Shattered Thoughts, Lingering Regrets: Unfollow?

The clock on the wall moves slowly. Each tick feels like an eternity. Then the screen lights up again. He stares at his phone, the light reflecting across bottles upon bottles scattered on the table. A bitter smile flickers over his features. Another notification. Another little reminder that alerts him to more pictures of her, parties and dances and group dates in the middle of the night. She has clearly moved on, and he has not been able to let go.

~~~~~~

She dances with wild abandon. Parties till the sun has dropped far below the horizon. Kisses random strangers at the drop of the hat. Anything to distract herself from the memories, a constant lie to her friends and herself that yes, she’s totally fine, she’s moved on. Hours are spent at bars, on first dates and group dates with boys, good boys, she’s sure, but they barely leave an impression. Time vanishes in the blink of an eye and all thoughts of anything but the present fly out the window during these fun times, and still her thoughts return again and again to what she once had.

~~~~~~

The bottles are empty again. They always seem to be empty, no matter how often he goes out to buy new ones. Frustration bubbles up in him as he stares back at his distorted reflection in the glass. His eyes are rimmed with red, a permanent scowl seems to have been etched on his lined face. It’s not a face he would want anyone to see. It’s not a face that he wants to see. The glass bottle hurtles up into the air and shatters to a million tiny bits against the wall. The feral howl rips through the room and leaves an empty silence that weighs down on him heavily. He buries his face in his hands and weeps, body hunched over and shaking with silent sobs.

~~~~~~

She smiles placidly at the barely-touched cup of tea in front of her, not even taking note of the boy that’s talking to her with a wide-eyed earnestness that had felt achingly familiar when she first walked into the cafe. But she’d grown numb to that. Everything reminds her of him, and her thoughts constantly turn to the “what if”s and “maybe”s and “if only”s. What if she hadn’t gone to that party? Maybe their relationship could have continued. If only he’d listened to her explanation. The paper cup crumples in her grasp, spilling boiling hot tea all over her fingers. The searing pain jerks her out of her thoughts, and the boy hovers over her, clucking with concern. She smiles tightly and says that she’ll be fine once she runs her fingers under some cold water, and then she hurries to the bathroom. The boy is nice, the kind that she would have wanted to get to know better over the course of cozy coffee dates. But things are different now. She does not return to her table.

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Anna Lee

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