It was a brutal five hours as we came to the understanding that this thing we had invested in was coming to a close. Neither one of us thought the conversation would take this turn. There was no fighting, no harsh words, no dramatic accusations, no “well you never” or “I always” or “there is someone else.” It was not the way I had always envisioned a break-up would happen. When we started to talk about the future and the desires we had for it, we saw differences but nothing to sink the ship.
We had spent a fun day together, brunch and a movie and cuddling on my bed. He had traced my thumb with his and kissed my forehead. He knew he was going to tell me something that was going to be a big deal to me but he didn’t know it was going to start the end that night. The further we got into the conversation, the more I tried to fight for us and the more he said goodbye. I laid in his arms and stared into his face. I whispered a desperate attempt to convince him we were fixable. We were enough, I was enough. His red-rimmed eyes told me everything I didn’t want to hear but everything I could sense was coming.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” His broken words rumbled in my ears.
“No. I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready to live in a world that you aren’t with me. I’m not ready.” I protested. I was clinging for anything that might buy me more time, give us a chance to figure out if it was really over.
As I knew his heart had left me, I rolled over and started to sob. He clung tighter. Everything within me was at war. I wanted to push him away but I knew that when I told him to leave, I was shutting the door on forever. I was shutting out my love, my best friend, my hopes and dreams. How do you make the decision to do that? When feels like the “right time” to tell someone to go?
He wrapped me in his arms and let me kiss him one last time. I gave him his t-shirt, a book, and a cookbook he had given me. Telling him it would hurt me too much to see it. He nodded and walked out the door, head down, eyes swollen. He left.
I pulled out my phone and called my mom, knowing the late hour would worry her.
“I need you to come here. I need you.” She got in the car and started driving the twenty minutes to my house.
Numb and in shock I grabbed my bag and walked out the door. I sat on the curb with shaking hands and frantically opened my phone.
I launched Facebook and quickly changed my relationship status. I changed my picture. I deleted posts about him. Satisfied that I had eliminated most of it, I deleted the instagram pictures of him and us and things that reminded me of him. I went through my phone and deleted his number, his text messages, his calendar. And then I had to open my pictures and delete the ones of us. The memories of being in love for the first time and the happiest months I ever had experienced.
All I wanted to do was erase every trace of him. Because if I took those things away maybe it would make me not hurt as much.
The problem was not only did I have to erase him from my real life, I had to erase him from my digital life. And those footprints are much bigger. There are alot of benefits to living the majority of my story openly. You are able to celebrate with me, laugh with me, joke with me, enjoy my awkward moments and quirky thoughts. You’ve been there with me through death and loss and moving and hard transition. You rejoiced with me when he came into my life.
But there is a con — I wrote our story into other chapters of my life. I gave him a face and a name and a relationship status. I wore my heart on the outside. So when everything changed, I desperately wanted to cross his name out of the other places it was written. Because it hurt. But it wasn’t just my sadness and my brokenness. It was yours too.
You have given me your precious stories, your words of encouragement, your love, your support, your hope. You have given me yourself.
There are times I regret letting my heart be open. Times I wish I kept things to myself. But all I need to do is scroll through the hundreds of messages to see that our stories are meant to be lived with each other, together. I took a risk for love. Risking to love a man and risking to live it in front of you. I knew it might end this way and truthfully, I don’t think I would have known how to walk forward if it hadn’t been for you. So that’s why risking it all for love in the digital age is worth it — because you live joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment, love and pain, in ways that bring life with a community of people who desperately love you. The power in that, the power of healing and transformation, is something the enemy doesn’t want to see. So he holds our hearts captive in shame and embarrassment.
But not this time.