“To say goodbye is to die a little.” –Raymond Chandler
Over the past year I’ve stumbled into a thing or two about love. A couple days ago I had to say goodbye to my boyfriend (now ex) as he went off to pursue his lofty bioengineering career. And while the emotions were at their prime, I jotted down a couuple words in the edges of my textbook, while sitting in my “The Love Class,” fighting back tears because ermagerd the irony, right? It’s short. It’s basic. It is however a summary of how I felt and the moments I most remembered. Just like any recollection of a big moment, it’s more of a stitching together of pieces of time than one coherent retelling.
She felt raw. The tears had streamed down his face in strict defiance. The three words bursting out of their mouths as they grasped each other’s skin. Lips meeting one another over and over again, searching for any unkissed territory of skin. Her words rambled out, one last shot for her to show just how she felt. Just how she loved.
“I love you” she shouted as he walked away from the car, grappling to find a way to make this moment less real, to suspend them there into perpetuity.
She sat in the car, not blind to the poeticism of driving away from his house, the sobs echoing. The dull music that once breathed life into her now served the sole purpose as white noise to assuage the blank spot in her mind. Yet every word, every impassioned note, reminding her of him.
She sat here among her peers a torrential mess. She wondered if she looked the same, if the noticeable lack in her heart was visible. It was unimaginable to her that no one could see that the biggest piece of her had been carved out. She had to carry on, they said, distract herself. The distractions did nothing more than momentarily patch the leak, like a piece of duct tape holding together a bursting pipe.
She heard timing was the factor. She didn’t believe it. Not one word. Perhaps it was romanticized, but she couldn’t resist the assumption that love had stronger magnetic ties than people liked to believe. To her, if love was meant to be it would happen, regardless of the naivety in that.
The emotions had been squeezed out of her, where did she go from here?
Perhaps this jotted story is a too melodramatically pretentious version. But isn’t that how all emotions feel in the moment? And what emotion merits these any more deservingly than love does? So I sit here, shifting towards numbness or the early stages of denial, besides the occasional realization of the truth, and I wonder, where do I go from here? And just as I like it, there’s no clear answer.