Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summer of 2006

I knew what he was going to say before he said it.

The panicky feeling of dread enveloped me, squeezing tighter and tighter. I nearly collapsed under its clutch. It had started six days before. He took longer to answer his cell. He wouldn't talk more than a minute. He didn't want to make plans. That warmth in his voice, reserved especially for me, was gone. He stopped saying "I love you."

It was so out of the blue.

There had been no fight. No obstacle had presented itself.

But there he was, standing on my parents' doorstep that sweltering summer day, looking sheepish and grim at the same time. He shuffled on the welcome mat. He didn't even want to come inside.

I grabbed his arm, desperately. Too desperately.

"I bought your favorite bagel," I cried out. "And that jalapeno cream cheese you love so much! Come eat lunch. Please."

He reluctantly stepped inside.

"I can't stay," he said, awkwardly. "I need to do something. I wanted to do it in person. Please don't make this any harder than it is."

I stood there in shock. A large mass blocked my throat from uttering any sound. Tears welled in my eyes.

"It's over, Jen," he said.

There were other words. I think there was even a fucking speech. I'm not sure. All I remember is crumbling on the floor in my white sundress like a giant tissue.

I was so pretty back then. Ninety-nine pounds. Twenty-two years old. Long brown hair.

"You can have any guy you want," he comforted me.

"But I want YOU!" I wailed back.

A panic attack arose in me. I begged him to reconsider. I told him he just needed time to think. He didn't even have a reason, other than he didn't think we were right for each other.


"I just do."

Pride didn't exist that day. I threw myself at his feet. He didn't care.

When he left, I ran into the kitchen and threw the bagels against the wall. I picked up the carton of jalapeno cream cheese and smashed it on the floor, glaring at the white and green clumps against the beige tile.

Your first broken heart is the worst one. I heard that somewhere recently. It made me half-smile, because it's true. You honestly think the world has come to an end. It's a shock. It's grief. It's your soul trying to readjust to life without him.

I didn't eat for eight days. I forced down juice. I dropped down to ninety pounds. I was putting on a bikini in my bedroom when my mom came inside. "How can you be so sad when you look so amazing?" she marveled, staring at my body. I looked in the mirror. I had never been so thin. It didn't matter though. Nothing did.

Eventually I ate because my hunger returned against my will. But I was like a prisoner, trapped inside my aching mind. My head physically hurt to think about him.

Later that summer, I got my first real job at the newspaper. It distracted me a little bit. I went on a bunch of first dates and then hit ignore on my cell when the guys called back.

That fall, a guy I knew from an American Literature class in college randomly Facebook messaged me and we became pen pals, sharing our lives and deepest secrets. We fell in love through black and white and have been together ever since.

I'm with the person I'm meant to be with now. It's a comforting feeling amidst all the other troubles occurring in my life.

But that doesn't erase the past.

Today, my dad bought me lunch and the minute I took the first bite, an overwhelming sense of sadness smacked me in the heart. A distinct feeling I hadn't felt for seven years. I looked down.

It was that damn jalapeno cream cheese.


A•Mused said...

Strange how those sentiments never leave, isn't it?

I've been working on a first love piece, for like...a month. Or two. It is the most difficult thing I've ever written, and now it seems to have become a sort of self-therapy piece, that I really don't think anyone will be interested in reading. It's also three pages long, and I'm not even finished.

I'm so glad that you've met the man you're supposed to be with. A painful path, but it led you in the right direction. Beautiful.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

I don't think these feeling sever leave. Sometimes a certain aroma hits the air and I can remember loads of different times I've smelled it and they aren't always happy moments. Even though we go through heartaches again and again, I'm glad we don't have to go through the first one again where everything is new and not so understandable. It doesn't make the next ones better, just different. Hope you are well doll :) x

French Girl in Seattle said...

Another fine piece of writing, Jenny. Why do first loves always end up breaking our hearts? You have found a good guy now, and he stands by your side even as you are experiencing a tough time (I read your previous post.) Remember: While swimming underwater, give a strong kick once you hit the bottom, and follow the pretty little air bubbles back to the surface for fresh air. Things will look much better then. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Bunny Moreno said...

Its true, the first is the hardest. But I am so happy that I can see that now and am with the right person. It takes time to see that and when you do you cannot help but feel happy and grateful that you arent with the person you thought you should be. Its like a flippin miracle. So glad you are with the right person-that puts a smile on my face! xox

Shybiker said...

Wow. Your writing is so powerful.

SR said...

I think for people who fall in love, us romantics always fall hard, for me first broken heart was misery but the ones after were no relief either. If I were to judge on a weight loss scale, the most recent one left me skinnier. I guess the psychology behind it would b e that at 16, you can still hope you have a long way ahead of you and will find an amazing guy but maybe at 25 it more feels like that you'll end up with cats, but then yeah when you look in the mirror or in some cases upload a photo on facebook to which people ooohhh and aaaah u know u won't end up with cats, or well with just the cats.

Ryan (The Woven Moments) said...

Good god, woman. You may be down right now but this is some GOOD WRITING. Crisper than you've ever been, maybe. Feels a little like spoken word poetry.

Well done.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

The first is definitely the worst. It really does get better, especially when you are with someone who is so right for you.
I'm even friends with an ex on Facebook. I definitely feel like I'm in a better place without him than with him and that helps immensely! Oh and as petty as it seems, I think my life is cooler.

Chic 'n Cheap Living

The Grande Dame said...

I get the half smile too.
It's amazing when you find your life love.
I'm glad you found it :)

Couture Carrie said...

So true, darling.
Takes me back to my first heartbreak and every one since.
Beautifully written, as always.


Tallia said...

wow that was intense! It's funny how the taste of food can bring back so much memories!

Christine L. said...

I'm in perfect timing to have read this. I'm actually going on through like this and it's really hard. Too much for a young heart like mine and what most girls have, they say. Thank you, nonetheless for this entry.


Ths is so true, you always remember your first heartbreak, all of the horrid emotions, and newness that you had to go through afterwards. Great story, and so full of passion. Hope you're doing well dear. x/Madison

Wiola said...

There's so much truth to this: "Your first broken heart is the worst one." I think it gets better with time. I think what some of us do wrong the first time, is that we haven't yet learned to see the value in ourselves. If the other person says that we are beautiful and smart, we are more inclined to think that we are. But when they are no longer there to attest to that, we have a difficult time seeing the value in our ourselves... so our whole world comes crashing down. It's not just a simple rejection. It's so much more than that. You haven't lost just this other person, but also a part of who you are (or who you have come to understand yourself to be - through the eyes of another significant person.)

----- I'm not sure if this makes sense at all. My petty excuse: English is my third language. Or my other excuse: I just can't think and reason that well.

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