“It’s not what I asked for/sometimes life just slips in through a back door/and carves out a person who makes you believe it’s all true.”
~ Sara Bareilles “She Used to Be Mine”
It was my first time having a phone conversation with him since our meeting almost a week prior. I had suffered countless, uninspiring how-you-doing-lady texts. Finally, he called (brave soul in 2017!).
Our conversation went the way of ocean floors: wading…wading…and suddenly, under. He asked about my heart, and I shared openly, perhaps foolishly, deciding not to disown myself in the moment.
He replied with gusto:
“He may love you as a person, but he isn’t in love with you. THAT’S for sure. You’re hurting yourself.”
I let the words land, one by one. I knew this first conversation would also be the last, but the moment earned the right to be filled with the words he’d chosen — as well as the ones I couldn’t bring myself to speak.
There was no use denying something that could very well be true. And so, for once, I let it be. And in those moments, even as I felt unexpectedly and irreverently stripped in front of a room of hecklers, I triumphed in my courage to feel.
I waited until my breath returned…waited to feel the tears behind my closed eyelids. I dropped my arms to my side, and accepted the moment. He meant the words to hurt, and they did. Stung, rather. I let the sting linger without looking for a salve. I just felt.
Then, I spoke:
“You may be right. Anyways, I love him, and this won’t work. Good night.”
My finger touched the screen to end the call just as hot tears cascaded down my cheeks, and my lips parted into a smile, blowing spit with the timely release of the breath I’d been holding.
Being stung is nothing to be ashamed of.