When doctors stick their fists into the chest cavities of human beings, they leave something behind, some sadness that glues itself to the insides of the operated ribs. It is as if your heart knows it has been exposed to the sky and it is mourning the loss of light. It grows dark when they break you open.
For some reason, you know the call is coming before it does. He says it’s over between you and him and you thought you were ready for it but instead you find yourself shaking and sobbing with the same nauseous out-of-control feeling as when you were seven and spun over your handlebars and hit your head against the concrete. His words are a high-speed collision without a helmet.
This is what it feels like when you put the phone down: it feels as if you are lying with cold feet on the crinkled paper of a hospital table and there is an ongoing surgery occurring without anesthesia. Every doctor has his face. You picture the small moments that are being carefully plucked from your sternum - no more quiet moments while you sort clean clothing, no more ice cream trips at two in the morning, no more waking up before him to see the sun shift through his eyelashes, no more summer days with bare legs tangled on beaches, no more kissing him, no more curling up near him, no more him.
And you hate that you want it all back, that you would take everything you have and trade it for another chance to feel him beside you. You are not someone’s princess and you never were. Your mother did not raise you with a wolf in your chest so you could howl over losing a man.
But here you are, open-heart operation in progress while he cleanly snips out his connection to you. That’s it. No more future.
He leaves you there, bones bent back to make room for the hole he has punched in you. You are the one in charge of your recovery, but you have shaky hands and there aren’t enough band-aids for a hurt like this. Every time you make a peanutbutter sandwich or listen to your favorite music or stare up at the ceiling, you remember him and the stitches come undone again.
And your friends grow weary of hearing your story and hearing how you called him drunk and hearing how you hate him and hearing how you love him in an almost impossibly unending way and hearing how you’ll never be the same and hearing how you’re feeling better really and hearing how you’re back in the same sad space and your mouth grows wearing of saying his name like each letter was a prison wall and
one day you don’t speak of him at all. You carry the scar but you no longer flinch when the sharpness of this world brushes against your chest. You are wolf, and you might be wounded, but one day you will get over it.
You are still waiting for when that moment hits.”