The Night You Stopped Breaking My Heart

The night you stopped breaking my heart
I sat cocooned in my car as the rain fell around me
A spectacle of headlights reflecting in the drops on my windshield, the parking lot bustled and I paid no mind
Coffee shop radio played in the background
eerily choosing the soundtrack of the year we had spent together, as if to enhance the melodrama of the moment.

This time, perhaps for the first time, I chose to be quiet and let you take the lead.

Your voice over the speaker had grown unfamiliar, confusing
And your poised demeanor reminded me of a conversation i’d had earlier with a store clerk
I sensed you felt nothing, and for once, none of my energy would go into changing that
My only choice; to sit buckled and watch as reality unfolded

As tears fell in rhythm with the rain outside
You filled my ears with cliche advice and well intended blows to my character.
Feverish and appalled at the Hallmark sympathy,
my stomach turned and I gasped for air (or perhaps for the love you could not give me).

You confessed you didn’t understand why I hurt
and you could “kind of” understand why this mattered so much to me.
And suddenly as the cold sweats and nausea let go of their hold, it dawned on me,
Even after all this time
You had no idea who I was.
Nor did I know you.

Could it be?  We had been so busy painting our illusions onto each other
that we never took the time to embrace what we had in front of us?
Perhaps had we been so brave, we would have seen much sooner
That neither of us wanted what the other had to offer.

And in that refreshingly real moment, it was finally over.
The sleepless nights, the longing, the fixing, the missing, the wondering why…
It ended, and I was liberated from fantastic delusions
Liberated from the torturous reality of complacent, conformist love

In the weeks to follow I woke up to the post-apocalyptic world that had developed while my eyes were on you
Lost in my commitment to seeing our make-believe come true,
neglect had allowed everything I loved before you to rot away.
Life had been carrying on just the same and was now calling me back to mourn my losses and rebuild.

Just like that, I was no longer invisible, no longer at your wavering will
and light began to shine through the cracks of disillusionment.
As I started the engine and pulled away, coffee shop radio now my only companion
I knew there would be no us on the road ahead
And I thanked the stars for that.

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