Heartbreak was not easily recognized by her. She could relate to disapproval, disappointment, and dismissal, but the warmth of affection required an understanding she had not acquired. Too little experience; too many memories to the contrary. Being a tough one to break seemed to be par for the course and exactly the armour she would need to survive her youth. She had danced with the devil by the light of the moon… Hell, sometimes, she had been the one to invite him.

The recollection of first loves, first kisses, first base, innocence lost… It all meshed together. In fact, her first love had nothing to do with her first kiss, and first base was remembered more like a football fumble. Laughter seemed a more appropriate response to that memory than some ideal fondness of BS. The truth is, she was allowed to laugh because none of it had much to do with love. It was just your run of the mill coming of age moments… except for when it wasn’t. There was a sting to her story. A bitterness that became built on bad judgment, egos, and nowhere to run. Tears get ignored; drunk chases sometimes end with missed classes, bruises, and apologies. Of the great many experiences she could recall during this time very few brought on laughter. So, she would hold tight to those… The one’s that were par for the course of adolescence. She buried the others under stone like a professional mason. Heartbreak is hard to recognize when you build your heart out of stone.

It takes bravery to keep showing up for another round with shame. No one told her this, of course. In fairness, no one would have known what to tell her. She didn’t need advice. She didn’t need protection. She didn’t need her parents. She didn’t need anyone. Most of all… She didn’t need love. Shame and love don’t belong in the same category. She preferred the cold. A trait she probably picked up from her father. One of many that could explain his absence. She didn’t need his explanation either. She had herself… Why would anyone ever want more, she thought. There is peace in the darkness. Young hearts don’t break in the cold… They shatter…

She would later pick up a pen and laugh, unashamed.


Until next time… xo

‘Ish, Accordingly


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