It was May of two years ago that one post-it note changed everything. One post it note turned into piles of post-it notes that both shaped and broke my world. One post-it note that started it all.
We were in the middle of math class, minding our own business and doing the problems on the board. I could see out of the corner of my eye that you were staring at me and contemplating something. I saw you take out the pack of post-it notes that the supply list had told us to buy but we never used, and write something down. At first I just thought you were writing a reminder of some sorts to stick onto your laptop, but then your arm reached under my desk and you stuck the post-it to the bottom.
I cautiously peeled the sticky note off of the bottom of my desk and flipped it over to read it. I felt your eyes watching me as I did, waiting for my response. On the post-it note you had written three simple, but wonderful words in your rather feminine, bubbly handwriting. Three words that turned my bad day to a great one. I love you.
I don’t know how, but those three words somehow made me feel more alive. More human. I just stared at the note for the longest time, re-reading it over and over again to make sure that I hadn’t misread it. The guy that I had been crushing on since the third grade loved me back, and it was a wonderful feeling. I turned over the post-it note and wrote my response on the back. I love you too.
The next two years were wonderful. You had the incredible ability of making me feel like I was the only girl in the world. I felt safe in your arms and knew that no one would be able to harm me as long as you were around. You made strive to become a better person. Month after month, the number of sticky notes that we had used to write to each other increased more and more until we had used up three and a half packs of faded yellow post-it’s. I saved every single one of them, keeping them locked inside a box in my closet so that none of my family members could find them and throw them out as “trash”. I loved you with all of my heart and was convinced that you felt the same.
Oh, those happy couple of years. So naive, I was, oblivious to the fact that everyone must take their turn in getting their heart broken. Oblivious to the fact that nothing lasts forever.
We were once again in math class, sitting in the same seats we had been in when you passed me the first note. Little did I know that these seats would also be where you passed me the last.
I could see you writing yet another note under the desk and away from the eyes of the teacher or fellow students. I didn’t think much of it, seeing as we had fallen into a simple, everyday routine when it came to the notes. One of us would write the first note and we would continue our conversation until there was no space left of the post-it, then I would fold it up, stick the note in my pocket, and grab another one to continue. It had been like this for years, just casual conversation with an overly organized system. It was no wonder that I was shocked to read the words written on the note you had passed me.
Promise you won’t get mad
I replied back. Don’t worry, I won’t. I had no idea what you were going to say, but I was pretty darn sure that it was another one of your outrageous secrets that you kept even though everyone else did the same thing. Or at least that’s what I thought.
I really don’t know how to tell this to you but, how do I put this. Let’s just say that I may or may not have a crush on another girl. I’m sorry it’s just, I kind of sort of asked her to Prom and we’re kind of sort of dating now… and I don’t want her to think that I’m cheating on her sooooo… I’m really sorry but I’m going to have to break up with you. Please don’t get mad I just love her and…
I just stopped reading the note right then and there. It was only going to be more reasons why he wanted to break up with me. What was the point of reading on?
I felt my eyes fill up with hot tears that threatened to spill down my face like a waterfall. My heart ached and I felt a sort of numb feeling spread all over me. The only thing I could feel were the tears in my eyes and the beating of my heart, which felt like it had been broken into a million peices.
That was all I wrote. One word. But believe me, I wanted to write more. I was tempted to let all of my emotions spill out onto the yellow post-it note, but I had promised not to get mad, and I never break my promises. I wasn’t mad so much as crushed, but some emotions could easily be mistaken for others, so I gave you the note back before grabbing it from your hand again and folding it up like usual. The only difference was that instead of saving it, I got up and tossed it into the trash can in the corner of the classroom. I then picked up my things and sat down in the back of the class so that no one could see the tears finally run down my face.
That evening I didn’t even bother eating dinner, I ran straight to my closet and grabbed the box from the top shelf. No one was home yet, so I didn’t have to worry about them seeing it. I walked out to the living room and lit the fireplace before sitting cross-legged in front of it.
I opened the box and for a moment I was just staring inside as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. All of the notes we had written to each other over two years. Two years. One by one, I tossed each note into the fireplace. The notes were now just reminders of the past. Reminders of all the times you had promised to me that you would love me forever, a promise you would later break. Reminders of the dates you had asked me on in the middle of History. Reminders of all the now broken promises you had made to me. Reminders of all the kind words we had ever shared.
The fire illuminated my tear soaked face as the post-its were tossed into the flames, shriveling up before turning into the ashes of the memories they once were. I felt empty, lost without a map to help me back, broken without tools to fix the hole in my heart. The pain and sorrow filled up my very soul and cascaded down my face in the form of salty droplets of tears. Everything was gone. Everything that we had ever done together. All of the moments we had shared.