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For the next week, I feel like I’m living in a nightmare I can’t wake up from. I can barely get myself out of bed for work. Every morning Scott’s the first thing on my mind, and every night I dream of him. I get urges to text him throughout the day, then am forced to remember that we’re in some sort of argument right now. All the more confirmed by the fact that when Lindsey called me to tell me they were safe, off of his cell, he didn’t even get on the phone. I mean, I didn’t ask him to, but I asked Lindsey how he was doing after such a long drive, and she said he was doing fine, that he was just tired. Like, yeah, but where’s the apology? He had so much time to think on that drive. Is he seriously not going to say anything?

Yes, apparently, because it’s been a week and he still hasn’t said anything. But Lindsey is supposed to call me after her first day of school, which is today, and I have work until five. So we scheduled our talk for 8:00 because Scott had dinner plans for them and wanted her to complete any homework before the call, according to her. I doubt she’ll have a lot of homework on the first day of fifth grade, but whatever, I’ll go along with it. He’s her parent, not me.

I go to work, and Kirstie still isn’t back from maternity leave, so basically everything sucks. Talking to Madeline is okay, but it’s not the same. Between appointments, I just end up texting Kirstie and waiting for her to answer. I know excessive phone usage is frowned upon, but I have my own office, and honestly I just don’t care about anything anymore.

I’m starting to wonder if what happened between me and Scott was my fault. If there was anything I did to make him think that what he did was acceptable. I text Kirstie about it, and she just says that the more I begin to miss him, the more I crave him, the more I’ll start trying to blame it on myself in order to get him back. She kindly reminds me that he’s not coming back, and it’s not my fault whatsoever, and that I need to remember all the reasons I was so angry at him before so I don’t go crawling back. Especially now when it won’t do any good. He said he didn’t want me to move with him. That him asking me was a mistake.

But I want him. I want him so much that I get an ache in my chest every time I think about him. It’s a consuming ache that blooms where my heart is, but the petals fall into my arms and towards my hips, making multiple parts of my body long for him. Then my brain has to be the one to say, hey, stop that, you can do better. Just like he said.

I’ve barely been able to eat, so lunch isn’t very fun. Kirstie suggested crackers because they’re light but filling, plus they stabilize an anxious stomach. Except I’m not really anxious. There’s no chance of me running into him, and I doubt I’ll be getting any texts. I’m just plain sad. Walking through life like a zombie. Someone else is doing my job for me. Some customer-service Mitch who can easily fake a smile and say all the right things. He has to because the real Mitch is nothing but crumpled paper inside.

What gets me through the rest of the day is knowing that I have little Lindsey calling me at 8:00. I go home, eat half the salad I made, and wait. It’s not like I have anything better to do with my life. Except laundry. Okay, yeah, I’ll go do some laundry quick then talk.

My phone buzzes as I’m walking out of the laundry room, empty laundry basket in hand. I answer the call and rush back to my room, the plastic laundry basket still too heavy for just my left hand to carry.


“Hi Mitch,” Lindsey’s sweet voice replies. I miss her so much it hurts. It's not like we hung out all that much, but knowing I can’t see her at a moment’s notice is too difficult for me to handle in my fragile state.

Everything I think about somehow reminds me that everything has changed.

“Hi Linds, how are you doing? How’s Illinois? I can’t wait to hear all about it!”

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