You don’t really get over it. It’s sort of like the waves in the ocean, if you fight the tides you’ll drown; it’s better to go with the punches, feel everything — as painful as it is — and eventually that pain won’t be as intense. The tides will become familiar, friendly even, and slowly you’ll find your footing in the sand.
We are not unfinished business; he was not a mistake, he was a lesson. A painful one.
Was he a waste of time? Sure, that can definitely be a possible explanation — a way to erase my emotional attachment to a person who was not emotionally invested in me; but calling what we went through a waste of time would be a disservice to the fervor and warmth that erupted between us, even if it was only genuine to me.
So what happens after he pulls away? What happens when a fabricated blanket of love gets ripped away and I’m left with cold ugly truths?
Nothing. It’s the worst. Life around me kept moving forward and I felt stuck in time; stuck in a feeling of abandonment and hopelessness. I felt everything and nothing at the same time.
To fake feeling better, I started getting dressed for me. I wore things that are reminders of the power of familial love, intergenerational love. I wore a necklace of Our Lady of Graces along with a heart locket of my grandmother — a woman who would’ve shit-talked him faster than my friends. I wore clothes that brought me joy; I became adventurous with my style and decided that if I were to bump into him, he would not see the broken person he left behind but rather a joyous person he missed out on.
I heavily relied on music for the next few months. My spotify playlist looked like a Jackson Pollock painting; songs from Adele’s 21 album, to Shawn Mendes’ first and second album, to Olivia Rodrigo’s music, to The Script’s Six Degrees of Separation, to Latino classics like Dile by Don Omar, and Talento de Television by Willie Colón, to Fuck You by CeeLo Green and Bad Day by Justus Bennetts, to Papa Roach’s Last Resort and Scars, to Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved and Forever, to Dean Lewis’ Be Alright, to J. Cole’s Crooked Smile and No Role Modelz. There was a song for every emotion that ran through my head and then some.
I created my own memories to replace the ones tainted with him. I watched Shrek with him and anxiously awaited his laughter when iconic scenes were coming up (iconic scene). That should’ve been the first red flag, he had never watched Shrek – I mean, that’s a staple in our generation’s culture. Anyways, I rewatched the movie on my own to remind myself that nobody, definitely not some boy who didn’t understand basic humor, was going to ruin my favorite movie.
But here’s the thing, I didn’t want to be in my room because that’s where he was. So what did I do? Well, I did what any sane college student would: I bought Christmas lights and hung them around the ceiling to make my room more homey and bought pinecones to erase his cologne from my bed. It’s like he was never in my room, just a faint memory.
The best crutch were my friends. They left their doors unlocked for me to waltz in and sleep on their beds while they did work. They’d randomly Facetime me to check if I’d eaten that day — a difficult thing when my appetite had vanished. They easily told me that he wasn’t worth my time and tears (aren’t friends the best?).
I got over heartbreak by literally getting away from him. I left campus every weekend, I filled up my calendar with meetings and events I didn’t want to attend, and found similar warmth in friendships unbeknownst to me. I mourn the person I thought he was and come to terms with the person he’s proven himself to be.
There’s a question he asked me that swims in my head: What are we now? Well, we are two strangers with a history. Before, when I looked at him, jolts of excitement and comfort ran through my body, igniting a part of me that I didn’t even know existed. Now I look at him and my body mourns, it no longer misses him. My heart is rather resentful with questions that neither of us have the answers to. The only thing I know is this: I am healed and he is a fool.