Salmon, cucumber, avocado.

The sushi stares back at me eagerly awaiting to be chosen out of the plastic takeout container. Approximately five minutes ago, I slid on my ankle-high, knit snow boots, trudged outside in the frigid air without a coat, and went on a treasure hunt to find the delivery man. Five minutes before I ended up freezing due to my poor judgment, a number lit up on my phone. Glencoe, IL it read underneath the string of numbers. The sushi guy. Another stranger I’d encounter for a second and never to see again. What do they know about me? Well for starters they have my phone number. They know I clock in at about roughly five-foot-something, and I have silky long black hair (that is, if you classify my chocolate locks as something much prettier sounding than they actually are).

You see approximately a little over 27 hours ago, I was dumped. And not in a classic, oh I cheated on you, or I feel too disconnected, or I just can’t do this anymore kind of way. I was dumped for being too incredible, for being someone he thought he couldn’t make happy. You see quite frankly this was a shame for both of us, as subconsciously we needed each other, but neither of us wanted to hold on to that. Thus, we awkwardly now coexist until our paths cross again because honestly, once someone walks away when are they truly gone forever? Everyone’s paths are intertwined in ways that we will never ever realize or know.

You see, my now ex, who we’ll call E, and the delivery man are similar in a way that, both of them started off knowing the same things about me. Merely on a hunch, E asked me for my phone number. From there, things progressed quickly and soon we both felt ourselves thrown into a relationship that neither of us had ever really experienced before. We challenged each other in ways that were beyond what had happened in the past, and for each of us, the other was a steep learning curve. But we were temporary placeholders to each other, a seeming stepping stone forward.

Prior to E, there was S. My relationship with S was incredible while it lasted and I don’t regret any of it except for how it ended – the timing and distance just weren’t right and it truly makes me wonder if we would still be together if things were different. But that’s not the case now, is it? It’s not a perfect world, but I wish we didn’t dissipate into ghosts to each other. He and I learned so much from each other and I don’t think I’ll ever quite forget him. But first loves are always somewhat ones you love forever. With both E and S, the endings were sad, and I would arguably say slightly tragic.

Now the million-dollar question: was I in love? In either relationship? Well, that depends. I thought I was in love but was I? There was something more profound with S, possibly the reason I’ll never forget him. S I felt by the end I knew everything and knew me better than I knew myself, but he hesitated to admit when he felt certain things and open up. But when push came to shove, he was always there, undoubtedly and unconditionally. And to me, that’s love. That kind of love, the one that S taught me, I have yet to find from another person, nevermind a boyfriend. S was the most empathetic and understanding person I have ever known.

With E, I don’t know if I truly ever was in the short period of time we’d been together. I wanted to be, so badly to the point where I think I convinced myself I was. But how much would I have sacrificed? What does being in love honestly mean? I was better off without him – looking back we came from different places, different paths, and incompatible life goals. He, of course, was a compassionate person, but unexpressive in his thoughts and feelings. E never made me a priority. Which is why the 72 hours after E dumped me, I was shocked when he showed up and stood there slightly awkwardly, admitting he was here to beg me back, I was thoroughly confused.

Three days earlier, E had said it wasn’t right for us.

Two days earlier I sat on my floor eating sushi comparing my ex-boyfriends to an interaction with a sushi delivery man.

One day earlier I cried in my journalism class because I couldn’t grasp how being too good could cause you to lose someone to ridiculous, childish irrational reason.

Today I sit here with my head going in circles.

Does giving second chances promote enabling the playing with my heart? An organ composed of delicate tissues, nestled in a forest of capillaries, veins, and arteries, it’s shielded by the ribs of the thoracic cavity. Yet it can be shattered with the words of another easily within seconds.

E has said that he trusts everybody from the start. I’m the opposite. Trust is something to be gained, not given. But how would things change if trust was instant and unfaltering?

E sits on my floor, saying nothing with his lips but his sparkling clover colored eyes speaking everything. My heart floods and begs my brain to surrender. But I have to keep my head above water, it can’t be pulled under into the currents of my heart. E is the kind of guy who sweet-talks you until you believe him, something dangerous that I should avoid. I know this, yet even with that I struggle to make a sound decision. I should kick him out. He doesn’t deserve a second chance. So that leads me back to where I am now.

Curled up on my baby pink and white down comforter on my lofted bed five feet high, E on my carpet staring up at me wanting an answer that I don’t know I can give. So what am I supposed to do? That is something the future knows, and right now, I have no clue.



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