"When will it stop hurting?"
"When will I get over this?"
"I don't know...."
"I just want you to know that no one will ever add up to us."
I didn't know what to say to those aching words popping up on my screen.
It would have been six years that we were together and even now I feel the heaviness inside of me.
I was seventeen going on eighteen that summer and my first love had dumped me.
That summer I was working for a landscaping and on this particular 97 degree July day it was a particularly stubborn set of bushes coming out at a gas station.
There he was, walking up to me.
"You look like you could use a bottle of water."
Blushing under the clear sky, shyly taking it from him, a nervous thanks coming out.
A few days later he came back to the job site to ask me for my number.
He would later lament that he should never had bought me a water when we'd get into another fight.
He thought I was older, while he was twenty-three.
I can't believe it sometimes. he was the age I am now. At the time he was mysterious, cute, and we seemed to have some things in common.
His personality was dark, carrying a lot of sadness.
But mine could provide enough sunshine for the both of us.
I watched it crumble and I didn't care because I was so unhappy, but the minute I thought it was going to, I clung to it with all my might.
"If you're so unhappy, go!" he'd say, but when I finally did, he got on his knees to beg me to stay.
I didn't expect the tears because it's been a year since we were together and even longer since we functioned well as a couple anyway.
It was just so heavy...
Remembering the night I understood for the first time that I was seeing a drug addict.
Laying in his bed on his side, becoming unresponsive from a drug overdose,
Only to wake up and vomit into a bowl by his bed.
I was seventeen, naive, and scared.
The police came to hospitals with an overdose patient, didn't they?
Jumping into the car, I rushed to Walmart and bought some soup and anti-nausea medicine because somehow a cocaine overdose had to be like the stomach flu.
Begging him to drink the water, making soup and trying to hide the medicine in it.
He ended up having to pour it out because I put too much in.
Laying naked in the tub with the spray of the shower on him,
I, standing vigilant from the counter.
He loved water, loved a hot bath or a hot shower. Soothed him.
He would later tell me that I had saved him from a few overdoses.
I hated that bed of his with the thin, red blanket in the creepy old house.
Curled around him as he shook, so thin.
Scared. Praying to God that he wouldn't die.
I swear to this day that something dark lived in that house, the darkness feeling heavy and oppressive.
I hated his Chuckie doll that he claimed was a collector's item and the people that would come to his house that he would collect money from for selling them weed.
He swore too much and we couldn't view the world the same but somehow he grew on me.
We loved to eat Chinese by his big fish tank and would play Call of Duty late into the night.
I look back now and can't believe all that happened with us.
I see the time he was high and I was home for the weekend, bored, and he took me to the gas station to try my first scratch tickets.
I picture that winter before he was arrested and ache.
So many things that should have been taken back but you can't because time doesn't stop.
I wish I had done so many things differently, or maybe had left earlier, but I loved him.
No one else seemed to see the good in him but I did.
I saw the good and the hurt and I tried to run with it, far away.
I think of the times he would make me hot coco and we'd watch movies or play video games, cuddled with our dogs.
I think of how he hated that I would watch the Food Network before bed and how I hated that he would fall asleep early and wake me up before 9.
Always with a cup of coffee and a kiss in hand.
There were the summer camping trips and after work trips to the lake.
The time we woke up at six in the morning and walked to the other side of the island on the lake with birds quietly standing to gawk at us, then in a flurry of wings, flying up around us.
It was beautiful.
Dates to the Japanese restaurant and surprise sundresses because he knew I loved them.
The times we would buy different bottles of wine to try and would save the corks, maybe marking the tops with a black "X" if we felt especially lustful after having a few glasses.
Rides on his motorcycle, late night rides to get snacks, and late nights waiting for him to come home in the end.
Fights that ended in tears and words I wish I could take back.
I'm sorry, I didn't know what else to do. I just wanted to be happy...
I love you. I still love you. You're forever in my heart.
I don't know when it will stop hurting because every now and then I ache too.