My friend asked me today why it was so hard to see her ex. I didn’t really know what to tell her. She had made the unwise decision to have breakfast with him, as if a meal shared with the enemy would heal still-fresh wounds. Being with him made her feel better, she told me, but she immediately felt worse the second they parted — even more so than before.
I wasn’t the least bit surprised. After all, give or take a few labels and bullshit reasons, I am more or less going through the same thing. The way I see it, these guys are a lot like cocaine. It feels good when you’re on them but god does it hurt when you’re off. Not that I’d know from personal experience, of course. Thus, the most comforting response I could offer to “Why does it hurt so much?” was still painfully honest. I said to Allie that it gets better with time despite how dire it must seem at the moment. Like all things, this too will past. Trite but true, and you can’t argue with what you know to be certain.
Still, it doesn’t help a bit. Not in the meantime. There’s no comfort in knowing that three or four months down the line, we’ll be numb to this, indifferent thanks to time’s passing. It doesn’t make the days less difficult, drive away dark thoughts, or ease frustrations. But the future is still something. For example, my present proves that the past was surmountable, and that is a comfort in itself. After last year, I think I can force myself to deal with just about anything and know that I’ll still come out alive.
Because of Cooper, I drank and partied and slept a lot (and around) but I never took a knife to my own wrist and I kept up appearances as difficult as they were to maintain. I stayed close to my friends, got by on Bs and BS in class, made it back to California (albeit intoxicated on the flight home), and even had a functional relationship over the summer. Sometimes you have to keep on trucking, and that’s all life has really been ever since college began, since Cooper happened, since Harvard happened. Save for a few brief reprieves (i.e. CK and Summer Guy), it’s been one long effort to keep on going. And at the very least, I know I’m capable of it, even after such a difficult blow.
So I’m still going, which is why I’m convinced that Allie can and will too. It hurts now because she can still remember what it was like when life came unblemished. But that’s all CSP is and that’s all Aidan is: blemishes. They are surface wounds which have done no permanent harm, that we will eventually heal from, and that will undoubtedly scar … but even that is not a bad thing. I like to think that scars add character, shape who we are, and eventually, they become so much a part of us that we don’t even remember how deeply we must’ve been cut in order for it to have left a mark. And by the time new lovers ask after old wounds, we will have long been veterans and all the better for having known this battlefield.