“I’m here,” answered an auburn haired lady with one hand raised.
She was in no mood to talk.
Sighing and sluggishly getting her raised hand down, she brought her legs down and made to answer.
“Arabel, what have you been doing?”
“Thinking all day,” she mumbled, grabbing a plate from the plate rack.
“Oh, so you were hungry but couldn’t stand up to help me in the kitchen?”
She grumbled. “Mom, you know I can’t. Still sulking.” She said, and her mom sighed. “Oh, Arabel,” she made to hug her. “You can’t stay like this forever, baby. Oliver’s not gonna come back.”
“Mom!” Arabel felt worse, hearing her mother say. This wasn’t the comfort she was looking for. Her mother was making matters worse. “Mom, I thought you would comfort me.” She pulled away. “I thought you were actually going to make me feel better-” she wanted that but was getting the opposite.
It’s been a week. A week Oliver looked her in the eye and walked away with no remorse.
She hated him. She wanted him to feel all that she felt-and even worse. She hated him for leaving her; for walking away and not thinking how she’d feel if he did.
“I hate him, mommy…”
“I know, baby.”
“I loved him so much!” she couldn’t hold back her tears as her mother drew closer to wipe them off.
Arabel and Oliver had been together since tenth grade. Now she was in her final year, she didn’t know if she’d survive…
Things were complicated in the young lady’s life. She had never felt so down before. Her grades were not as good as they were the semester before; her boyfriend was gone-she was torn.
The pain she felt was worse than anything she’d ever felt. If only she could bring an end to it and be free.
“I want to end this, Sylvia. I can’t bear the pain anymore-” Arabel told her friend.
Sylvia was frightened by her words. “You don’t mean that, do you now?” she asked Arabel who stood by her words.
“I mean every word,” Arabel said, as she stood up from the chair, acting like she was going to leave.
Sniffling and sitting back down, she buried her face in her palms. “I can’t do it, Sylv,” she sniffled again. “I really can’t.”
Her friend pulled her closer. “You have to get yourself together, girl. Oliver’s already moved on…”
“But I can’t!” Arabel clenched her fists with disdain. “Oliver has been the one right from the start,” she made clear.
Sylvia went further to tell her that he wasn’t the one for her. “But Oliver’s not the one for you, my dear,”
Arabel’s stomach tightened in pain. “I really hate him!”
Her friend’s lips curved. “Mm, I know you do.”
Arabel huffed, and said, “I’m definitely going to make him pay!”
Her mother came out. “What did you say?”
Arabel turned to look at her. “I’ll make him pay, mom,” she remembered her friend’s warning; she had warned her not to get too attached, but she was too stubborn; too clingy. She had let her emotions get the best of her, and now she was paying the price. “If only I had not gotten so close to him,” she held her stomach, regretting not listening. “If only I had not let myself love him so much,” she let her heart ache while the pain tarried.
Remembering their last meeting, she felt a whole new crippling pain. If only she knew it was going to be their last, she thought with quivering lips.
Michigan University was a thirty minute trek from Arabel’s house. She walked tiredly, feeling completely dragged out from her sulky space, reaching the front gate, as she saw her ex and his new girl—like she assumed—walking hand in hand, smiling happily.
“Just chill—” she muttered under her breath and walked past them, acting like they weren’t there.
Arabel couldn’t believe Oliver would move on so fast. Wasn’t it just last week? She felt her breath slowly leave.
How he was able to move on, she couldn’t understand.
She ended up concluding he was a monster, the thought of it ringing in her mind as she walked to class.
“Girl, you’re funny. Don’t tell me you were thinking about Oliver all day,”
Arabel couldn’t get her mind off him. She had such a hard time averting it from him. Sometimes she found herself wishing he had never walked away. Other times she sighed at how easy it was for him to–
“Do you think he ever found me attractive?”
Sylvia gave a loud laugh. “You’re funny.”
Arabel concurred. “I know—” she paused. “But do you?” she asked, seriously searching for an answer.
Sylvia tried not to snicker. “Oh, please don’t tell me you’re still thinking about him?”
Arabel denied.”I’m not,” she went further to say, “I’d long forgotten him.”
Sylvia doubted though not showing it. “So how are you?”
Arabel was unsure if to tell her what was making her feel unwell. “Oliver and I had sex—”
Sylvia was baffled. She had known about their regular make outs—but sex?! “You didn’t?” she gasped, acting surprised. “Girl, you better be joking…”
Arabel attested, “But I’m not—”
Sylvia gasped again, then laughed. “Oh, I’m kidding. But wait—” she paused with a finger raised. “That dude’s got guts. How dare he?!”
Arabel sighed. “He gave no sign, that’s what hurts,”
Sylvia made to comfort— “Oh, baby. Just cheer up.” she rubbed her knuckles lightly, as she said, “I know wherever he is, he’s regretting giving you up.”
Arabel smiled but deep down could tell he was regretting nothing.
I was starting to think I was running mad, seeing Oliver while he wasn’t there.
I thought I had gotten over him.
Three weeks yet the thoughts of him lingered.
I remembered the happy memories—and the sad ones.
Weeping again, I threw curses which I knew wasn’t going to get to him.
How could he move on just like that? I shook my head in rage, slamming my fists.
I hated him to the very core. Seeing him suffer was all I cared.
I was feeling nauseous, having cried all night. A bit of a mistake, I told myself, but I could help it no more but let my emotions bulge out lest I got out of control.
Oliver was happily living his life. Why won’t I be? I constantly asked.
I couldn’t figure out why I’d let the thoughts of him pull me down while he enjoyed and went about his normal life. Not like he treated me any better—I knew I had to let go of every memory and live my own life.
Breakfast has been served, I sighed, accepting the truth.
I had to stop sulking and be that girl Mom’s always wanted; the thought of that made me smile.
Being in my final year wasn’t that easy. I had to strive just to get my CGPA back on track—”Arabel, you got this—” telling myself, determined not to let anything get in my way, I walked with shoulders raised, happy to know I was going to heal just in time.