Chapter Two of a Breakup

Stephanie Figueroa
3 min readFeb 10, 2014

There’s always a kind of continuity, isn’t there? A chapter two of sorts, albeit not always in the form people expect. The earth, the sun, the moon all continue their celestial dance even after one’s heart breaks. It is said, after all, that time stops for no one. That change is the only constant.

I think I’m starting to get that now.

Someone told me, in the wake of that most intense of heartaches, to try to distinguish between a) missing him, and b) missing how he made me feel. It was difficult, that goes without saying. Loving him energized me, thoroughly revitalized me, but I think I can now appreciate that what happened HAD to happen. I’m no solipsist; it was an experience not unique to me. Quite the contrary. The feedback I’ve gotten said as much, that it is in fact a universal human experience. It hurt to re-live it, sure. But putting pen to paper? It was just like a laxative finally taking effect.

Painful, but the relief is undeniable.

(So I’ve heard.)

His intelligence still makes me break out into a huge grin. So does his apparent and seemingly genuine enjoyment of time spent with family. I remember that one Saturday night he decided to stay home, declaring, “Tonight is for wine and books.”

“Books on what? Coding? Programming? All of that good stuff?”

“I’m reading one on system performance. Another on politics.”

‘System performance…’ I knew it. Any plans for tomorrow?”

“Studying for my Ph.D.”

“Impressive. You really are the geek of my life.”


He stayed home and had his wine and books. I went out and had my wine (beer, actually) elsewhere.

Now, I find myself refusing to look too far into the future. I try as much as possible to live in the moment instead. Maybe this is why I abhor the question, Where do you see yourself in five, ten years’ time? Because the future then held so much promise, was so full of possibility, and in a split second, felt like it was all snatched away from me.

I went out on a limb over the holidays and greeted him “Merry Christmas.” He asked how I’d been, and instead of concocting something to give off the impression that everything was just gravy, I decided to tell him the truth.

“Devastated, but better now.”

The message I had wanted to convey had been so clear in my head. I had taken that second clause to mean, “Because I’ve finally started to get over you,” not “Because you once again deign to speak to me.”

And I think this was where things started to get lost in translation. He clearly misinterpreted my response, because after calling him out on a shitty thing he had said, the unexpected happened.

“I’ve missed you.”

This is where it gets tricky. When a part of you still pines for him, and it feels like with a snap of his fingers, you’ll come running. When you find yourself rationalizing, “I’ve never felt like this before.”

(Sure you have.)

With him, I had always thought I never needed an audience. Our love could have been of the private sort, free of PDA and other such nonsense, and I still would have been at my happiest. But there is a difference between being in an audience-free relationship, and being in one where you’re happy to be given scraps of someone’s affection.

No, he didn’t give me a silver lining. While it required a shift in perspective, I eventually came to realize that what he had given was something of far greater value.

Because what he had given was golden.