This was the last straw. I’m over you. My bedroom is full of bad memories and I must cleanse myself of you.

First go the pillows we once nuzzled. They smell too strongly of your Suave Ocean Breeze-scented conditioner. My tears only amplify their stench. So out the window they go and into the dumpster they’ll stay.

Next go your letters, so filled with lies of love and humility. How you “promised” you’d stay true. I’ve read your words over so many times I wish I could throw my brain in the trash, but I’ve been told that’s physically impossible.

Instead, I burn your letters. Not just metaphorically, but literally, with matches and a Bic lighter you left at my place. Smoking you out of my life like a landscaper would a pesky gopher. I throw the letters, engulfed in flaming hot fire, out the window and into the dumpster. SO LONG, LIES!

Yet still everything here reminds me of you. This is my prison. I must purge myself of your — wait… what’s that smell? Is that smoke?

I gaze out the window of my third-floor apartment you so frequently visited and peer down to the dumpster with the same eyes I used to watch you with. It appears my letter fire has started a dumpster fire. The flames spread like my passion for you once did — searingly hot and incredibly dangerous to everyone in the immediate area.

How do you put out a dumpster fire? It builds quickly. It spreads swiftly. Some elements, like women, are untamable.

Smoke billows. Flames heighten. Will I lose my apartment’s security deposit? I will need that money back to buy that hoverboard I’ve had my eye on. How would I even explain this to someone? “Hey, I went through a kind of weird break up, so I dramatically burnt some letters… Yeah, I know I could’ve shredded them instead, but this felt more symbolic, you know?”

I remember that your dad is a volunteer firefighter in Key West. I remember all your stories. I remember our three months together vividly. Three wonderful, dumpster-fireless months. A whirlwind of emotion overcomes me. I fear I’ve lost you forever.

My dumpster fire rages on.

I resolve to put this out the old-fashioned way; I grab two cups and fill them up with water from my sink. Running up and down the stairs, I dump them out into the dumpster. Yet the flames don’t diminish. I still feel the heat against my skin. I still feel the ache in my heart.

Then, I remember: My apartment building has a fire extinguisher in the lobby. I run down and grab it from the storage closet, race to the dumpster, and quickly spray over the conflagration with the power of a strong, virile orgasm.

The fire is vanquished.

The crisis is averted.

Life, it continues.

What an ordeal this was! But what now for me? I’ve emerged from the fire unscathed. What an apt metaphor for our time together: a fire that grew so quickly and burned so bright, only to be defeated with pragmatism. Our time together left scars on my heart and ash in my dumpster. It will always be with me.

Life begins anew. I am new.