Everything Hurts But The Breakup Itself
For those who have heard the story I share in the beginning of this post, bear with me. I’ve written so much on this blog, I may, from time to time repeat myself, but it will go somewhere. Trust me.
Sister and I walked home together from school, business as usual. We entered our house and saw mom in the kitchen. We said hi to her, gave her hugs, kisses, then went to go put our stuff in our rooms. This was the usual routine. Very rarely was our mom not home from work before we were home from school. Pop would arrive a couple hours after we got home, just in time for dinner.
At this time, our family had two dogs. One was a quiet basset/beagle mix named Pepper. The other was a rottweiler named Makita. Pepper was the first dog we owned. She had been in our family even before pop came into our lives. Makita came later, a somewhat impulsive purchase by pop who was inspired to have his real life version of man’s best friend after watching the movie Turner & Hooch. So Makita, essentially was pop’s dog, but as years went by, Makita became the family dog just like Pepper.
Usually when my sister and I came home, it was Makita who would run up to the sliding door and start scratching up the glass, excited to see us. That sound of excitement was something we were used to hearing, but on this day when my sister and I arrived home from school, we didn’t hear a sound. I thought it unusual, so when I came back out from my room after putting down my stuff, I asked mom, “Where’s Makita?”
Mom turned off the faucet, dried her hands with a towel, and told me to meet her in our living room.
“Tell your sister to come out here too,” she said.
I went to my sister’s room, “Mom wants us,” I said.
My sister joined me and we saw our mom standing by our couch. She still hadn’t answered my question so I repeated it, “Where’s Makita?”
“Pop took Makita to the pound,” Mom said, barely able to look at us.
Makita was always a handful, and on more than a few occasions, our pop said he was going to get rid of Makita. So my sister and I were shocked at the news, but not because of the news itself, it was more so, the fact that after all these years pop finally took Makita to the pound.
“Why did he do that,” I asked, with a straight face. I was sad Makita was gone, but there was nothing to cry about. Sister also had no tears in her eyes.
But then, mom’s eyes began to water and she said, “Because,” a couple deep breaths followed. “Pop is going to move out.”
The moment mom said that, my sister and I grabbed onto her and started crying uncontrollably. The news felt like a blindsided smack and a sucker gut punch at the same time, it weakened our knees, and mom couldn’t hold either of us up. We all buckled onto the couch, our mom trying to console us and us trying to console our mom. Everyone telling each other not to cry. Everyone crying.
When I look back on that day, I still tear up. You would think the older you get, the easier it is to deal with past incidents, you think they will hurt less. But some memories don’t hurt less, you just bury them far enough so they don’t hurt you anymore. Yet, I’ve never been able to put let go of this story.
I think about how much it had to hurt my mom to not only tell us the man in our life was leaving the two kids he helped raise, but that he was also leaving her. I know it was hard for her to tell us, but I know it was just as hard for her to hear herself say those word herself, and I can only imagine what she felt when pop told her Makita was leaving and so was he.
Everything about a breakup hurts but the breakup itself.
When you can’t hold their hand anymore, won’t hurt as much as the first time you’re walking right by them and they try to put so much space between them and you that you won’t even graze their hand.
Those nights you spend sleeping by yourself in your own bed won’t feel as long as those nights you spent sleeping on the couch with them in the other room or in the same bed with someone who is sleeping by you as though you aren’t there.
When you reach in for a kiss, and they dodge it, that will hurt more than knowing you will never kiss them again.
Not seeing their smile anymore will be easier to handle than seeing their smile towards you lessen day by day.
Every single day that goes by without talking to them is going to be hard, but it won’t be harder than every single day you spend arguing with them about what is wrong and what to do.
The effort to get over someone is arguably easier than the effort it takes to reconcile with them. Because it’s hard for you to trust what is tearing you apart won’t creep up on you two again.
When our pop moved out, I remember the pain of the process. There were arguments between pop and mom, of course, and even a couple of good times when pop came over to move stuff, and he stayed for dinner, but I don’t think anything stung as much as the first sting.
I have absolutely no recollection of when he moved out the last of his things, and the move was complete. I can’t recall what it was like to hear pop close the front door to our house and leave for the last time. What I remember hearing is the very first time I was told our pop was leaving.