I fell again. It was a accident. A genuine, honest mistake, but I couldn’t help it.

You were just so right there and what was I supposed to do about that? Close my eyes,  count to ten, do a rain dance, hope you’d disappear? Honestly though, if I had done those things, I would have seemed less insane to some people. The distance alone would have and should have been a deterrent. But like I said, couldn’t help it.

Your blonde hair skimmed your forehead in just such a way that made me need to reach out and brush it away. Your icy blue eyes shone warmth through the cold and you were just so excited. About everything. About life.

The passion was there, so evident, like a vine reaching up the side of the house. Reaching to the sky like it could just keep going, face open to the sun, absorbing the warmth and radiance. How could I not be drawn to that?

Not to mention that accent. Oh boy. Though don’t mistake an accent as the reason I fell for you. It certainly didn’t hurt though.

I had fun. Soccer games, spontaneous hikes up hills on the pathless side. Genderbent Hamlet and Guiness for the first time.

But then the inevitable separation. We knew it going in, but we wanted to try anyway. Maybe we shouldn’t have bothered, but I guess neither of us could help it? I always felt like I cared more than you though. Like I was more interested in what we were doing than you were.

It was nice having someone to talk to, I suppose. But my heart felt like it had strings attached that stretched across the miles and it hurt when you pulled on them without really thinking about what you were doing. I missed you but the distance to your heart spanned more than just the physical distance.

You held me at arm’s length, and I was so scared that if I stepped a little closer, our fragile situation would crumble, and I would be the one left to pick up the pieces. I suspect you cared, but I’m not sure how much. I sat at the other end of the skype call, wondering how long I would have to wait for you to actually open up to me. When would you stop hiding behind sentiment?

Breaking up is hard. Even if it’s mutual. Although that’s easier than most. Less blood is spilled. Fewer hearts and minds reduced to trembling emptiness.

The problem with mutual breakups is that they are amicable. There are no shouting matches (hopefully) or barrages of tears (at least not for us). Amicable might seem to be the ideal. Which I guess it is. But it’s still hard. Because no matter what, you aren’t still friends. You really can’t be. Even if you never did anything but hold hands and Skype once or twice a week.

Because how can you be friends with someone that you thought about marrying? You can’t. The attraction was there, we both felt it. And that doesn’t just go away when you have a friendly, mutual breakup. Seeing you after, even months later. Talking to you. Reminded me of what was and why.

Then we found others, and that makes it even more impossible. Because you can’t be friends with someone you used to see when you are married or engaged, now can you?

It’s all right, because we’re happy, but I miss our friendship. It’s never coming back. We can talk casually once every six months over email, but that’s it. And it’s tough when we used to talk every week. We had fun, enjoyed each other’s company.

So really, what I miss is my friend. I’ve lost so many and I don’t like how they just keep going, but I have a new best friend, who I’m going to spend the rest of my life with and I couldn’t be happier.

That’s really the worst part about breakups though. Not the loss of a lover or a significant other. The loss of a friend, someone you had a million things in common with and could talk to for hours.

It really only makes up for it when you find your real best friend for the rest of your life.




Purple Butterflies

She painted purple butterflies in his eyes. Every day he would wake up to her smiling face, but it existed only in his mind, compelled into being by his own wishful thinking. Drawn in bright sparks on the backs of his eyelids.

He lay in bed while his alarm screeched at him, staring at the ceiling but only seeing butterflies. The blue ones she scribbled in the margins of her notebook. The pink ones on the back of receipts and ticket stubs. The purple ones that adorned her left shoulder, that he had only caught glimpses of when it was warm enough for her to wear a tank top and they had gone out for drinks as an office in the heat of the summer. It was a rare occurrence that the thick strap would slip off her shoulder, but when it did, it upped his heart rate just the tiniest bit.

He knew it was cheesy to even think it, but in his mind he thought about how her eyes sparkled like morning dew and her thick golden blonde hair held the scent of coconut. Any time he caught the scent, it turned his head. But it wasn’t her any more.

Of course it wasn’t.

How could it be?

He’d seen the police report on the news site he checked every day on the computer in his tiny cubicle, often only reporting vaguely on events that barely even interested him. He just read it because it was something to do. Routine.


Woman Found Murdered In Home – Police Search For Suspect

He hadn’t wanted to believe it. The article had no photo but the name Rhea Harnett stuck out in his mind like the letters had come off the screen and were burning themselves permanently into his skull.

It wasn’t a common name.

When she hadn’t shown up to work, he knew for sure. It office was quiet, but the knowledge was palpable, like someone had spread it lightly over a piece of warm toast with a butter knife and it had melted slowly into an almost invisible layer, settling over them all. It lasted for longer than he cared.


That didn’t happen. Well it did, but not to people he knew. Not to people he cared about. He shivered at the idea of her death, but the sadness that oozed out of him concentrated itself into fear. Fear that those things that only happened to ‘other people’ could actually happen to him. The purple butterflies wilted to black within his brain, flapping halfheartedly and falling to the floor.

He was not immune.

And that scared him to death.


All this is unbearable.

How can I keep pretending that I’m all right when things fell apart so fast and hard that I didn’t even have time to think before they hit the ground and shattered into a million pieces? Tell me that, oh great and powerful Google.

I spend years scraping together something called ‘best-friendship’ and then I do one thing wrong (but honestly not even that wrong) and it’s like something snapped and shattered, shaking everything I thought I ever knew.

Like, how can someone I’ve known and been friends with for NINE YEARS just walk out on me? Sometimes when I think about it too much it feels like I’m scooping out my heart with a spoon.

I never knew you. Not at all. Everything was fake wasted useless nothings piling up on top of each other until it all came tumbling down like the recycling you never took out.

You play the victim card so well, even though it was me who was hurting all along.

I swim through my own subconscious and search endlessly for a meaning, a reason, a thought that will force it all to make sense. But I just come up gasping for air.

I am angry and hurt and frustrated and there seems to be no end in sight. Just a thought or glimpse throws me back into the whirlpool and spits me out however long later, clothes torn and hair matted.

Ways to deal. Ways to deal. Ways to deal? Write angry words on a big white page. Check. Fill brain with wedding details. Double check. Appoint new best friend. Check.

Then why do I still feel this way?