I broke up with my boyfriend on Saturday. Well, technically we broke up Friday night- we both knew it was over, but he stayed until Saturday night. Neither of us were really ready to let go and we knew once he left, it was over.
Since then, I’ve only done the things that are absolutely essential and things have gotten pretty gross around here. No longer able to see the floor, not sure what’s clean anymore. Reusing the same cup because I can’t wash it out or run the dishwasher.
Today I took a personal day and said I would do all those things. As I began to pick up the clothes, I thought it wasn’t so bad- it must just be that I was putting it off so that I could mentally focus on what was going on.
Then I picked up all the notes he used to leave me before leaving in the mornings, before I woke up. Little love notes, scrawled on post-its. I always kept them, although I almost mildly resented the fact that they cluttered my otherwise meticulous cork board.
I put them in a pile, folded it once, sloppily, and put it in the trash.
Opening my underwear drawer, I found his boxers. They’re old and hideous and I’ve always hated them and wanted him to get new ones, but he said he wouldn’t because these were so soft. I said that’s because they’re 6 years old, you nasty.
Holding those shorts, I just lost it. Knowing we’d never have that stupid little debate anymore. I put them on the pile with his towel and toiletries. I re-read the Christmas card that said he was “smitten” with me- it has mittens arranged in a heart on the front.
I sat on the bed and cried- I don’t know for how long. And then I got up, and went to the trash. I took out the post-its. I unfolded them, read each one again, then stacked them neatly and folded them once, neatly. I pressed them inside the smitten card, and closed it. I found an unused box for the jewelry he gave me, and put it all inside. I put the card, the notes, and the jewelry in my desk drawer. Second from the top. I put it upside down.
I realized, finally, that the reason my place is so messy after breaking up with him isn’t because I’m too tired to clean it, or too unfocused. It’s because after I clean- he’s gone.