind us. Having a good heart makes you believe that everyone else does.
That false sense of hope clung onto me that whole senior year. When he and I would have brief exchanges in the hallways or at lunch, the hope would remain. When I dated someone else briefly while I still had him on my mind, and he walked around sulking at the sight of me in the arms of another, hope would remain. When he apologized for hurting me after seeing me sulk around the school for weeks contemplating suicide just around the time I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, hope would remain. Even when he would call me boring, or when he teamed up with his ex to bully me for moving on to another guy, or when he mocked my weight to other people, I still clung onto hope. When I saw him, I saw not the guy who hurt me, but rather the boy with the hazel eyes who admired me and treated me with such respect the year before.
Then came my last day of high school, quite possibly the last day I would ever see his face again. The day where I would pour out my feelings and determine whether or not we would rekindle our old flame.
Oh silly, naive, Lisa. If only you would accept that once a flame is burned out, there is no way of reviving it. You can create a new flame, but it will not be the same. That is exactly what happened with him and I. He got me alone, and apologized to me for everything he put me through. This is the one thing I will always give him props for; giving me the closure I needed to hear to fully move on. Oh sure, I made a fool of myself by pouring out how I felt about him and how I wanted him back. I also kissed him, but the kiss was everything I needed to tell me that whatever was left between us had died out. When I kissed him, I no longer felt my heart skip a beat but rather emptiness. I no longer felt like I was locking lips with someone I loved, but rather someone who had betrayed me, and left me with little explanation. No matter how hard I tried, I could not relive the past and undo the immense hurt he caused me. He was not that sweet boy I dated a year earlier who cared about me deeply and made me feel valuable, but rather someone who dumped me on Facebook and took six months to fully grasp what he did wrong. Nothing was going to change that.
That was my closure. That was what got me to move on. There was also his confession that he was “crazy,” which made little sense to me until the next year where events took place in which I will not write of. Despite the lack of using his name, what had happened was something I will not disclose out of respect of him and everyone involved in the incident. I will say that when I learned of what happened, everything came together and the asinine reasons he gave me for leaving was merely an excuse to let me go for my own safety. He wanted to protect me from himself. That was enough to allow me to gain all the closure I needed to fully move on and accept that he and I just could not be together under certain circumstances.
I would come to learn, however, that sometimes you do not have the luxury of receiving closure from the person. Sometimes people will just do you dirty, and then leave you to pick up the pieces yourself. There is nothing you can do in that situation, but cope with the pain yourself until you can fully move on. You also will have to learn to live without closure, and instead accept that the person did what they did because they are a remorseless piece of shit. More on that in chapter 2.