by Seven Ink
A little personal short story about a Christmas break-up. Written for Verifabula.
|Word Count: 552|
Christmas is a mish-mash of memories for me, happy and sad. The first few years I don't remember, though I've seen them on video. Those memories from that time are fuzzy for me, perhaps due to the loss of my father at an early age.
Most of my memories of Christmas are full of joy, good food, and family. One Christmas stands out in my memory. I sometimes wish I could forget it, but I'll always value the lesson I learned.
There was someone I loved dearly. She and I had been dating over the course of three years, long-distance over the internet, though it was as real to me as any other relationship I had. She was my world, and I was her other wing. Only together could we soar, or so I let myself believe.
Things were not as good as I wanted to believe. I ignored red flags, swore I was in control, but I was not. If I could wait long enough for her to move in with me, it would be okay. Each time she found a new excuse. I was sleep-deprived, subsisting on two to four hours a night. Auditory hallucinations became frequent occurrences. I'd hear songs she recommended even when none were playing.
Even visual hallucinations on two occasions. One time a floating container of Neapolitan ice cream, the other a towering shadowy figure lurking in the dark hall beyond a doorway. Yet none of this deterred me. I believed nothing could separate us.
Then finally, one Christmas eve, the veil of my naivete was pulled back. My mother had alerted me that my beloved's ex had reached out via email with troubling news. She said it was up to me if I wanted to see. Naturally, I did.
There lay the evidence, her boldly proclaiming to her ex how she was stringing me along until she was tired of me. Of how she was more interested in a new prospect she'd been grooming.
Seeing red, I dialed her number and demanded an explanation. At first, she denied her actions. Seething, I read her own words back to her until she owned up. She pleaded her case, but the damage was done. I had to end things, despite her begging for me to do otherwise.
Of course, the only one who knew about this relationship was my mother. It would be too much to explain to a very judgy extended family over Christmas eve dinner. I gathered what little composure I had, and we made the short drive over.
Holding back tears throughout the night, I buried my sorrows in finger sandwiches, mixed nuts, and apple cider. Mercifully, most of the extended family either didn't notice or at least pretended not to. I listened numbly as my grandfather recited the biblical Christmas story, and only halfway heard what he said.
The pain was white-hot, festering in my chest like a ball of maggots. Not even the joy of Christmas could fully drive away my sorrow. Yet I am grateful in turn for that pain. I learned that I am worth so much more, that I deserve so much better. Never again would I let myself be so poorly treated by someone who claimed to love me. Now I celebrate my Christmases happy, loved, and respected.