Life After

"How strange we are. How different we are from how we think we are. 
We fall out of love only to fall in love with a duplicate of what we’ve left, 
never understanding that we love what we love and that it doesn’t change." 
-Sara Majka, from “Saint Andrews Hotel,” Cities I’ve Never Lived In: Stories

 Life after a break up is always hard. Wether you're a single mom or a girl who just turned twenty. You go through the same motions as anyone else who's had to deal with this. You cry, you get upset, life spins you on your heels and you fall to your knees. But after a while, after all the crying and anxiety attacks and the feeling in your chest of your heart cracking- you get back to life. Life before is a lot like life after, just with some added disadvantages. Life before that person, you never even knew them so they had no effect. But after, it's sort of like their shadow is haunting you for a bit. First you forget their touch. How their hand fit in yours or how their lips felt pressed against yours. Then their voice, you don't remember how they said your name or pronounced things weirdly, like apricot. Then their features, it gets harder to see their face and remember how blue their eyes were. 
And once you start to forget them life gets easier. They only pop into your mind every once in a while. Memories too, they get pushed back and only come up to surface every once in a while. You might walk down your street every day but one time at night, for a moment, you remember. You remember their laugh and smile, you remember what they were wearing, and what it sounded like when they said your name. Then just like that it fades away. 
 Life after is filled with new people with potential. Life after is filled with just as much happiness as you had before them, and with them. Life after you're hurt but you're stronger. Maybe it takes you a month to get better, maybe it takes you six. But eventually you truly get to life completely after them. Eventually that flickering light in the doorway of some apartment you two used to look out for goes out. And symbolically that shadow disappears.
 The song you linked to them is now just another song on the radio you hear. The sidewalk you walked up everyday is no longer imprinted with little images of you two like a movie anymore. You no longer swear you catch his cologne lingering in your apartment. You finally get the guts to throw out his toothbrush. All the old photos you have of him are now in a box hidden up in your closet, along with the tickets of shows you attended together. 
 The air gets warmer as the season changes, almost signifying a new chapter. After plaid shirt nights and days where he made you his own- he mails back your things, and you walk home alone. With the longer days you start to get out more. You run into new people, make new friends, start going on dates again. Eventually you forget about that guy who used to make your head spin and who's eyes you made swirl. Someone new replaces him, perhaps they are similar or completely different or exactly the same. You make new memories with this guy and that heartbreak you felt months ago is gone. It's placed in that little black box with the photos and ticket stubs that's hidden up in your closet. 
 Your heart flutters again, you start to learn the shape of a new mans hand, you start to enjoy the smell of a new cologne, and you spend the new season with this someone new. And that's life after. It's exactly the same as before, and exactly the same as during- but somehow different, somehow better.

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