Student breaks things off with former love

Rachel Myers

We’ve been together a long time, you and I. We’ve seen each other through almost 10 years now. Across oceans and every shade of emotion, you never left me. You were always there, no matter what time it was. Sometimes it felt like you were the only loyal friend in my life. I know if the choice was yours, it would be you and me until death do us part. But I have to be honest — I don’t love you anymore.

I guess I’ve known for a while; I just didn’t have the courage to actually break it off until now. I mean, there is a huge part of me that never wants to let go. In your absence, it is the part of me that causes my hands to tremble, my eyes to tear up with frustration, my thoughts to scatter and my temper to snap short. It’s the part of me that would reach for you in a racing heartbeat if you were right here in front of me.

But when I am honest with myself, I can see that this is an abusive relationship. Although you never hit me with fists or berated me with words, you lied to me. When you came into my life, I was certain you wouldn’t hurt me. Oh sure, I had heard of your reputation, but I thought things would be different with you and me. I thought maybe you would treat me better than that.

Looking back, I was young, naive and very stupid. Even while you were consoling me through some of my most difficult times, you were stealing from me — right in front of my face, although I couldn’t accept it until now. Days, hours, minutes, moments — gone. I don’t know why I stayed so long.

You’ve taunted me with the threat that I’d be so upset without you that I would gain several pounds. “And who will love you then?” you’d ask. Even now, you act like I’ll never find something better. It seems like every time I even thought about leaving before, you gave me some excuse, some reason to stay, and I bought it every time.

But what I realize now is that it is never going to get better. You’re never going to change. You’re always going to be this way, and if I don’t let go now, you’ll start to change me. I’ve seen what you’ve done to others — the wrinkled masks and labored breaths. I’ve even seen you kill grown men — slowly — choking them without mercy. I can’t do it anymore, even though it hurts so much right now.

There will probably always be some slice of me that will crave you until the day I die, but that’s the whole point: If I leave now, there’s a good chance the day I die won’t be for a long time. Goodbye, Tobacco — it’s over.

Rachel Myers is a senior newspaper journalism major. Contact her at [email protected].