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So Cole... This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The pink phone was almost flimsy in my hand from age and use, but it still worked. I used that phone to call you every day. The keypad was cracked from all the times I’d pressed the buttons, but if anybody looked closely enough, they could see the marks on the digits making up your number were deeper than the rest. I just wanted to hear your comforting voice. It soothed the restlessness churning in my brain, and for seconds at a time, it made me forget the worries I still had.

What we had was really just another teenaged romance- sappy and cliché in places and bound to fail- but to me, it did seem real. I’d found someone who seemed to care for me, and for once, I felt like I belonged somewhere.

Where’d it go?

*.*.*.*

The park was quiet, the swings silent, the only sound our breathing and light laughing. Our tennis shoes crunched the snow beneath them and the wind made our cheeks rosy. Not that yours could be anymore ‘rosy’- you were a blushing ginger, after all.

It was funny to think that before me, you’d never even been on a date- let alone kissed a girl. To me, a kiss was lean, touch, pull away, but to you, it was still something mysterious and magical. I laughed whenever you turned that impossibly bright shade of red over and over. And you just would smile, and lean in for more.

And I let you.

*.*.*.*

I never thought we’d come to this.

I fingered the multicolored necklace you’d given me. It was a cross with intricate white flowers covering it. You bought it when you were on Earth Shuttle with forty other people from our grade. I heard an earful from Erika about how she and Rachel helped you pick it out in the giant circle building at Disney World. It was so beautiful when you came back, but now it was cold. Heavy. Everything something that was so full of love shouldn’t be.

We had our issues before you left- like arguments over silly things, like what movie to watch on our next date. A little corner of me still loved you, but the other part couldn’t stand you. You seemed to be oblivious to the thoughts I was thinking. But ever since you came back from your trip, you hadn’t been the same either. You stopped calling every night, and telling me how beautiful I was, even looking at me with your amazing blue-green eyes. When we went out, we had no fun. When you kissed me, you may as well have been dead.

Maybe you should’ve stayed there- in Florida. The first two days were almost agony without you there in school, but by the end of the first week, I was tempted to press ignore on your calls and not answer your texts. And by the end of the second week, I wasn’t missing you and did what I wished the week before.

At all.

In fact, I loved not having to worry about my looks each morning. I loved not having to the usual good-girlfriend duty. I loved being able to look at new guys without worrying you seeing it.

But most of all, I loved the freedom I had. It never seemed like you were controlling, but then, I could see it. The way you frowned when I texted Mundo or laughed with Kyle didn’t seem so bad…

It was everything added together that hurt so much.

*.*.*.*

Two months after our little park outing, I was standing at your locker like the faithful girlfriend I still was. You shoveled your books into your backpack and were mumbling about something you got detention for in English that day.

I knew what I had to do and my heart was pulsing like it had never before. I was tired of the crap you put me through, and tired of that stupid necklace hanging around my neck. I made a list of the things I couldn’t stand about you, and another of the things I loved.

Guess which one was longer.

And at your locker, around 3:10 in the afternoon on snowing day in February, I was going to break up with you. I had this scene all planned out in my head. I convinced myself it would go perfectly.

“Um, Cole,” I squeaked, interrupting your rant. “I have something… To say.”

You hadn’t lifted your eyes from your locker yet. “Then say it.”

“Well, you know, I’ve been thinking…”

Say it.

“… that maybe we should…”

Keep going.

“… break up…”

I paused, waiting for you to speak, but you didn’t. You simply turned red and nodded. “Okay, I guess.”

That’s it? “Umm… ‘Kay. I guess I’ll go now?”

But it wasn’t a question- I wheeled myself on my ballet flats and marched toward the exit. The tiled hall ways never seemed so long, but then again, my face had never been so red.

And I’d never so proud of myself.

Later that day at home, I took off the necklace. I looked at it for awhile, really only thinking about how stupid I was to ever like him. I opened my window, and threw it high into the neighboring pine tree.

And for the first time that afternoon, I laughed.

*.*.*.*

Honestly, I never thought I’d cry. After the laughter died and left silence, I cried. It just seemed so inevitable, I thought I’d be smart enough not to.

