It’s over. Officially. The pretty boy whom I blogged about sitting two tables away from me in first semester psych one year ago pursued me for five months, dated me for nearly two, and broke up with me yesterday.
I start the day with a pang. Rolling around uncomfortably in my lofted bed, I try to find a reason to fall back asleep. Don’t think about Charlie. Don’t think about Charlie. I dreamt about him all night, analyzing our breakup in my subconscious, and I’d give anything for my brain to leave me alone.
When I close my eyes and drift off again, I find myself sitting on the stairwell that slopes along the hill outside my campus library. My half-zip pullover is no match for the chilly October breeze, so I slide my hands between my legs. Charlie is looking at me, solemnly. His intensity unnerves me, but I match his stare. He isn’t wearing his signature grey baseball cap that he bought at a small store in New England– his favorite— so the wind toys with his dirty blonde locks.
I memorize his features knowing it was the last chance I have to do so. The bright blue eyes, curly lashes, soft skin, and patches of hair on his neck he missed while shaving. I imagine putting my hand on his cheek and feeling his stubble, wishing he would kiss me. My eyes beg for him to kiss me. Just kiss me. Show me you care. Make me feel wanted, beautiful. Please, Charlie. Please. But he doesn’t. He just continues to stare in silence, so I look away.
Pang. I’m awake again. Shifting back and forth on my mattress, I try to think about anything else, so I think about thinking about anything else– that’s good enough. Once again, with a sinking feeling in my stomach I fall back asleep.
“I don’t want you to go,” I sob. My nose smears snot on Charlie’s flannel and my tears glue strands of brown hair to my cheeks. I rest my body on his knees and he holds me close to him in a warm and familiar embrace. When I reach for his hands, he intertwines mine with his, tightly. “Because when you go,” I whimper, “I’ll never get a chance to hold your hand ever again.”
My boyfriend shields me from the wind with his body, but I still hear the crinkle of leaves tugging at my feet before they drift away. I want the leaves to drag me away with them. I can follow them off of the pavement, through the dirt, and sink into the earth. Instead, my organs gnaw at me, twisting and turning. It would be so much easier to feel nothing. I crave absolutely nothing.
Pang. Maybe I’m better off awake. So, I force myself out of bed, and go to lunch. I spend the day reminded by my friends of how little he respected me. The inconsiderate things he did to me. The dates he didn’t show up to, or the girl he kissed while we were together. Perfect Charles E Stetson perhaps was not as perfect as I made him out to be. And as I’m being reminded that he is a bad person– or, at the very least, a bad boyfriend– for the hundredth time that day, I start to believe it. But then I find myself slouched on my futon, alone. I don’t have anyone to remind me. My body is tired. I begin to daydream.
I catch a glimpse of myself looking into Charlie’s mirror, admiring the oversized purple polo shirt I just picked out of his closet. He walks up behind me and smiles. At a foot above me, his head rests on top of mine, and he wraps his arms around my body.
He flatters me. Pulls me in for a kiss. Says a joke that makes me laugh. Asks me to lunch. How lovely it is to feel wanted. Even lovelier to be wanted by him. He races me outside. The leaves are golden and the sun is bright– too bright– so once I finally catch up, he reminds me how badly he craves winter. After all, winter means he can finally ski, and he loves the rush it gives him. In his excitement, he promises to teach me when it gets cold enough. So, I start craving winter too. Confidently, we walk hand-in-hand, and I turn to look into his eyes.
He is beautiful and, in that moment, I finally think I am beautiful too.