What do you do when you’ve lost everything you once knew and loved, and your life falls apart like a broken puzzle? What I do is, I run to an island in the deepest regions of my brain where I’m invisible to the rest of the world.
What did I lose? You could say I lost my heart, or maybe just forgot where I put it. It all began last Spring, right after my April 3rd birthday. What happened? You might ask. It was an end to something magical; well at least I thought it was.
I was sitting on the edge of my bed in my brown stone apartment in Baltimore, Maryland holding the box in my hand.
“How am I going to propose?” I thought to myself as I stared at my grandmother’s diamond engagement ring.
This whole marriage thing was getting to my head. I wanted the proposal to be as special as she imagined it. I was hesitant about getting married but Janine had been waiting for me to pop the question for a long time now and I wanted to be romantic about it. I wanted Janine to remember this for the rest of our lives together. Marriage had always been a strong thought for me in the past, but when I realized I was with the one I loved, the thought made me happy. After six years of our relationship and fifteen months of living together, it was about time we got married, I guess. Two years ago, she brought up the marriage topic to me and told me she didn’t want to wait any longer and didn’t want to be in her forties when she had children. I told her I needed time because I wasn’t ready yet so I suggested the moving in idea. She had been waiting ever since for me to be ready, I just hoped she hadn’t given up on me.
We both met in college when we were eighteen and ended up dating a year later. I remember the exact moment; I arrived late to my business journalism class and I wanted to quickly find a seat in the back, but I accidently tripped on my own foot and her armrest broke my fall. We hung out for the first time that same weekend at the local pub with some friends. It was her first serious relationship and my second.
About twenty minutes later Janine came home crying her eyes out ready to collapse on the floor.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her as I quickly stored the box away in my sock drawer.
“I don’t know what I did. I ruined it,” she cried.
“Ruined what?” I asked.
“Our relationship. It’s done. I’ve met someone else and we’ve been together for three weeks now. I can’t go on telling lies anymore. I’m moving out. I’m so sorry.”
What was I supposed to say? My heart was racing like it had done when I sang during my high school theater performance as a freshman and my voice cracked in front of the whole school; this time it was way more intense. I was mortified by what she said. She portrayed my life and me. How could this be happening to me? My eyes immediately started to tear as I watched her pack up her things.
“So that’s it?” I asked. “For six years we stood by each other for better or worse talking about how much we wanted this and you...