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Life After You;

Gently, I awake to the whistle of the wind. I let out a quick sigh as I lift one eyelid, then immediately close it with neglect for time. For a brief moment, my head is silent, but the next my mind is inundated with emotions and obligations and you. I pull the covers over my head, as if this simple cloak will shield my psyche from unpleasant thoughts. But alas, the unpleasantness cycles on repeat. Anger, frustration, bargaining. Anger, frustration, sadness. Anger. Apathy. Apathy always seems to get me out of bed.

I pull my aggressively stained men’s tank top over my head and stand half naked in front of my closet. The tank top is not yours. The chilled air coming through the window cuts into my skin, causing the thick, dark hair on my arms and thighs to erect, and the skin on my nipple to tighten around the metal piercing. In the grey light that traipses through the room, I examine my body and notice that my belly is looking different than usual. More misshapen. I hurry to the mirror, reexamine my body, and confirm that my belly does in fact look more misshapen than usual. My eyes look a bit dead but my breasts look nice. Today is a “low cut shirt” day.

I trudge out of the dorm, but that trudge turns to a half-hearted sprint as I notice the bus pulling up. My sprint slows to a halt when the bus starts up again and rolls away without hesitation. I stand there. It’s cold but I still stand there, vacant in myself. I break from my moment of dull and realize that I have no time to stand there. The biting wind against my cheek is rivaled only by the blurring grey that is the sky, weighing on my chest. I continue on against the wind, pretending you don’t live in the building that I’m passing.

As Central Campus arrives to my line of vision, I’m punched in the face by the reality of today’s work schedule. Two hours of relentless drawing, instructed by a self-indulgent artist. I find myself hating self-indulgent people, nowadays. I won’t acknowledge the rest of my work because thinking about it makes my bones cringe with anxiety. After class, I’m again graciously assaulted by the bitterness of New England’s weather patterns. My head whips side to side through the wind as I try to avoid you. Out of boredom, I buy a snack from the student center. Out of regret, I spend the next hour justifying it.

The walk back to my room is painfully mundane. There’s a brief moment of relief when I see my dorm, because now I can finally stop walking. It gets hard walking in these heavy black boots but I wear them because they make me feel tough. I lay in bed, fully clothed, and close my eyes. Immediately they jutt wide open because I remember that you slept with her Friday night. Anger, frustration, sadness. Anger. It returns. You return. But apathy doesn’t and I cry until I sleep.

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