Ode to the Broken Hearted

May 8, 2010
5 Months, 26 Days

Josh and I have been together for almost six months. He calls me and tells me to meet him at the park. We haven‘t been to the park in weeks, so I decide it has to be something special. He has to be jumping the gun, and celebrating with a six-month anniversary picnic.

I feel a raindrop hit my cheek when I enter the park. I hope this doesn’t mess up the picnic.

I see Josh sitting on a bench. There is no picnic, and when he sees me, he doesn’t smile, just pats the empty part of the bench beside him.

I don’t sit. “What’s going on?” I demand, crossing my arms.

He sighs. “Please. Just sit down. We need to talk.”

“No. I don’t want to sit. Tell me what’s going on,” I repeat.

“Violet,” he begins. He stretches out his legs. Some little kids throw a baseball back and forth nearby. “I’m leaving for Hawaii this summer. I’m staying there until school starts again.”

He looks up at me and I can tell I’m missing the point.

“What I’m trying to say is,” he continues. “I think … I think we should break up.”

My arms go a little limp and my mind numbs. I can think straight. Did he just say break up? When our six-month anniversary is in four days?

“We’ve been together a while now. I think it’s time we see other people.”

Suddenly, I laugh. He looks shocked, and I don’t think he knows whether he should laugh too, or run.

I would suggest run.

“I get it,” I tell him. “You want to break up with me because you want to find some hot girlfriend in Hawaii. Like any Hawaiian girl with a decent face and a brain would go anywhere near you.”

“You dated me,” he says.

“That’s because --”

Because I thought you weren’t like the other jerks at our school. Because I thought maybe when you gave me a piece of gum, it was your last piece. Because you didn’t have a girlfriend before, so I thought I was special.

Not special enough. Not special enough to compete with a Hawaiian girl he didn’t even know.

“Because what?” he asks.

“Because I felt sorry for you.”

“Right,” he says. “And when you held my hand, I bet you felt pretty sorry for me, too?”

“You know what?” I’m yelling now, and people are looking. “You are an A**. I’m better off without you!”

“Violet, look, I’m sorry. I can explain --”

I don’t him explain. I push him off the bench.

“Real mature, Violet.”

“That’s a quality you lack.”

“Says the girl who just shoved me off a bench,” he says, trying to smile, trying to laugh it off.

He gets up from the ground and actually goes to hug me.

I swing my foot back and deliver a swift kick at his shin. He yelps and grabs his leg, hobbling like an idiot. One of the little boys with the baseball chucks it at him, and hits Josh on the back of the head. He falls to the ground again.

I double over, laughing hysterically.

“Thanks!” I yell to the kid.

He gives me a thumbs up. “Anytime.”

The rain pours as I walk away from the boy I loved.


4 Months, 2 Days

“I love you.”

Josh smiles, takes my hand, and kisses it. “That’s good. But I love you more.”


1 Month

“Josh, really. I can’t. My mom went out and I’m worried she’ll drive home drunk,” I say into the telephone.

“Is Katie there?”

Katie, my older sister. The one with the level head, always studying, determined to get into Harvard Law. On full-scholarship. Considering Mom blows her meager income on beer.

“As always.”

“Then your mom will be fine. Katie will be there to take care of her.”

“True.” Katie is studying in her room. I could easily sneak out the door without her noticing.

“All right, so come on. Meet me at the bank.”

“The bank? Do you plan on robbing it?”

He laughs from the other end of the line. “No. For old time’s sake.”

“Fine. I’m coming.”

When I get to the bank, Josh is sitting on his car. He brought cookies.

He pats the hood of his car, and climb onto it and sit beside him.

“Happy one-month anniversary,” he says, grinning. “Cookie?”

I kiss him, take a cookie, and when I take a bite, I realize something amazing. He remembered the M&Ms.


12 Days

“What’s your favorite color?”

“My favorite color?” I ask. “Really?”

“Answer the question,” he says.

“Fine. Orange.”


“Yes, orange. Is that a problem?”

Josh laughs. “No, orange is great. My favorite color is violet.”


“What?” he asks, innocently. “It is. What’s your favorite candy?”

I think for a moment, then say, “M&Ms.”

He smiles. “And do you like them in cookies?”

“Of course.”

“I’ll remember that.”



I’m walking out of the bank when I feel someone tap my shoulder. A guy with messy brown hair and a smile is holding out a penny.

“I think this is yours,” he says.

“A penny?” I ask. “You stopped me because I dropped a penny?”

“No, you didn’t. I just needed an excuse to talk to you.”

I nod and turn away, heading for my car. “Smooth.”

“Wait,” he yells, and jogs to my side.


“Will you go on a date with me if I can flip his coin and it lands on heads?”

“Yeah, right.”

“How about if it lands on heads three times? Consecutively.”

I cross my arms, and lean on one foot. “Try it.”

He grins, and flips the coin. It lands back in his hand. Heads.

“Not impressed.”

He flips it again. Heads.

I shift my weight to the other foot.

He flips the coin again. Heads.

“Looks like we have a date,” he says, grinning.

“Fat chance.” I walk back to my car, buckle my seatbelt, and when I turn back to the steering wheel, he’s standing at my window.

“Would you get away from me? You flipped a coin. I’m not going on a date with you.”

He’s still smiling. “I think you should.”

“Well I’m not.”

He lifts up some car keys and shakes them. My car keys. “Maybe you’d like your keys back.”

“Hand them over.”

“Do we have a date?” he asks.


He puts the keys in his pocket. “I’ll be sitting on my car when you decide we have a date.”

I wait ten minutes, hoping he’ll just cave in and give me my keys back. He continues to sit on the hood of his car. Katie was expecting me to be home half an hour ago. I get out of the car and walk over to his. He opens one eye, and pats the hood beside him.

I sit on the car, and he hands me my car keys.

I start to get off the car, when he says, “What’s your name?” I don’t turn around.


“Hey, Violet?” I reluctantly turn to face him. He‘s holding out a small bag of candy. “Want an M&M?”

I sigh. “Why not.”

“But you still have to go on a date with me.”

“As long as you don’t keep my keys from me again.”

“Deal,” he says, and pours the rest of the M&Ms into my hand. He stuffs the bag into his pocket, then retrieves a penny. “I have a secret.”

He smiles as he flips the coin. Both sides are heads.

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