There always seems to come a time after I
find myself unwillingly single when I have to force myself to fall out
of love to keep from falling into despair. I think that was Thursday

E texted me at 1:30 in the morning:

Sorry about everything u should get better than me you are a beautiful woman

I knew this would happen, a drunk text or drunk dial, another
bullshit apology, another meaningless message he would send to make
himself feel better, not even thinking about the fact that it would
make me feel worse. Text back:

If you don’t call me for three weeks when you promised you would, don’t bother texting

Filled with rage, I clicked “send.” It wasn’t enough.

And you’re right, I deserve better than having my heart broken
by somebody I was stupid enough to believe when he lied and said he
loved me right up to the very end

Better. “Send.”

Irony of all ironies, Tim actually texted me a few minutes later,
asking if I was awake. I wrote back “not very,” and turned off my phone.

I tossed and turned all night, furious with E for saying what he
said, furious with myself for losing another night’s sleep crying over
him. I got up in the morning, bleary eyes ringed with shadows and
leftover mascara and checked my phone to see if it had just been
another in the series of bad dreams I’ve had about him. When I realized
it hadn’t, when I realized in broad daylight that he would still go on
doing things he knows will hurt me, I had a choice. I could cry and
lose another day loving someone who doesn’t love me and never will
again. I could believe this ten millionth apology, believe that he
would one day realize what a good thing he lost and return chastened
and changed. Or I could stop loving him.

Some might say you can’t just choose to stop loving someone, that
it’s not a switch to flip and make the bulb in your heart go dark.
These are the people who also don’t believe in love at first sight. I
don’t believe in love at first sight either, but I do believe that a
connection between two people can ignite with first contact, be it
verbal or written or simply visual. The switch that I flipped this time
broke that connection for good. That connection was love, and I chose
to break it.

At 10:30 in the morning, he wrote again.

Look I’m sorry I never meant to hurt you or lie to you. I just wish you the best.

Hmph. Text back:

I would wish you the best if you hadn’t broken almost every promise you ever made me.

And you know what? I really am done wishing him the best. Flip.

My Red Stapler 


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