How to Be Broken

Maybe you didn’t know, but when someone you used to be engaged to dies, everybody looks at your differently. Even the people in the post office. Even if you broke up three years ago.

Of course I’m sad. Of course I cried. But, for Christ’s sake, stop looking at me like I’m broken.

The closest I’ve ever come to seeing a ghost is when the woman at the post office hands me my mail, and for those five minutes or so, the world stops turning. Beacuse the envelope I’m holding in my hand has your handwriting all over it.

Have you ever forgotten to breathe?

Tears prick the corners of my eyes as I tear the envelope open.

Inside is a note I couldn’t bring myself to read for months. And a map, with an X made with red sharpie.

And I can’t help but wonder why you decided to send this map to me, of all people. The one who broke your heart. Or maybe it was worse than that.

But either way, two weeks later I’m driving west in your truck, trying to remember why we ever broke up in the first place.

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