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Day 22 — My Boyfriend’s Package

It took me a week to unpack the box my boyfriend sent to me, and I cried unwrapping every item he had wrapped in tissue paper. Did he think he would make me feel better by taking extra time gift-wrapping the contents rather than simply folding them neatly in a box?

I’m sending a few things back—one of his flannel shirts he had given me, and a book that I don’t want to read and some other stuff I told him not to send. If I had to draw parallels between work and relationship layoffs, this would be the equivalent of returning the office key and credit card to its rightful owner.

Unpacking two years’ worth of memories that I thought were meaningful is not at all like unpacking your office belongings, which I still haven’t done. I know what’s in there—manila folders, papers, pens, and, yes, the Super Plus tampons that I had stuffed in the side drawer. These are things I can live without, and losing my job didn’t break my heart—just my bank account.

Losing my boyfriend did break my heart. Somehow, I need to begin anew—with a job, in love and in life. My girlfriend said I deserve better, and that he won’t ever find a woman as special as me. Someday, she said, he will realize what he’s tossed away. I know she is right. But the pain I feel runs deep, and my tears run through it.

In the end, time, in both circumstances, is our friend. Time heals, but once you’re wounded, you may never fully recover. Yes, enough to keep going because you have to. Life moves on, and the trick, I think, is learning how to move along with it. But sometimes people have to lose something to realize what they had. I hope he realizes the special gift he threw away.

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