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“Where do I begin? Ismael left on June 29th. It’s important for me to remember this date because if I forget, I won’t know when I’ve finally forgotten about him. So I mark every 29th in my calendar ever since, so every month I can check if I’m finally over him.

The first few months were the hardest, I would drunk-text him constantly and send him emails with two thousand words explaining how I’ve changed and I never meant to hurt him and that fling meant absolutely nothing to me, I was thinking about him the entire time. He never answered, but maybe he just lost the password to that email account, you never know. I did mean everything I said, I was thinking of him the entire time. I don’t even know why I did it, I guess I was a little bored, which is normal in relationships, you probably know about that.

Anyway, I watched all the rom-coms and cried in all of them and hoped the bastard would call me back at least once, just to see if I didn’t die of heartbreak. I would have called him if it was me the one that broke up with him. I literally could have died and he wouldn’t even notice, and he said I was the cold one.

Then came a couple of months of embarrassing hookups and other very bad decisions that I’m not very proud of and probably shouldn’t be mentioning for my own sake, but just know that I hit rock bottom when I started to attend AA meetings just so I could talk to someone because none of my friends or my mother wanted to hear about it anymore. I don’t even have an alcohol problem! Well, normally I don’t have an alcohol problem but even that may be questionable these days. But it’s just the normal amount for someone who was abandoned by the love of their life, husband-to-be, most-amazing-person-I’ve-ever-met. Wouldn’t you? Well, we weren’t actually engaged but I thought we would marry, I had a bridal Pinterest board.

After that, I tried to get back on my feet and stop the terrible decisions. I almost managed to not get fired if it wasn’t for that bitch Patricia who’s always wanted my position and stabbed me in the back in my hour of need, but if it wasn’t for that I would have kept my work, which I still count as a win. And I did drop back to the weight I had when I was in college from the days I spent depressed unable to get out of bed, which is nice. In a time like this one has to count their wins.

On the other hand, being unemployed forced me to go back to live with my mom and her new twenty-something boyfriend who could almost be my son if I had been a very precocious fourteen-year-old (which I wasn’t, obviously), and that would almost be ok if it wasn’t because they have more sex than I’ve ever had my entire life. Not only do I have to hear my own mother doing the deed in the room next to mine, but I also have to be reminded she’s living a better life than I am, arthritis and all, which is outrageous.

To get my mind off things I tried meditating, have you ever tried meditating? It’s impossible! How are you supposed to shut down your brain and have no thoughts at all? I always have like a thousand things rushing throw my mind, even now that I’m speaking I’m thinking that maybe I left the stove on and I probably burned my mom’s house.

I also tried yoga but the instructor kind of looked like Ismael if I squinted my eyes and imagined him without a beard and with short hair and different clothes, and I ended up being kicked out because apparently my crying was interrupting the sessions and making others uncomfortable. But to be honest, I think the real issue was that the instructor had a crush on me and it made our interactions really awkward so I also thought it was best if I stopped going because I was not ready to start another relationship.

After that, my mom booked me an appointment with a therapist, which I initially refused because shrinks are for crazy people, but I was desperate to get out of the house so I wouldn’t have to hear my mom and his boyfriend doing you-know-what. Can you believe I can even hear them from the kitchen? Maybe that’s why I left the stove on. So I went to the therapist and at the beginning there was no chemistry and I didn’t like her very much, but after a couple of weeks I realized how liberated I felt to be able to speak about this again! Talking about Ismael in every session made me realize that I’m actually over him, that this painful journey of thinking about him every minute of the day is finally over! I had finally healed that wound.

My therapist told me I was fine now and I didn’t need to keep going to the sessions, and when I checked the calendar last month and realized February didn’t have a 29th day, I took it as a sign. It meant I was finally able to get out there and get on with my life. That’s why I’m here actually, because I’m finally ready to open up to the possibilities life can bring me and feel like a complete woman once again. Now if Ismael calls me, I can show him how much better I’m doing without him, and our breakup was just a learning experience for me that made me skinnier and better in every way.”

“Ahem… Miss Nguyen I..”

“Oh, call me Elizabeth, there’s no need to be so formal.”

“Miss Elizabeth, this is a job interview. When I asked you to tell me about yourself, I meant professionally.”

“Oh… well I can tell you in more detail about how that bitch Patricia stole my job after..”

“That would be all. Thank you for your time, we’ll call you if you get chosen for the position.”

“But you don’t have my number, I haven’t given you my resum..”

“We’ll call you. Have a good day.”

March 31, 2023 03:49

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1 comment

Beth Peterson
15:26 Apr 07, 2023

Wow, talk about an emotional rollercoaster. You did a wonderful job showing how a nasty break-up can impact your whole outlook on life. And the ending was incredibly funny. Great story, Aran!


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