We met in July. I was there to see your bestfriend perform, but after the gig you asked me if I wanted to go out for ice cream. We soon found out that the only place that serves ice cream at midnight is a Denny’s Diner, so there we spent over two hours just talking about everything and anything. I loved listening to your voice. Your Texan accent was warm and inviting. We laughed like we had been friends forever.
It was perfect.
The first time you kissed me, you first stopped to kiss my nose. I smiled at the gesture. I thought that you were different. I thought that it felt nice to be in your presence. And my hand fit perfectly with your own, forever linked.
We were in Oklahoma hiding in the closet with a Tornado approaching our hotel room. My heart was racing, but you held me close and strummed your guitar, singing to me, “Riders on the Storm,” as the winds increased. Tears were streaming down my cheeks, I thought our building was going to lift up just like Dorothy’s home in The Wizard of Oz, and seeing my fear you held my hand and whispered, “We’re going to be okay. Even if this could be our final moment, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
We were at a gas station in the desert when your bandmates were filling up the van’s tank and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” came on the radio. You grabbed my hand, and singing the lyrics to me, pulled me out of the van. I laughed as we danced under the hot desert sun. Your crooked smile made me melt, and once again I thought that everything about that moment, about us, was perfect.
And for a while it truly was.
This is the part of the story where it takes a detour for the worst.
Until you grew weary of me wanting more. Needing more. And it crushed my heart when you handed me a ring for my birthday but punctuated, “It’s not the sort of ring you were hoping for, you know I’m not ready, yet.”
But that yet kept weighing on me. Was it really a yet, or were you just buying time? I began to believe that you didn’t care. I was certain that you were getting bored or maybe exhausted of me.
Then one February night, I saw my phone with all your texts and voicemails. You had spent most of the day trying to reach me because you were going to break up with me.
Something deep inside of me broke. And like Thom Yorke in “Karma Police,” for a minute there I did lose myself. I spent my nights driving around L.A. listening to songs on repeat as I tried to find a way to get back to you. I’d text you obsessively. Sometimes I was sweet, other times I was angry. I reached a point where I didn’t care whether the attention I was receiving from you was negative. I was starving for any tiny morsel. Your hate would’ve been better to me than your indifference. And all I could think about was how much I missed you. I started to hate you because I didn’t like this new person I had become. But at the same time, I didn’t know how to be different. I spent two years trying to forget the twenty months we spent together.
You hollowed me out. Sometimes, I feel as though if anyone peers closely into me they can see just how much I’m lacking. That they can see how all my cracks haven’t been placed correctly, that I’m not fixed. And maybe I never will be.
This is the new me. Not newly minted, but an amalgam of broken pieces haphazardly glued together, trying to pretend that I’m okay.
I hope that wherever you are, you’re okay too.