The Blessing and the Curse This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     I was pacing in restless circles around my house; the anticipation of his arrival was torturing me. We had planned to talk all week about us, and tonight we were supposed to follow through and get it over with. He’d been over earlier, helping Dad and me unload hay for the horses. When my dad went to get more, the silence between us stretched like butter spread too thin on a slice of toast. Ever since he’d sent me those three world-shattering text messages in school a few days before, his presence was no longer a comfort, but I still wanted him around more than anything. I had wanted to spend years with him - if not my whole life.

He was late with no phone call. I had to be home by 10. My time to convince him that breaking up was a mistake was running out. I began to get an ethereal sense of calm. Maybe I had more time, an extension to plan what I needed to say, to make him believe that he couldn’t find a more devoted, loving girl than me. I knew in my heart he was confused and dealing with a lot, and I wanted to let him know that I would help him through it all.

Just as I began to feel the relief that comes with an extended deadline for a presentation that is not ready, he called and said he’d pick me up in 10 minutes. The fear returned like an icy fist around my heart, and clutched my throat in its vice-like grip. Mom had been watching me pace for the past half hour, and in my hysteria, I told her that I could no longer face the conversation. I wanted to delay the inevitable moment of finding out whether he still wanted me. Her response was a reminder - I needed to figure out what was going to happen to our relationship. Finally he pulled up in our teardrop-shaped driveway.

We drove away in timid, awkward conversation. Even as I made small talk, the phrase “Love is both a blessing and a curse” ran through my head. Never had I fully understood the depth of that saying. Never had it rung more true.

I told him, “Take me somewhere I’ll never revisit.” Should he confirm my worst fears, I wanted it to happen in a place I wouldn’t go often to avoid reliving this nightmare. I was appalled that he chose a road I had shown him and told him about my fond childhood memories there. I think he realized what he was doing and how I felt because he didn’t look at me once. He knew how he’d hurt me, how he was going to hurt me even more.
I’d already begun to cry silently as he stopped at the end of the street to talk. His attempt to lighten the mood with his usual display of stupidity - pretending to run over the stop sign - could not lift the curtain of dread draped over my heart. I glared at him, letting him know his childish behavior wouldn’t stop the ache in my chest. His antics stopped and we sat in silence.
As we became lost in our own thoughts, I listened to the rain’s pitter-patter on the roof, feeling the drops fall through the window, open a crack, and onto my bare arm. In the headlights we could see the rain and fog that obscured distant objects. It was an eerie setting. I shivered, more from the cold than the bleak night, more from the foreboding than the cold.
All this I took in blankly. How would this encounter between us end? I wondered if he really wanted to do this to us, if he even cared, and why he didn’t want to fight for us. I thought through what I wanted to ask him. Did he like another girl? Why had he broken up with me in text messages? Why had he broken up with me at all? Why didn’t he want to take a break rather than just end it? What was I doing that he didn’t like? I cried because I didn’t know any of these answers, because I loved him and didn’t understand him as I thought I had.
Tears dried on my cheeks again and again as I repeated these questions in my head. If he had just opened up to me to begin with and realized that a relationship takes two people - realized I was not the one slacking - he could have spared me this devastating apprehension. Then I began to wonder exactly what he was thinking, looking out the window next to me.
Finally, in a desperate need to do what we came here to do, my cracking voice broke the silence and we talked. With each question I asked, his answers cut like tiny daggers into my heart.
My fears confirmed, we started the drive back to my house, answers attained and our time over.
We had the understanding that “we” and “us” would no longer describe our relationship. We were done. He liked someone else and had issues that he had never given me the chance to help him with. This was the end of it. The happiest time in my life - the period that relates best to the smile of a gleeful child running through a sprinkler on a hot day or the triumphant satisfaction of that child catching fireflies in a jar at twilight - this was over.
We got back late, but I knew Mom wouldn’t be mad. She understood heartbreak too and my need to do what I had just done. In fact, she had encouraged it, so I knew she wouldn’t mind if I spent a few more minutes with him outside. A few more questions spewed from me in a lazy, half-hearted way, I didn’t really want to know the answers anymore, but needed to.
He stared at everything except me until I demanded he look at me as he answered. He jerked his eyes to meet mine. Those eyes, which I had thought beautiful and loving, now rendered me speechless with their withering stare. The familiarity between us was already dissipating and he seemed like a cold-hearted stranger. Wondering how he even had the nerve to look me in the eye, even though I’d requested it, I began to loathe him. Then I hated both him and love, shunning it all.
I walked away slowly, so if he wanted to catch me, nobody could say I had ran and wasn’t attainable. But he didn’t come after me, and I had left all my tears, for the moment, in his dumb SUV. Once inside my house, my face was bone dry - until my head hit the pillow and I realized he really was gone.
The joy I’d known was gone. It was replaced by the other half of love: the curse of not wanting to let go, disappointment in not being able to work things out, devastation that cloud nine was snatched from beneath me after I’d had a very short ride. This monster-like curse ripped at me, eating me away slowly. My curse was the lack of closure, the memories I couldn’t shake, and finally, the understanding of heartbreak. .

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This 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. said...
Jan. 11 at 1:39 am
i love this so much!
Feathered_mortal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 8:30 am
Your writing is great, because it voices a feeling that I'm sure so many of us have. I definitely know what you're talking about, and can relate to your words. You write beautifully; I was so moved by this.
Ren-P. said...
Sept. 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm
Wow. That is so deep and reflective and strong. Great writing, and an even better concept behind it. Keep writing!
SiMS202 said...
Apr. 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Wow...That was really sad. I know I'm not feeling exactly what you felt but as I read it I felt pain with you, it makes me want to cry. I don't know everything about you guys relationship but I can imagine and think only why would he destroy something so perfect.

Stay strong, you'll find someone better, maybe he wasn't the right one even as much as it seemed like it.

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