But it was nearly three months that we were together.

But it was hundreds of thoughts and kisses and texts and calls.

But I do have a habit of disappointing myself.

And so, I did. I sobbed, really.

I was his first girlfriend, first date, first kiss, and so many other things he won’t forget. He’ll try to forget me, but I’ll be imbedded in his head.

Comforting? Yes. Did I like it? Not really.

*.*.*.*

I picked out the cutest outfit I could think of for the next school day. It was all I could do, really, to soothe the worries inside me now that I didn’t have you.

Would we be friends still?

Would you still smile at me?

I smoothed the floral dress over my small curves as questions floated through my head. I silenced them with a new heartbreak playlist I found online…

Ha. Ha. Perfect.

*.*.*.*

“Cole said you’re a b****,” Erika whispered after scrapping vanilla pudding from the plastic lunch room tray.

Amanda piped in, “He told me that he broke up with you.”

And repeat.

“Well,” I finally said after nearly my entire lunch table added to the conversation. “Someone should tell Cole he’s a d***head.”

I shouldn’t have let those rumors get to my head, but I did. I started creating lists of insults on mental sticky notes. I was good at it and came up with some… very ‘creative’ things to say if you ever looked at me during class.

Like you would have the nerve to say anything to my face after that. Coward.

*.*.*.*

I couldn’t help but cry. I couldn’t help but let the things you started leaving on my voicemail get into my head. I wondered about how many people now knew the things I thought you’d keep secret—like the make-out on the ski lift on our eighth grade field trip.

I couldn’t help but miss you. I wished I still had someone to love me…

Sigh.

*.*.*.*

It’s been three months since we broke up, and you still haven’t let me go. You still send texts almost daily, saying how lucky you are… Not to have me. How the only reason you dated me was to get so-or-so mad. How you were going to ask Erika out the next day.

And I still couldn’t help but cry. It hurts how you’ve asked out three of my closest friends.

But you can’t make me cry anymore, because I’ll be stronger then both of us.

And I won’t look back and wonder what I’ve left behind, because I’ve already waster to much time on you.

So, Cole?

F*** off.



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This article has 14 comments. Post your own!

happilyeverafternot said...
Feb. 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm:
I loved this! It was really realistic.
 
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Leann13This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 9:13 pm:
I think that this was positively one of the most raw, realistic, relateable things I have ever read in my life. I'm favoriting this! p.s.- You are a much better 'ranter' than I could ever be!
 
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lizzymwrites said...
Aug. 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm:
He does all that cause he still likes you, you know. The opposite of love is indifference.
 
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roknroll said...
Jul. 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm:
lol i  loved it
 
AwaitingRescue replied...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm :
Aww thanks :)  
 
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Sweethearrt said...
Jul. 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm:

ohmygosh i love this more than anything!!!!!!!!

i know exsctly how you feel, and reading  this makes me feel a million times better about everything. i espicially like the part about laughing, and sobbing becuase thats how it feels when you break up with someone. you feel free, but at the same time you would give anything to have it all back.

 
AwaitingRescue replied...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm :
I'm glad someone related with this so well :) It's been awhile for the break up, and I'm over him now. It's so freeing, you know?
 
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ilove2read124 said...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm:
this is really good, and you dint hold anything back, it was truthful and i liked it.good job=]
 
AwaitingRescue replied...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm :
Aww thanks :) Thant makes my heart blush with happiness (haha)
 
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gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm:

Haha, love the ending, excellent piece, very well-written and relatable.  If it was a rant, it was a great one.  Wonderful job.  Keep writing!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my work?

 
AwaitingRescue replied...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm :
 Sure I will :) and it was a rant, so thank you!
 
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm :
You're welcome. :) It was sort of funny that I just looked at this reply, because I just finished a movie called The Sixth Sense with this boy named Cole who sees dead people. I know, I'm weird.
 
AwaitingRescue replied...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 8:55 pm :
I welcome weirdness like little kids with candy :)
 
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 10:37 pm :
Haha thanks:)
 
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