Belly Fire

by Jane Moneypenny

For awhile, I wondered if the day would ever come. Deep down, I knew it had to because I simply couldn’t live like this forever. After 5 long years of feeling this ache and weight in my chest, I realized one day I was over it. 5 years sounds absurd so I won’t bother explaining the histrionics behind it other than, it’s finally out of my system.

I fell out of love with him years ago and was stupidly holding on to some idealistic version that had captured me when we first met. It wasn’t a normal relationship or friendship; it’s one of those messed up kinds that no one outside ever understands until you’re sucked into one yourself. Some days, you experience every emotion in the book and it’ll only be noon. The pathetic factor is that I was well aware of the situation and the reality of its bad effects on my life; I wasn’t blind to the fact he was using me or only there when it was good for him.

I grew up always saying, “I’ll never be one of those girls that lets a guy treat her badly. I’ll leave in a second, end it, cut it out and walk away with my head held high.” But when it comes down to it and it’s this horrible habit of feeling this way all the time, it just becomes easier to go each day. When things were good, they were amazing, but when things were bad, it was rock bottom. I’m not proud of all the time wasted on him, but I also don’t regret the events that got me to who I am right now.

I never thought we would actually drift away from each other, but I remember writing once, “If I ever truly let go, our friendship would be over. And deep down, he knows that.” He feared it and still does. We used to see or talk to each other every day for the first four years, sneak off to lounge in the hammocks in the warm spring nights and talk about anything and everything over a late night greasy appetizer. He was different back then too. Eventually, the bad times weighed heavier than the good and through all the nights of crying and fighting, I subconsciously started pulling myself together and finding what made me happy.

And then one day a few months ago, I actually followed the old cliché: I woke up and suddenly realized I had finally reached apathy. No more hatred, anger, “love,” pity, or sadness. Just apathy! Ever since I was a kid, my mother would say that I had a fire in my belly; someone later said it was a good thing because it comes out in both anger and passion. So reaching apathy is big. A friend asked what the moment felt like and truthfully, kinda anti-climatic. Actually, I think it’s all hitting me at this exact moment because I suddenly feel like bursting out crying at the sheer meaning of it all (shaddup, I’m PMSing).

We had dinner tonight after not seeing each other for a month and it was slightly awkward, which it never is. I could tell he felt the shift due to his tapping leg and his increasing curiosity about why I seemed so blasé. And I didn’t care what he felt or thought. A tiny part of me misses him, but I think it’s the part that misses being 18. It’s tough falling in love with your best friend, dating him, getting dumped and watching him date your friends. Ah, I’m stupid. I definitely don’t miss the emotions at that age.

But it’s in the past now and I’m looking forward to my very bright future. Hm, 2008 and the upcoming 25th year might be just my thing.

(And that’s why I hold fast to being single and its awesomeness).