By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:
Sucker punched. That is one way to put how I feel. Like something rammed straight into my chest and knocked my heart out of commission for a while. It lost its beat like a half interrupted thought, staggered and then tried to pick up where it left off but now it's on an altogether different frequency. It altered slightly, not enough to kill me but enough to alter how I felt. Everything felt wrong. Like my heart beat a little faster or slower and I couldn't think straight. I wasn't me or maybe who I had been wasn't me.
Numb. Another word that was hovering on the edge of my conscious. Not because I felt it, Lord no I wasn't so lucky. I yearned for a cool indifference to slip over my battered heart and soul to keep me safe in its cocoon. But it seemed as though fate was playing a cruel joke on me. Making me feel horrible just to see how much pain I could take without going crazy.
Paranoia. Another state I was familiar with now. The whole 3 years we had been together, you were playing on my mind like a bad black and white movie while I tried to figure out what was real and what wasn't, and if you were ever really committed or if it was the workings of my delusional mind. Kudos to you for single handedly messing up all my memories and experiences.
I felt rage. How dare you break me like I was nothing more than a tiresome encumbrance? Pain. It hurt so much to even breathe, think, live. Betrayal. I believed in you and us. Was it all a lie? How exactly did one keep going after you had the reason knocked out of you?
I longed to stop feeling because it seemed my heart was on some messed up trip where it was determined to crash over and over and get me wrecked. How could I trust myself to not get me hurt again? Learning to be by myself is a heck of a crash course in something I don't remember how to do.
Only thing I have going for me is how stubborn I am. I refused to give up on a messed up relationship and now I was broken. But hey, I could make stubborn work for me. I was going to work on being okay even if it killed me. I remember falling for him and telling myself it was okay. I thought it was safe to feel this much; to love and care and trust.
I wish I could send a letter or email or text to the girl with dreams in her eyes and tell her to guard her heart because it was fragile. I used to think he was my soul mate. But it's impossible for a piece of my soul to be as twisted as he was. He was just a bad decision like an extra hour of an afternoon nap or an extra beer when you were already drunk. He was that extra shade of eye shadow you shouldn't have bothered with. A shade of color you wore that didn't do you any favors.
Falling for him wasn't something the universe had shifted to make happen or even that monumental. Yes, I loved him so much it hurt and yes, he hurt me but that didn't mean I was a bad person for letting him in. Sometimes bad things just happen to good people and I wanted to just be ok. I know my heart will go on someday so I'm going to give it a boost until it's okay to beat on its own. Someday I'm going to find you.
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