On the corner of 56 & 6th, she watched him dart through traffic, feeling her hands shake.
She hopped on the uptown train and met her girls for the debrief. As she told what she now refers to as “the tale of 56th & 6th”, she watched them all drop their jaws in disbelief.
You don’t need him! One would interject.
What an asshole! Another would add.
Wait, what’s his name again? Another would slip in with a smirk, thinking it was helpful.
And it was! She left dinner slightly drunk and a little empowered.
Until she got home to the smell of his cologne on her pillows.
She found herself at brunch the next day at the beginning stages of the motions of a break up.
Step 1: Sadness
How do you feel? Her girl asked her at brunch the next weekend.
Look at her. She’s miserable. Another answered before she could.
Her eyes were dark, watery, and swollen. Her nose red, her purse filled with a jumbo pack of travel sized tissues. She cried over brunch, she cried over drinks, she cried when her roommates were cooking in the kitchen across the hall.
Step 2: Denial
She began to think he would call, that he’d facebook her, that he’d text or show up at her door. She would wait for silly things that don’t adhere to her generation – like a hand written love letter. Or even a love email. She was convinced it’d come. She didn’t care that it never would.
Step 3: Hatred
True to form, she began to hate. It wasn’t because of the words he said or the actions he took as he darted across 56th & 6th. It was because in this melodramatic state of a break up, hatred was the only way she felt she could stay alive.
Step 4: Acceptance
Acceptance was not something she came to knowingly or on her own, but by surprise with the help of her girlfriends. She glanced at herself in the mirror one day and recognized her face. It was lacking the swollen eyes, it was lacking the red nose, and it had a trace of a smile.
She was home.
Everyone goes through the motions of a break up differently. But usually, everyone ends up looking like this chick and experiencing some form of the above.
It’s never pretty. But what comes next usually is…