Dear Everyone,

The person I love most in the entire world has left me. Gone. Vanished. And the real kicker here folks—he left by choice. You all know this and yet you still say it’s “his loss.” As if that is supposed to make me feel better, console me; make me the “bigger person.” It does none of the above because the truth of the matter is: I have experienced a loss.

Losses and wins involve points, am I correct? Let’s think about the situation and see where the points should be awarded. Are we all in agreement that the loss goes to the person with the least amount of points? Good. Let’s begin:

Since it was his choice to leave me, and I had no say in the matter—actually I wasn’t even warned it was coming (or going, as was the case), or given the opportunity to work on things or speak with a third party—I’d say that’s 1 point him, 0 points me.

I was left to tell everyone I know, we know, we knew or would possibly meet that the wedding was called off. It was my job to do this because he didn’t. It was my job to bring the bad news to everyone, to tell the story I had so little answers for, to state his irrational reasoning. 1 point for him.

I cried so much for the first few weeks that I thought I would get dehydrated from all the water loss. I cried at any moment I could get alone, and around people with whom I felt comfortable. After a while, I started to feel “comfortable” crying around anyone. Subtlety was not something I was practicing at this time. I bet he cried, too. I hope he cried. I guess we’ll put that as 0 points for both of us.

I had no appetite. I almost stopped eating all together. My mind was so wrapped up in processing the situation that eating wasn’t a priority. Therefore, I lost a lot of weight. Shit. That’s a point for me. I bet he lost weight too, but that’s not cool for guys, right? 0 for him.

He stopped loving me. 1 point him, 0 for me.

Everything I own has his memory attached to it. We were together for almost five years and were planning a wedding and a future. That off-white sweater he bought me for Christmas; that song where it says Nothing else will do, I gotta have you; the love notes he wrote me; that 89.3 radio poster he sent with me before I went abroad; his books with notes in the margins: all covered in him. I thought about getting rid of things or at least putting them away for a while, but I realized that the strongest memories were the ones in my head. There was no way to throw those out. I bet he thought of me sometimes, but without love attached to it. 1 more point for him.

He told me we should stop communicating. We wouldn’t see each other because we were living in different towns at the time anyway. There were no phone calls unless I was the one who rang. The person I shared every last detail of my life with, and who did the same with me, suddenly didn’t care anymore. I was left to write my thoughts, cry my thoughts, and be with my thoughts alone. 1 point him, 0 me.

I bought a wedding dress. 1 point him, 0 for me.

Let’s see where we’re at so far. 6 points him, 1 point me. That looks to be a little in his favor, wouldn’t you say? Looks like a loss is coming my way.

When I see other couples holding hands, when I turn on sports, when I hear his name, when I dream of his touch, when I get another invitation to a fucking wedding, I am jolted with a pain that knocks me off my feet for a bit. It’s an empty hole in my body that feels bottomless some days, and will never be filled. 0 points for me, 1 for him.

Waking up in the mornings has hurt since the day he left me. I’ve never really been a morning person, but coming out of my subconscious into reality is a painful endeavor that I start with every day. The in-and-out of consciousness experienced with sleeping-in takes its toll. I used to love sleeping-in. I’m guessing he’s sleeping pretty well, having this bombshell off his conscience. 1 point him, 0 for me.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten much closer to my mom through all of this. She is my listener, my body to cry into, my wise adviser. My relationships with my sister and brothers have grown as well. We talk more often and I feel their love everyday. My dad has been able to get angry at him when I wasn’t able to. Dad is there to protect me. My friends have been amazing; their love has shattered every wall and wrapped me with grace. I feel taller and stronger because I have and continue to make it through everyday. I am confident in what I want from life. I was vulnerable to love and conquered it with honesty, respect, and faithfulness. None of this would have happened had I not met him and fallen in love. I guess I have to award a point to everyone who was there for me. That’s 100 points for me. I don’t know about him.

It looks as though the total count is in: 7 points for him and… 101 points for me? Shit. Everyone was right. I guess it is his loss. Or is it possible that we both experienced a loss? Does that mean it’s a tie? I think what I’ve learned is that neither of us won. The loss is real and cannot (and should not) be rushed. The healing process takes time. Time is all I own.

— Megan