From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship

One of Those Days

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: “It might have been.”

John Greenleaf Whittier

Today is one of those days that I miss him—the lonely I-wonder-what-he-is-doing days. I don’t have them often, hardly at all, but once in a while I do when I hear a song he used to sing or drive past his neighborhood. I am not sure why it is that I sometimes still miss him. It’s been nearly eight months since we broke up for the second time. Maybe losing him bothers me a lot more than I let myself believe. Sometimes, I hate myself because I know that I am to blame.

The first time I met Justin I was completely infatuated with him. I just knew that I had to be with him, and two months later, I was. For a while, I thought my life was perfect. He was older and more mature than previous boyfriends were; he knew how to have a real relationship that meant something. I was always happy, and I always felt beautiful around him.

Eventually, my immaturity began to surface. Three and a half months into the relationship I started to feel like my freedom was dwindling. I still cared about him a lot, but I was feeling exhausted. I needed a break. He wasn’t ready to let me go, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. Tearfully, I chose to take the road of independence and broke his heart in the process.

I dated other guys, but he would creep into my thoughts at least once a day. None of the guys measured up to him; none of them gave me the special feelings that I longed for day after day. Then, one day, about eight months after our breakup, he called out of the blue. Until then we had barely spoken, and I realized just how much I really missed him. We decided to get together and catch up. We went out to dinner, and he talked about his new girlfriend . . . a lot. I thought I was going to have to dump my glass of water on him to get him to shut up about her. After a long conversation he revealed that he wanted me back. And I wanted him back. So, after his breakup and a few more emotionally charged talks, we got back together. It almost felt as if no time had passed since we were last a couple. We were happy, and I felt complete again. I had matured a lot and could now handle committing to him. Sometimes my adoration for him would overwhelm me. Never before, and never after, have I cared about a boy so strongly.

After a while, though, I became too busy with my after-school activities to be able to put so much energy into the relationship. He felt like I was betraying everything that we had, everything we had worked for. And in a moment of anger, I felt like he betrayed my trust in the worst way. We broke up. I held a grudge for a long time. My pride was wounded and my feelings torn.

With time we were able to be friends again. We had given it two tries, and it seemed it wasn’t meant to be. What I learned from him and the relationship was worth all the painful times we went through. There were many happy memories, too. I heard a quote once that rang loud and true: “You always believe your first love to be your last, and your last to be your first.” For me, he’s been both. We shared secrets and laughs, rainy nights and sunny days. Though we experienced many storms together, we taught each other valuable lessons about life and love. The way that I was able to look at myself through his eyes was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had. But, there comes a time when the feelings start to fade and the memories become bittersweet. A time where all that you can do is hope that somehow he will realize what a difference he made in your life and how he contributed to the person that you’ve become.

I can’t ignore the feelings that once were. I can, however, let go and remember.

Cassie Kirby

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