So Mery went out for a date. The guy was… well, he appeared to be a nice person, but only the hell knows what wanders the earth. He could be a psycho too. Even worse! He could be an asshole. She was aware that her current sensitivity makes her too weak to survive the presence of another ashore in her life. A psychopath seemed to be easier to handle.
A girl doesn’t know what a boy is until he reveals his real face. And he eventually will. They always do, always at the least expected moment.
She had her outfit chosen one day in advance. In her imagination, it looked perfect on her, but you know how it is when it comes to clothes, body, and ideas – one can’t be undoubtedly sure until one tries it on. When she tried it on, waiting for the last minute, she wasn’t delighted but it wasn’t a disaster either.
When she was waiting for him anxiety and fear positioned higher on a ladder of emotions than enthusiasm. Good, it was over by now.
It’s been a year since, so-called by herself, love of her life left. Finally, she had made enough space in her heart to welcome another love. Everyone does eventually. So wasn’t it a bit careless to call a partner “the love of the life” before life comes to an end?
Was the new boy the one for the next several weeks, months? She didn’t know, but there’s a possibility that he was. There’s always a possibility, right? A chance. And if so, was there an actual space in her heart for him? She doubted it. She started questioning everything with every minute of overthinking.
It wasn’t easy to start over. Brokenhearted people were like addicts on forced rehab. In many cases, though, they’re not aware that their brains act precisely the same way as a drug addict does when missing the drug. They’re not reliable; they cannot trust their judgment because their minds trick and mislead them, projecting only good memories of the beloved ex-ones. Undeserved glorification – this is how people should name it.
It is even more challenging to get over an idealized partner than to deal with rejection only. Mary knew all of that, so she created a list of bad moments and brought them up whenever her brain started manipulating her, and the feeling of longing was overwhelming. It wasn’t easy, so she decided to create a meaningful relationship to replace the one she lost. She tried to get excited about this new person as she used to be passionate about her ex-boyfriend. Again, the shadow of the ex hanged around.
This year, after the breakup until the moment she decided to let it go finally, was full of men with the past: Men who had been married, who had kids, who wanted from her nothing but fun, entertainment, sort of escape from boring life. All of them were divorced. She wasn’t a monster, afterward. Just a hot chili pepper in a too bland meal. Chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie. Cinnamon on top of thick milky fume of a chai latte. Not a monster.
In her eyes, this one, this particular man was different from them. He was… normal. Without complicated history, without obligations, and that’s why going out with him caused distress.
She prescribed herself love as a medicine for a broken heart, but she didn’t want to really fall for anyone. An ideal scenario was that she stays occupied and interested but not crazy about and definitely not in love.
Mary and the new boy went out once and then a second time. A romantic dinner followed by an even more romantic walk made her believed that she can finally start over again, begin a new chapter of her life.
They kissed. To Mary’s great surprise, his kisses were what she wanted. Their lips matched perfectly. The pace, speed, and pressure felt so good that she didn’t want him to stop. Did she finally meet a man who potentially could fulfill her? “That’s silly!” she reprimanded herself. But maybe he could stay in her life at least for a bit longer, and in a different way than just sexual intercourse?
When she returned to her apartment after this date, she couldn’t fall asleep. She stepped into a real deep shit. She knew it.
To calm herself down she turned on a stars projector – a toy, that she bought a little bit more than one year ago. She remembered when she turned it on for the very first time. She and the back-then-still boyfriend didn’t go entirely apart yet, but they were nearly there. They were fighting over silly things. Things that weren’t important afterward. Things she couldn’t even name in the light of a new day.
Every time she turned on the star projector, she thought about him – the man of her dreams, who used to be the reality, the man she loved endlessly, the man, what she had to accept, didn’t love her back anymore.
Mery clearly remembers when she turned this cheap stars projector on for the first time. She told him about it. She made a promise: they will be watching these stars together soon, he assured her that they will, but they’ve never done it. The next time they met, he broke up with her.
The break up wasn’t easy for any of them. The girl suffered a lot, and even though she could only assume that it wasn’t painless for him too, in favor of her ego, she clenched to this thought. She wanted to believe he had a higher reason, and in her nativity, she convinced herself that it’s not over.
Although, Mery tried to make everything as easy for the ex-boyfriend as possible, sometimes she couldn’t refrain from fighting for him and the love she was committed to, so it was even more painful. Eventually, she managed to put her shit together, hiding in her heart a romantic story and hope.
