The Art Of Breaking Up Book > Contribute a piece of writing inspired by Break-Ups - Writing

the resilience of a soul

By phenomenaaa

   I didn’t hate you when we broke up (called it quits, ended things, decided to see other people, wanted to take a break, whatever you’ve been calling it -- we broke apart). I couldn’t bear to do so. You and I spent nearly six years together -- in arguments, in twisted sheets, in awkward family gatherings, in unforgettable little moments. We made each other happy, through most of it, and that was enough. Until it wasn’t anymore.

    When we met, our lives collided and burst, unlike anything that anyone had experienced before, or dreamed possible. I tread the waters carefully when I said my first “hello”, knowing without knowing that a word even slightly off would ruin me.
I learned your name and the color of your eyes, while you uncovered what made me most nervous (the size of the crowds, when you wore your hair in that way).

You kissed me first because my hands were shaking.
The wind was warm, the stars were out.

It was raining on the morning I told you I loved you for the first time. So much so that most people chose to stay indoors -- to spend the day doing paperwork or catching up on films or spending time with their families. That morning, I woke up wishing that I was holding your hand, and could have sworn my heartbeat was in rhythm with the raindrops.
    I gathered my things (an umbrella, my bike lock, my bag and a dry sweater) and felt a tug at my heart as I locked the door to my apartment. As though I was leaving a life behind.

I guess I was.

You opened the door and the corners of your mouth turned upward in a way that I still sometimes dream about.

    Years sauntered passed and you remarked that it felt like we were old people, remembering the past already as though there was nothing else to sustain us. You told me stories by the fireside in our bedroom and I imagined that you were referring to us. You said of course they were, but that I never listened well enough -- they weren’t always fairy tales.
    When you ended it (I blindly agreed that I had been feeling the same way, though of course it was only you), the sun was shining. I cut through the park back to my place, thinking that I better get there as quickly as possible, and could smell the cherry blossoms, even from the pathway. I walked with aching legs and aching heart and collapsed to the floor.

    It was three o’clock in the morning before I even tried giving in to the slumber that beckoned me. I heaved several sporadic, enormous gasping breaths, my body wanting me to cry. Begging me to release the fear, and the sadness that overwhelmed me. I refused to give in. The world outside of me began to brighten as I fell, at last, into sleep.
    My descent into dreams was much harsher and more terrifying than anything I could have expected. I was falling, always falling, into the arms of specters and phantoms and then dropped, again and again. Unwanted. Even by them. They melted through me in inky wisps. Or maybe I melted through them.

    For months, I was convinced that you had made a mistake. That you only needed some time to think things over, and soon enough, you would miss me. Because what else did we have but each other?
    What else did I have but you?

    If we were different people, it might have worked out. In some other universe where some ghost who looks and dresses like me lives, but where the stars are in the sea and there are oceans in the skies, in my might-have-been other-life, maybe we held hands until the day we died.
But that’s not what happened.

    When our star burst and sent our dust from whatever far reaches of the galaxy we were sleeping in to where we are now, we were lucky enough to have been brought together. Even for such a brief time.

   It hurts a lot more often than I’m prepared to admit, but even so, my heart still beats. Some times with the rhythm of the raindrops, but mostly with the rhythm of other things. Like melodies and footsteps, and someone else’s breathing.

    Our souls are resilient was something a stranger I tried to love once said to me. They were laughing, holding a cigarette between their fingers. I don’t remember their name or their face, or even where or how we met, but that haunted me. Four words out of an entire night-time experience.

I have everything else but you. And eventually, that will be okay.


I began this a few nights ago with a single paragraph and no real plot behind it. Over a few days, and several bumps along the way, it blossomed into this.

I don't have names or backgrounds or descriptions for the characters in this -- I'm not even sure if they're male/female. It doesn't really matter, because the emotions are the same for everyone.
All of those things are up to *you* to decide. REmix away!


the resilience of a soul

Created: Mar 31, 2011

Tags: narrative, prose, falling in love, impossible love, breaking up, relationships

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