The Breakup

It would be easy enough to come away from that encounter thinking that it was over, that it simply wasn’t meant to be. But when I returned home from the gym the next day, every single window in my house was busted. Immediately I called the police.

“Any idea who could have done this?” asked the officer with the nameplate “Tate” on his chest.

“Yeah.” I inhaled deeply and let out a long, exasperated sigh. “My ex. We just broke up.”

“Does she have a key to your place?”

I shook my head. “I took it back.”

“Could she have made a copy?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So how did she get to the windows on the second floor?” He pointed, and my eyes followed the direction of his finger to my bedroom window, where the curtain—pulled outside by the draft—flapped in the wind, grazing the leaves on the ends of the branches of the tree planted inches away.

“I—I always intended to cut that tree down.”

Officer Tate grimaced then turned to his female partner, Morales, who exchanged worried glances between me and the upstairs windows.

“Look, we’ll swing by her place and talk to her, but—”

“Won’t you arrest her?”

“All you have right now is a hunch.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “So what should I do?”

She bit her lip and looked at her partner, as if to ask for permission.

He nodded and then said, “Might I suggest staying at a hotel for the night?”

“We’ll be in touch,” she chimed in.

After CSI left, I did as they instructed and checked in to the Holiday Inn in the next town over rather than the place where we spent our one-year anniversary, just in case she suspected I would go there next. But I wasn’t in that hotel room 30 minutes before I quickly grew restless thinking about what she could possibly do next, what she was capable of, how far she was willing to go.

All of this because I told her I wasn’t feeling it anymore. Did she want me to string her along for another year? My mom always told me not to play with girls’ hearts. I thought I was doing right by her. I thought I was making it easy for her to move on.

I tossed and turned until I couldn’t take it anymore and ripped the covers off, kicked my legs off the bed, and slid my feet into my sneakers on the floor. I walked outside for some fresh air, then thought to get myself a snack from the Sheetz across the street. Maybe that would help me sleep. I dug my hands into my pockets, looked both ways for oncoming traffic, then quickly jogged over.

As soon as I put my hand on the door handle, I spotted the familiar Honda Accord parked at pump four. Never in my entire 26 years of life had I felt fear run through my body—like a cold shot spreading down my limbs to the tips of my fingers and toes. I stood frozen, not knowing whether to call the police, go inside, or run back to my hotel room. She was obviously resourceful. And determined. I mean who would go through the trouble of busting second floor windows from outside? And she didn’t use a rock or brick because I didn’t find any in the house. She used her bare fucking hands. By levitating? Balancing on two-inch tree branches? Was my hotel room even safe?

“Just go back, get in your car, and drive,” I urged myself. But me feet wouldn’t budge.

Suddenly the door pushed open nearly knocking me over. I saw the bag of gummy bears first, then the chipped fingernails, the cubic zirconia ring I’d given her, the mole on her left wrist. Before I could make it to her face, her voice said, “Hello, John.”

One thought on “The Breakup

Let me know I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.