When she got in peace with herself and gave up, he got in touch with her, and the story began again. And more tears, more humiliation, more pain came. She loved him with her all heart, the heart that felt like it was gone because he took it away.
From the time perspective, healed up as much as she could, she admitted that there’s only one thing she could be sure about: the breakup wasn’t easy for her. After all, he was the one who had ended it.
Mary practiced self-love, tried to focus on different aspects of her life, which weren’t related to the ex-boyfriend, but she still thought about him very often. When she couldn’t sleep because she couldn’t stop thinking about him, she turned that projector on.
Mery tended to lye down on her back, staring at the stars displayed on the ceiling of her bedroom. Often she imagined, he was by her side, sometimes she let go of any fantasy and just stared. Sometimes she holds a fox, a soft toy she got from him, in her right arm, sometimes she was laying there, letting her imagination fly.
In the morning, when Mary woke up, the projector was still on. She heard it buzzing before she opened her eyes. The stars weren’t clearly visible in the bright room, fainted like the love she unreasonably clenched at.
Sunlight that filled her bedroom in the mornings usually lifted her spirit, encouraged to get up, and start with the day, but this time she was down. Thrills of: guilt, resignation, sadness one after another went through her body from the top of her head to the tiptoes. How was it possible that she was in this state again?
“Please, just let me be free,” she cried out in her mind watching a pigeon landing on a windowsill. Her body was still. Only eyes wandered the room from the pigeon on a windowsill to the barely visible, pale shapes of stars on the ceiling.
Minutes passed by unnoticeable. The buzz of the star projector, the only sound she could notice, became quieter and quieter, her eyes – heavier and heavier, and she drifted away to a dreamless world.
Shouts of workers from a nearby construction site, horns of cars, screeching sounds of elevators, people’s voices in the corridor, and maybe even the streets, a clatter of the pigeon’s beak brought her back gradually. Before she opened her eyes, she had realized that a crucial component of a wide variety of sounds filling up her room is missing. She could hear everything but the star projector.
Unlike the previous state, motionless condition of her body before this unexpected nap, Mery felt a desire to be active. The girl jumped out of bed, and in one smooth motion, grabbed the projector that had to fall down on the floor from the bedside cabinet. The plastic device wasn’t twirling nor projecting stars anymore. A bulb that glared many colors before was switched off. All she could see was a black sphere-shaped face with stars cut in it. Without thinking a lot, she walked out of the flat to a bright corridor of the building she lived in. Every step she took was made with confidence until she reached a chute room. She paused for a couple of seconds with her right hand on the doorknob and left clamped on the star projector. She pushed the door open, entered the tiny room, and pusher the hatch. The star projector threw in disappeared in the darkness of the chute, noiseless, obediently.
Mary smiled, welcoming the empowering feeling of relief. She knew very well that getting rid of things which remind about past relationship help to get over. Certain items, areas, and activities are like memorials, monuments of grief, disappointment, despair, not worth worshipping nor keeping. Although she couldn’t remove places and some activities she liked, she definitely could eliminate artifacts like things, pictures, notes, messages. All these little, seemingly harmless things stopped her from getting over, delayed the healing process.
Knowledge is the key, so – just there, in a chute room, she decided to stop mourning.
The girl got back to her apartment that looked all different. The colors were different, the energy was different. This simple gesture of throwing one thing that she attached to the ex-boyfriend gave renewed vitality to her. One-piece after another, she removed the past from her present. Going through deeply hidden shreds of evidence of lost relationship was truly purifying.
The beauty of love was that it just is, it lasts, it’s everywhere. Although one can find it everywhere, the first place one should look for love was within oneself.
Using a metaphor of an apple, if one wants to find healthy love, one should search for a whole apple instead of a half. Love wasn’t about completing each other but achieving self-completeness and then consciously deciding to walk through life together. So for Mary, in order to find the one, was to become the one herself.
Mary wanted to believe that she is worth self and someone’s unconditional love. When she closed her eyes, breathing deeply, delving into herself breath after breath, she understood that she actually is.
At that point, she experienced a moment of enlightenment. Knowing that only she can let her despair go.
Breath after breath, thought after thought, piece after piece Mary cleaned up her world and started her own journey to a new bright future when she doesn’t need anyone to love her because her self-love is sufficient.