40: Dreamy Eyes

40: Dreamy Eyes

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

Dreamy Eyes

A soul mate is not the person who makes you the happiest, but the one who makes you feel the most.

~Sierra DeMulder

The first night I saw Jordan I didn’t actually speak to him or learn his name; rather I saw him from across a crowded room and noticed his deep blue eyes staring at me. It could not have been more cheesy and my friends teased me incessantly for falling for “dreamy eyes.”

As most love stories go, ours was far from perfect. It was messy, passionate, and at times downright unhealthy but one thing stayed the same for the next five years: we always ended up together. We were that annoying couple that breaks up all the time, and after years of the vicious cycle, I was at the end of my rope.

Our last breakup was different. There was no fighting or name calling, but it was still heartbreaking. That night I looked deep into those dreamy blue eyes and confessed that I loved him too much to stand by his side while I watched him die of a nasty drug addiction. It was the first time in five years that he wasn’t able to muster any promises or lies; he simply kissed me and walked out of my apartment for the last time.

The months that followed were difficult but I was determined to make things different this time. On a mission to completely “de-Jordan” my life and move on, I got rid of anything and everything that had ties to him. This included photos, gifts, social media posts, and even some of my own items that simply reminded me of him. It was a long and emotional process and at the end I was left with two items of jewelry. I was conflicted on discarding these items simply because I didn’t know how. Could I really throw away expensive jewelry? The Pandora bracelet could have been thrifted but the other item was engraved with our initials. Not exactly something to donate to your local Goodwill.

I did what any good daughter would do and consulted my resident expert on matters of the heart: I called my mother. She suggested I hold onto those two items for a year, in case Mr. Dreamy Eyes should request his valuable items back for some reason. I stowed them away inside a bag in the corner of a jewelry box and metaphorically wiped my hands clean of the entire five-year relationship. I had moved on for good.

As most life stories go, mine is also far from perfect. I am messy, passionate, and at times downright unhealthy. About six months later and after many ignored phone calls and texts from my ex-beau, I caved and dug down deep in my jewelry box for the items. I wasn’t interested in the bracelet, but I wanted that necklace. It just hit me one day that I had to have it. I didn’t care that I was dating someone new or that I had made so many dramatic I’m-done-forever statements. I took that engraved necklace and hung it over the rear view mirror in my car.

The necklace stayed there for months. I didn’t touch it. No one noticed it among the other items hanging from my mirror. In the months that it hung in my car Jordan and I teetered on the edge of our dangerous pattern once again, spending way too much time together being “just friends.” By the end of the summer we were spending most of our lunch breaks together (we worked in the same part of town) and were talking and texting nearly every day. I still didn’t touch the necklace.

Jordan and I were never good at being “just friends” and as we’d proved many times before it always ended badly. This time there was a nasty fight, jam-packed with all the name-calling and low blows we could think of, most likely saved up from the extremely anti-climactic breakup earlier in the year. When the dust settled I was right back where I started — devastated. Despite all of my hard work and efforts, I hadn’t stopped loving him and I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was headed for disaster.

I spent the next two months talking myself out of calling him every day and forcing myself to ignore his calls and texts. Through all this, the necklace hung in my car and no one noticed it but me.

On Christmas Eve I woke up anxious. I went about my business but nothing I did eased the anxiety; I just felt “off.” As I was driving out to my parents’ house that afternoon something hit me. I needed the necklace in my hands. I couldn’t describe why, but I was certain that the necklace needed to be on me. As soon as I had the necklace wrapped around my fingers my anxiety completely vanished. I felt peace and contentment, something I hadn’t felt for months.

When I pulled into my parents’ driveway I stuffed the necklace into my pocket. I didn’t want my mother to see me wearing it and question me about it with her weary are-you-seriously-back-with-that-boy tone but I knew for some reason that I needed it with me.

Jordan died a few hours later of an accidental drug overdose. The necklace with our initials, LH & JD, was in my pocket as I sat on the floor of my childhood bedroom sobbing. After almost a year, I put the necklace back on. I haven’t felt that peace and contentment again since Jordan’s death, but I know that it was one of his final gifts to me, a little nudge to tell me, “I’m leaving, but I’m not going far, just somewhere different.”

~Lane Elizabeth Hall

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