Underestimation of Denial 

morgan temple




That was it. It was over in the time it took a hummingbird to flap its wings. That person, my person, was no longer someone I could call mine. Did I ever even have that right? Initially, it was a shock to my system, a  simplesensation of numbness. In an instant my whole world had changed, yet it hadn't. The entire population didn't even notice the devastating change. I was still me and the world continued on, but how could my world possibly be the same without that person who had enraptured me, who had hooked me like a fish on a line?  


How could such a thing happen? We were perfect together. We never fought, at least not in the way I would consider to be fighting, and she never disagreed with me. She was always okay with the way I did things, like when I removed all the doors in the apartment so we could never be apart. If anything, she thought I was just as charming when I made sure that I was the only person who could call her sweetheart. Our relationship held as strong as a sailor's knot. Maybe I said something. Did I accidentally mention how attractive I found her friends? Could I have let it slip that I hated that stupid song she adored? That couldn't have been it; I would never, never jeopardize our relationship with my words. Perhaps I did something then? Could I have been too controlling? She always hated my compulsion to check her phone. No, I knew that wasn't the case either. Everything I did, I did for her, for us. I took control of all of our finances so she never had to worry. I ensured that she made it home safely every night. While I was around, nothing could hurt her. I even got rid of that creep of a doorman at her office. She tried to say that he was only doing his job, but she was just too naïve. Only I could see how he looked at her. I took a risk for her and made sure I would be her protector. Every ounce of my being was devoted to us, to her.   


Maybe this whole tragedy was her choosing. She swiftly cut the knot into pieces, leaving me unaware until I was stranded in this abyss. I knew I could fix this; all I had to do was win her back, make her want to be with me again. I would buy her anything she wanted, do anything she wanted.  If my world was to be right again, we had to be together. I would even take her to that concert she longed to go to, even if it meant risking that dim-witted pop star falling in love with my girl. I would do anything to bring her back to me. After all, knots can be retied, can't they?  


I tried my best to retie the knot on my own. She always loved animals, that's why she was studying to be a vet. I knew the perfect way to convince her to stay with me; I would get her a cat. I was a great listener, she loved that about me. I remember that she wanted a pet but was hesitant since she never had the time or the money to care for it properly. Being the perfect lover, I sent her a kitten despite all the horrible things she had recently done to me. This particular pet didn't need to be constantly cared for or needed attention. Although I never got a reply to the package. The post office might have fucked up, but I was sure that the address was hers, why else would she go there every night by 11:00pm? Maybe she accidentally threw it away? I don't think that was what happened since she loved animals, even the decaying kind. Her lack of thanks frayed the rope even more. 


As my emotions began to thaw, I found myself falling into that clichéd role of the heartbroken character in some ridiculous Nicholas Sparks film.  I was in shambles, feeling as though I'd been electrocuted by those final words: "We should move on." Move on? Move on to what? She was my world. What was there to move onto without her? Then again, she wasn't my world, not really. I had my own life before she came into it. What was I even like without her? My life was meaningless before. Sure, I had friends and maybe I was happy, but it wasn't the same euphoria I felt while I was in her presence. I desperately needed to see those molten brown pupils surrounded by her dark cascading hair. I could never function without seeing her in the flesh. That old photo in my pocket never did her justice. Even her new profile picture was no match for her true beauty. I needed her more than I needed anything before in my life. I was pathetic and lonely, but she changed me for the better. When I had her, I was needed. She needed me to take control of her life, she couldn't survive without my guidance. She couldn't survive without me, just as I couldn't survive without her. I was worthless without the longing of another person. But that person had to be her. No one else could satisfy my appetite except for her. After all of the stringing along, all of the flirting, all of the empty confessions of love, she owed me her gratitude and love 


No, I had to push these thoughts from my mind. I was my own person before, and I could be my own person again. I needed to move on. That was what was best. That was what she wanted, and I would relive that empty life, if only for her happiness.  I tried to do as her swan song suggested. I attempted to meet new people and go new places. Both of these changes only led to empty conversations in crowded rooms, as meaningless as time itself.  As the greeting cards claim, time heals all wounds, and I found myself reluctantly falling back into routine. Every day, I would wake and go to work, passing that damn coffee shop we used frequent. Occasionally, I would order her usual (non-fat latte with caramel drizzle) in the hopes that she would stop in and I could surprise her. I thought I saw her come in, her tiny frame bundled in a large jacket, but it wasn't her. The minute that girl noticed me watching, she darted as if a sudden realization crossed her mind. She wasn't mine, no matter how similar she lookedmy girl would have been ecstatic and graciously welcome my gaze.   


Instead of the picture perfect reunion I craved, every day was met with the monotony of work. I'd be forced to sit at my desk for hours, wasting my time fiddling with her hairbrush. The brush still held her scent and kept me focused enough to get through work and the commute home. The process kept my mind occupied with white noise and it seemed that I had conquered that person, suffering silently with a dull ache. That hook that was once so joyous had now become a bitter reminder of what once was.  


Just as soon as she left my mind, life tugged on the hook, and the wound was fresh once again. She was mine before, so why couldn't she be mine again? This denial clung to my brain like a leech, feeding on my unwillingness to move on. I thought I was free until the smallest things began to remind me of her. Walking through a public space and catching a whiff of her perfume turned me into a stammering student once more. Her laugh, like a trickling brook, would echo in my ears and even though I knew she wasn't there, I would become nervous as if we were on our first date again. Suddenly, I would be transported back to that coffee shop on our first date, awkwardly trying to create conversation. She never liked small talk, but she stayed anyway to get to know me better. Wasn't that proof enough that this love was worth fighting for? I saw her everywhere I looked; I smelled her on my clothes, and I still loved her. These feelings were visceral. My relationship was a simple pleasure like a spinning top. Our relationship could never be perfect, but what top doesn't wobble a little in order to keep spinning? At times, she was overwhelmed by my love for her, like that time that I bought a case of her favorite designer perfume and sprayed it on all her things. At first, she was upset by my surprise; we had only just moved in together, although she did grow accustomed to the ways in which I pampered her. Before anything could be done, the top found itself off-kilter and the spinning ceased. However, tops can spin again with a bit of force. I knew I could bring our love back to life with my love, this lust that I had for us. At this point I would settle for just a hook up, just one more chance to have my skin against hers. I knew where she had moved. No amount of secrecy could hide her from me. I knew I could convince her to love me again, to touch me again, to let me complete her life again; all she had to do was see me once more.  


With fervor, I headed back into the world; I was ready to force this love back into motion. Deep down, I knew she didn't want me anymore. I knew she had convinced herself that I was dangerous, but in her heart, she had to know that I would never hurt her. She would be so touched that she wouldn't be mad that I broke her restraining order to visit her once more. Sure, I might have told myself at the start that I was over her; she might have thought I would have moved on, too. We both underestimated the power of denial. She will once again be mine.   

Morgan Temple is a senior English major with a minor in History. She enjoys cliché horror films and toy hunting.