It was an unusually hot August night. A symphony of cicadas and giggles enveloped me as I lay motionless on my best friend's bedroom floor. A cheesy horror movie played in the background, one I had seen a hundred times before and could practically recite if need be. However, the movie had gone unwatched that night, and I certainly did not join in the chorus of giggling that was occurring just two feet from me. In time, that too was swallowed up in the darkness.
I can recall staring at my cellphone screen, feeling the heat rush out of me as my body seeped into a state of temporary paralysis. I was motionless. Speechless. I was sure I had even stopped breathing. Lucky for me, my respiratory function seemed to be the only thing working for me that night.
It took my friends all of five minutes to realize something was awry. Being the boisterous friend meant I was not prone to silence spells, and they knew that. They gathered around me, and nonchalantly asked what was wrong. They lacked any real reason to be concerned, I had not given them any indication to be, until that exact moment.
I attempted to utter the words, to no avail. The second the first syllable tumbled out of my mouth, I erupted in tears. My small body began to heave and shake as my emotions set in and my state of paralysis slowly dissipated. I was alert now, a realization I soon despised. I found myself craving the paralysis that had just possessed my body and senses just moments prior.
Per explanation, I handed them my cellphone, the text shining harshly in the dark room. They huddled around it in nervous anticipation, and one by one, I watched as their smiles transformed into looks of dismay, shock, horror, anger.
The text that evoked a rare occasion of tears, and the text that shocked my best friends read as followed:
"I'm sorry Jess. I don't love you anymore. There's someone else..."
I was in disbelief. It had to be a sick joke. It couldn't possibly be real. These words could not possibly hold any merit. They just couldn't.
We were so happy, so irrevocably, unquestionably, unequivocally happy. It was apparent to anyone who knew us, and plainly discernible to strangers as well.
We had never fought. We never once rose our voices at each other nor had we ever disagreed. We had survived a year apart while he went to school at Ferris, thereby foolishly leading me believe our relationship was invincible. If it could withstand the distance, it could triumph over just about anything. We were inseparable, as many young couples were, yet we never grew tired of each other's presence.
I was so sure this was merely a nightmare I'd soon wake from. However, just moments later he assured me it was not a joke. There really was someone else, and by the way he talked of her, as he once talked about me, I knew she had stolen the heart I had falsely believed was mine.
I spent two days under covers, soaking my pillowcase with my fallen tears. I didn't speak. I didn't eat.
Day three, the tear-soaked pillowcases and mascara streaks were gone. I wasn't sad. I was pissed.
However, my anger wasn't aimed at the boy who broke my heart- it was instead directed at the nameless woman who stole his heart.
I presumed she had hypnotized him. Entrapped him with a love spell. Perhaps, she had bribed him. Because he certainly could not have fallen in love on his own accord. He loved me.
I was shifting the blame off him, and placing it on a girl who did not deserve it. This girl did not have any obligation to me nor did she owe me a thing. It wasn't her job to protect my heart. She didn't deceive me, she merely fell in love with my very charismatic, enchanting boyfriend. I couldn't hate her for loving the man I had so easily fallen for myself.
She didn't deserve my anger, he did. I had entrusted him with my heart and he had failed to protect it accordingly. He lied to me, yet falsely led me to believe I could trust him. He shattered the future I had envisioned beside him. He single-handedly euthanized my ever-trusting nature in one fell swoop-- something I am still struggling to restore. He was the one to blame for every sleepless night spent sobbing uncontrollably, he was to blame for every dismal and shameful thought, every moment spent feeling unworthy, ugly, unlovable. He is to blame for all the confidence I lost that night I received his text message-- confidence I may never find again.
Not the pretty brunette who'd one day become his fiancé. It would take many months to realize this, and even longer to stop envying her.
However, I have yet to recover from what he put me through, pieces of which arise every now and again. You can see it in the way I view myself, hateful internal monologues and all. It's in the way I carry myself, all self-assurance gone. It's in the way I struggle to trust the sweetheart of a boy I've so graciously been granted-- a boy who will never break my heart, a concept I'm reminded of every day I'm lucky enough to be his.
His memory fades with every passing day, and in time, the scars he left will fade as well.
If you ever find yourself staring at your cellphone screen in dismay at 2am, just remember: she didn't break your heart, that asshole did.