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grown up

By , congers, NY

I took his hands, I had no idea what to say. He just looked at me so innocently. I don’t think he knew what was coming. I knew what I was about to do, and I knew there would be regret, but it was better off. What am I even going to say? How do I say this?

“I’m breaking up with you…” I blurted as my voice trailed off into an utter silence that I never thought would be filled. I looked into his eyes. All I could think was what the f*** did I just say. What just happened. His eyes welled with tears, I saw him struggling  to hold them back.

“I don’t understand, What did I do wro- what happened to us? I-I-I will fix it, I will change. I will fix this..” Then he started rambling on and on and all I did was blank out. I stared at my feet, I couldn’t even look in his eyes. I knew if I did, that would be the end. I wouldn’t think this is for the better. I’d want to kiss him and tell him everything is okay, but it’s not.

I could do nothing. Then I heard, “are you even listening to me?” I looked up, I was gone. I had been crying this whole time and didn’t even know it. My face was drenched with tear drops cheeks to chest, bright red. I just stared at him, I-I-I-I, I had no words, all I did was think. Our paths just crossed at the wrong time I’m-I’m sorry. My voice was lost, I couldn’t answer him.

“Great, thank you for listening. Now I understand why we’re breaking up. You never cared, did you?”

“I did, I mean I do, and I still love yo-”

“If you still loved me, then why are you doing this?” He threw his hands in the air and got up. He walked in slow motion for what seemed to be an hour. Everything was slow, my body, my mind. He walked away.

Don’t go. I said, until I realized I didn’t say it. That was only in my head. In an instant, he was gone. Maybe if I knew this would be the last time I was going to see him, I would have paid closer attention to each detail of how this went and his face and body and listened to his voice closer. Instead I was a mindless statue, scared of every move I made.

Maybe it was for the better though. Maybe my life without him is what I need. It was never going to change. He was always going to be the same and so was I. We need time to grow up, separately. My life couldn’t have continued that way.

Two weeks later I saw a picture of him as I was scrolling through instagram. It instantly brought me back to that moment of his eyes welling. I started to tear, and I was numb all over again. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat there. I couldn’t move, I just sat there with my eyes glued to the picture.

He was happy. How could he be happy? So quick? I thought maybe life was playing games with me. Maybe that wasn’t real. Until I scrolled down and back up, and it was still there. This time I wasn’t sad, I was just there, i didn’t feel, I just felt plain. Not happy, not sad, nothing.

A month after this, I saw him at the mall. I ran so fast by him, I didn’t even get the chance to see his face. Hopefully, he didn’t see mine either. I was standing behind a tall pillar when my friend came from behind me “Hey, what’re you doing here?” I stood there not feeling anything for at least a minute.

“Oh, oh, hey sorry, nothing, just shopping for a dress.” I went to walk away and she came with me, babbling about something stupid, as usual. He was standing right there. Oh s***, oh my god, what the do I do? I stopped, but then continued. You cannot just pause your life for him. Keep walking. As I was walking past him, we made eye contact. At this exact moment I knew I was f***ed. My eyes were just about to water, but I held it together. I put my head down and just walked. Do not cry over him. He isn’t worth your tears. Keep your head up.

I continued to see pictures of him, on instagram and snapchat. Sometimes we even saw each other in school. I guess he thought the same thing as I, as not one of us could have the courage to say something to the other.

Until one day. Senior year. A year and a half later. I ditched study hall, as usual. I was walking down the hallway, and just as I turned the corner, I saw him. We were the only two walking down the hallway. I just kept walking, head up this time, no more hiding. Our paths crossed so swiftly. I was going to say something, but I felt I still couldn't after the way things ended and after ignoring him this whole time.

“Um, hey..” I heard this merely from the end of the hall. Is he talking to me? No way. He wasn’t, keep walking. My feet didn’t move. I turned my body around. He was standing in the opposite doorway. “Are you talking to me?” I can’t believe you just said that out loud. Are you kidding? Of course he’s talking to you, you’re the only one in the hallway.

“Uh, yeah, I guess so.” He looked around a bit confused.

“Oh, um, hi then.” There was a dragged on deathly silence.

He spoke. “Well, how are you?”

Did he really just ask me that? Shouldn't I be the one asking him?

This is when I realized we had grown up. We had also grown apart, but it was for the better. What I did was right, for the both of us. We got to grow up and make our own experiences. He still cared, and so did I. Our paths have crossed, maybe this time, would be the right time.






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