chapter forty three

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I've had a wild and riveting first day of spring break so far.

I've been sitting on the floor of my bedroom folding load after load of laundry since I've seriously neglected my house work for the past two weeks. With the stress of the Danielle Young incident, breaking up with Tristan, dealing with the emotional fallout of breaking up with Tristan, and mid terms, I don't actually know how I survived, but somehow I'm still here, and now I'm celebrating my survival by folding all of the laundry that's built up.

I've been ignoring my mother's phone calls all morning, and when I hear my phone vibrate against the hardwood floor next to me I reach for the remote to increase the volume on the tv. I was supposed to fly to Florida this morning, but I know that she had a heads up that I wasn't coming because when I canceled the ticket it sent a cancellation confirmation email to me and her since she was added onto my original itinerary. She's been calling me nonstop since.

I sent a text letting her know that I was fine and that I was just going to stay in Pullman for the break to catch up on schoolwork, but I know she saw right through that excuse because she didn't even bother texting back, instead she just calls every few hours, hoping that I'll pick up so she can lecture me about sticking to plans that I've made and how last minute cancellations impact everyone around me, not just myself. And while that alone would have been enough of a reason to avoid her calls, I'm sure she's also going to dig for information on Tristan.

The last time we spoke I told her that we were broken up, because at the time we were, but now that we're back together I'm not going to lie to her about it. If my conversation with Marina taught me anything it's that my mother has a lot of great advice, and she really does just want to protect me, but in the end this is my life, it's my choice, and it's my opinion that matters more than anything else.

I could spend my entire life trying to please my mother and still never get the validation that I'm searching for, because she'll never give it to me. So, it may have taken me almost twenty-one years to figure it out, but now I know that I need to value and trust my own decisions enough to be confident in my choices, and if she supports me then that's great, but if not, that's okay too. I support me, and that's enough.

But for the sake of not ruining my entire spring break by having my mother lose her mind, I'm going to put off having that conversation until after we get back from our trip. Plus, I can tell that she's been complaining about me and the situation to Jeff and Mark since she got back from her business trip because Jeff has been snapping me more than usual, mostly pictures of his bulldog Rambo, and I know it's his way of saying mom told me what happened, I'm sorry you had to break up with your boyfriend, that sucks.

We don't actually talk about our feelings. I don't know if that's a growing up with brothers thing or just a Ryan thing, but whatever the case, we tend to communicate passively - like sending pictures of dogs to cheer each other up or sending a million heart emojis back to say thank you, I love you.

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