Sentimentality is a curious thing
Feelings brought on by this object in my hand
Shards of red glass glued together as a vase
The first time a boy bought me flowers, they came in this vase

It was just before Christmas
I was a junior in college, 20 years old
A week prior, he was the first man to ask if he could be my boyfriend
No games, no goofing around, no seeing how far he could get before caring
A confidence, an integrity, a directness I respected
And very desperately craved at that age
Eighteen months later I married him
And three years after that we were divorced
Today, we don’t communicate at all

My whole world, my complete understanding of myself
Like ashes thrown into the wind, was gone
Its not that I miss him really
Its just that dainty simple version of myself was so great a protection
To hide any of my complicated bits…even from myself

There is so much weight put into firsts and onlys
Such a challenge to create meaning when you can never get those back

Sometimes I realize that it all happened too fast
I couldn’t feel it
Life didn’t stop, I had to keep moving, had to keep breathing
Drown myself in taking care of other people

But then today
I pick up this vase that has somehow followed me
And the bittersweet agony I have repressed comes flooding in
I am grateful for the wisdom my mistakes have brought me
But I am also sad
I’m sorry that I ever hurt anyone
I’m sorry that I carry a broken vow
I’m sad that life can be so painfully messy and complicated
And that not all fairy tales are true
It’s a lot harder to live worthy of a prince then my broken heart ever fathomed


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