When Jed & I broke up, I didn’t feel anything.
It was breakfast. Maybe brunch. I was watching him turn the eggs over easy when I blurted out, “This isn’t going to work.”
He turned towards me, then shrugged his shoulders. “Salt will help,” he said, sliding a plate of weird-looking eggs between us.
I took a piece of toast and spread butter on half of it, strawberry jam on the other. He got a glass of ice and filled it with non-fat milk. I sliced the edges off the toast. He put a pink straw in the glass. I passed him his half-and-half toast. He passed me my iced milk.
Sip. Chew. Sip. Chew. We both stared outside the kitchen window when the dishes were done. He washed, I dried.
“I’ll take the guitar, you can keep the cookbooks,” he said huskily, breaking the silence.
“You can take them. I’ll keep the blue casserole dish,” I replied, watching a little boy chase a wheel down the street.
“No,” Jed said, watching the little boy catch the wheel with a stick. “I’ll just be reminded of all the dishes we wanted to cook together but never got to.”
I sold the cookbooks at my neighbor’s garage sale. They too reminded me of the dishes that got away. The guitar was left behind contrary to Jed’s plans. Before he gave me a kiss on the forehead, he said he didn’t want to be reminded of the songs he’ll never play for me. A tad too dramatic but I did understand.
When he drove away, I didn’t feel anything.
But when I take the guitar out of the closet and play a few tunes, I am whisked back to the evenings Jed sings for me, and I for him. And then I feel something. I feel my heart falling back into broken pieces. I feel hot tears on my cheeks. I feel angry for not wanting the same things he did, and for him not wanting the same things I did.
And then the guitar is back in its case, back in its dark closet corner. And then I don’t feel anything at all.
I’ve sold it on eBay for a song.