Countdown

It took three months, four days, one hour, eight minutes, and two seconds after she walked out of the apartment for him to finally, finally get pissed about it all. After she left, he had gone straight to bed and stayed there for forty-seven hours because he had been too fucking depressed to do anything else. His roommates had been no help. They had knocked on his door, left when he didn’t answer, came back with pizza and beer, left their offerings outside his room, and loudly talked about how all women were worthless bitches. When he finally came out, they took him drinking (not in the bar her sister worked at of course, because, Christ, that would have just killed him) and they basically let him drink himself into a near-paralytic stupor until he was just one shot away from alcohol poisoning.

They were dragging him home after a night out at 7:47 in the morning on the third month and fourth day of his stubborn refusal to believe that it was all over, she was really gone, he was never going to see her again when, wouldn’t you know it, he just looked up and he saw her right across the street. She was in her running clothes, her face all flushed from the exercise, or maybe she was just glowing because the guy, the asshole, the destroyer of hopes and dreams, her one, was running with her and he was playfully grabbing at her longer hair and they were both laughing and goofing around and, fuck them both, he hated their stupid fucking faces.

He got angry then, like volcanic explosion angry, and he stayed furious for sixteen days and eight hours, minus the sixty-five hours and three minutes of sleep that he only got during that time, and he just wished that he could do something like go to her house and blow up there with all the rage he felt because, fuck her, she had broken his stupid heart and he ought to break her face for that. But of course he would never actually do any of that, he’d never lay a finger on her that would hurt her in any way because, Jesus, he had loved her so much and he was pretty sure he still did and, fuck, it just hurt so bad.

He went back to being depressed then, which was just really pathetic of him, but he didn’t get drunk all the time anymore. Instead, he went on walks like all the damn time, no matter what the weather was like, because he couldn’t bear staying in one place where the two of them might have once been in together and he was hoping that all the walking would tire him out so bad he’d just drop dead from exhaustion and then he’d be put out of his misery. That never happened though, but he kept walking and walking until he had walked five hundred and two miles without actually getting anywhere that really mattered. And then he walked some more.

He passed by the place where she worked fifty-seven times without catching a single glimpse of her and he thought that maybe that was just a giant neon sign from the uncaring universe to just forget it and move the fuck on so, finally, he decided to stop being a total loser who walked around everywhere and he went back to sulking in his room where the stupid world could leave him in peace. He stayed in bed for twenty-six hours without sleeping, at the end of which he finally, finally, did something he should have done five months, six days, two minutes, and some seconds ago: he deleted her number from his phone and that was that.

It was the beginning of a ritual cleansing that took place over four days. He erased all three hundred and ten pictures of her, trashed two hundred and seventeen private messages and emails, threw away two shirts, broke one CD, and said a silent fuck you to two years, two months, and eight days of thinking and believing that the something he felt was special and true and meant to be because, fuck it, it didn’t turn out to be that way in the end.

He stayed up that night, watching and waiting for the clock on his bedside table to flash midnight. Then it was time to start all over again.

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