It’s not heartbreak, you think. You have to be in love to have heartbreak. It has to be a boyfriend or girlfriend or wife or partner walking out on you for it to be heartbreak, the type where it feels like your insides have been put through a blender. And you weren’t actually going out with them, were you? Just dating them. Though it had been a couple of months, and you were kind of hoping that they’d look up and actually ask you to make it official, but instead the opposite had happened. That’s what you get for being optimistic, you think.
So, you wonder if you’re even entitled to feeling upset. Probably not, but you can’t feel guilty for having emotions. This must be something else if it’s not heartbreak. Heart-scraped knees. Heartbruise. You can forgive those Greek philosophers who used to think the heart was the seat of all emotions: it’s not your brain that hurts. It’s your chest. You can feel your pulse fluttering against your spine, and there’s a sense of a heavy weight crushing your lungs. You are sighing a lot. You put in your headphones and try to shut out the world for a few minutes, but every song seems to be about love or heartbreak and you give up and go back to lying perfectly still.
You probe your chest out of curiosity, the way you do when you have a new injury you’re trying to work out. This is the beginning, a dark red mark on your skin only you can see. You know it will go through a muted rainbow, blue and purple and green, and then an angry brown, and then yellow. And then one day you’ll feel for your yellow bruise and it’ll be gone. It will happen: it just takes time.
You get up.