When my ex and I split up earlier this year, I didn’t shed a tear for six weeks. My best friend was worried about me. “Are you okay?” she’d ask on some days, her head tilted to one side with concern; on others, she’d comment with a half-smile, “I’m really surprised at how well you’re doing.” But of course, the glory didn’t last long. After weeks of me feeling like the breakup had happened to a distant relative, at best, and feeling slightly annoyed by it, at worst, it all came crashing down rather dramatically.
It was 2am; I was at home alone; and it was one of the rare nights when I wasn’t in a club acting like a knock off Rihanna. First came the tears, arriving with the brashness of a bald-headed misogynist. Shortly after, my throat turned into sandpaper – hard, scratchy and bitterly dry. All the while, my heart felt like it was both imploding and ballooning as I heaved uncontrollably, my chest tightening with each desperate, dramatic gasp for air.
Through soaked, red eyes, I grabbed my phone and scrolled to my ex’s name on iMessage. I considered calling them to ‘politely’ tell them they were scum. I considered crafting a ‘mature’ message asking them to pick up their stuff up because I didn’t want their ‘negative energy in my space’. But, thankfully, I did the smart thing. I rang my best friend who rushed over immediately, despite the fact that she lived nearly an hour away from me. When I opened the front door, looking and feeling like a piping hot mess, her eyes widened. She said in a whisper so low I almost didn’t hear it, “I saw this coming.”