Today's writing prompt from Absolutely Bananas is about heartbreak. There's only one time I can truly think of that my heart has been really broken. Sure, there were plenty of times that I felt a little twinge of heartbreak... but there was one time that surpasses all the others. One time that still makes my heart squeeze just a little bit when I think of it.
I was only 17 when I met Bob* and there was something about him that drew me to him. It wasn't that he was overwhelmingly handsome or a smooth talker, because he wasn't either of those things. He simply didn't care what people thought about him and that made me love him. It probably was a good defense mechanism for him, actually, because most people didn't like Bob. I'm not going to go into clinical diagnoses or anything because I'm no doctor, but there was something about that boy that just wasn't right.
Regardless, I fell in love with him fast. My friends hated him, my family hated him - and I didn't care. I spent as much time with him as I possibly could. If it wasn't with him in person, we were on the phone. We were inseparable as any high school romance is. After a year and a half of dating it was time for me to go on to college. Bob must have loved me, too, because he followed me to college. He got his own apartment and I had my dorm, though I can't remember actually sleeping in it. Now I could spend all of my time with him.
In my sophomore year of college I got my own apartment with two other girls and I discovered that there was beer in college. Not just beer, but keg parties... and other boys. Who were interested in me. I wanted to stay faithful to Bob... I loved him so much... but I was 19 and loving the parties and Bob wanted to stay home and take over the world from his personal computer. That, and he really didn't fit in with all my new keg party friends. So we broke up.
I think it hurt him more than it hurt me at the time. He had to sit and watch while I went out and partied constantly and then came home to call him up in a drunken slur and ask him to come over to stay with me just because I didn't want to be alone. He did come over, and he did stay, and he listened to me, and he loved me... even though I was breaking his heart.
After a year or so of being on and off with Bob, me dating other guys and always running back to him, Bob had finally had enough. I could tell he was distancing himself from me and I think that must have been what caused the big bright light bulb to go off in my head. Bob wasn't going to take any of my crap any longer. Bob was moving on.
Bob was moving on? Bob wasn't going to be there for me anymore? But... I loved Bob! Truly, Bob was the only one I really wanted! I would stay with Bob, I would be with Bob, I would devote every ounce of my being to making Bob happy and not being a stupid little twit any longer!
Unfortunately, it was just too late. Bob had met another girl who wouldn't be a stupid little twit. And Bob had fallen in love with her, and moved away with her, and eventually married her.
My heart broke to know that he was gone. I cried like I have never cried before. I walked around for months in a foggy haze of pain. I couldn't listen to the radio because every song brought back the pain. I couldn't see my friends with their boyfriends because it just hurt so bad. It physically hurt to get up in the morning and to try to make it through each day.
I missed him. I loved him. I knew I would never love anyone as much as I loved him and I had ruined it. I had no one to blame but myself... though I tried. I tried to hate his new girlfriend/wife but it wasn't her fault that I had ruined it. I relished everything I heard about her that was negative. I hoped they'd get divorced and Bob would come running back to me, the one who really loved him.
That didn't happen. Bob and his wife had three children and lived what appeared to be** the picture perfect life, according to their website with the sickeningly sweet name. Eventually, I moved on. It took about a year before I could listen to the radio alone without crying, before I stopped thinking of him every day, before I could bury the regret and guilt.
Then I found my true love in The Man. A love that soars high above anything I ever had with Bob... and I'm so thankful that my path changed directions back then. I'm thankful for my heartbreak because it taught me how to love the right way. I'm thankful for my loss because it opened the right doors for me. I learned so much about myself and love and relationships from all of that pain, and I am so glad.
*names have been changed to protect the innocent. :)
**Bob and his wife are divorced now and Bob has been through a whole slew of problems that have made his life more difficult. When I heard they were getting a divorce (the thing I had hoped would happen back then), I genuinely felt only sadness for both of them and their children.
***Stick figures were made at www.ourstickfamily.com, though I did edit them for my own purposes. :)