How To Expect A Breakup

There’ll be one phone call, two rings, 3 minutes, but only one goodbye.

This is where it’ll all make sense. You’ll wake up with a surge of energy and look out your window so you can coordinate your outfit with the weather. You have to make sure to look nice but not over the top, put on his favorite perfume and rush out the door careful not to forget your phone. As expected there’s that “Good Morning!” text that puts a little smile on your face. You will make it to school feeling as fresh as the water that trickles down your back after showering. Then you’ll see your friend coming down the hall

Hey! What’re you doing after school?
Oh, I’m busy.
With him again?

Don’t let her make you feel bad, besides you’re going to hang out with her on Saturday anyway, no big deal. Six periods later and you text him that you’re almost there and as soon as you come out of the subway, it’s as if on cue, he’s waiting to take you into his arms, envelop you and claim you his.

The sky appears to be a film of grey. It’s not cold, so you leave your sweater in your bag, just a little grey. The sun will slowly try to peak through the clouds and sometimes you’ll see a ray come shining down, but other than that you’ll be feeling nothing shy of bliss.

He’ll take your hand gently into his, as if one squeeze will shatter it to a million pieces. You’ll have the regular conversation about your day, family, and the normal stuff. Then as you start making your way into the park, you’ll suddenly feel like asking what you already know the answer to.

Playfully you’ll mention, Do you love me?
And without hesitation, he’ll turn you towards him, touch his lips to yours and say, I love you.

You’ll hang up and just sit there. Staring. Should you call someone? Tell your mom? No. Just sit there for a little bit, to clear your head and all. You’ll notice your room seems a little bit dark so you look up from your desk with your homework piled high, and notice that the Christmas lights that you like to hang up in your room have gone out.


You’ll say this under your breath and notice that your lights are in a circuit and when one little light goes out, so do the rest of them. You’re left with no other choice but to look through each of the little bulbs in the long string to attempt to fix the problem. Decide it’s far too time consuming and just turn on the other light on your dresser. It’ll be good enough for now, because right then you’ll notice the pictures on your wall. You will probably figure that you won’t need them there anymore, they don’t serve any purpose but to relive memories you rather forget. So you take them down. Don’t rip them, or burn them or anything drastic. Just place them face down in the trash and wait till Monday when the garbage truck comes to collect everyone’s junk. All the wrappers, banana peels and old pictures that mean nothing more than filth and clutter. You might feel hesitant, but don’t.

You sit down ready to work on the essay you’ve been procrastinating on, but you can’t seem to get your thoughts running through your head. It’ll feel like you’re trying to move your finger through a bowl of thick honey, almost impossible. That’s when you’ll probably feel the drops of acid making their way down your face. One by one and before you know it, you’ll see the lighting flash, hear the roar of thunder and smell the rain pouring down onto the pavement.


The grass will smell untouched, and your hair will be spread out into the nooks of nature and you’ll turn your head to find him laying right next to you. You both smile, but don’t feel the need to say anything. Simply feel content to lie in each other’s presence. You turn your head to the left and you sit up, alerted by the sight you see.

What’s wrong?
Shhhh.. Just look.

About two yards away from you there’ll be a little squirrel working on a nut. Patiently persevering until there’s nothing more to work on, everything swallowed. Not one crumb left, amazing.


Take some tissues and wipe your face, take a deep breath and start to write your essay again. It’s late and a midterm isn’t an easy task especially when it’s due the next day, you need to work. If you can’t, then stop and take a minute to go over what just happened. Sort it out. You’ll probably try and recount the past 10 minutes of your life starting with the phone call. What happened? It will be hard to reenact the scenario word for word, but try anyway.

You’re an amazing person, but I think we need a break.
I just want to know what it’s like to be single.
Can we still be friends?

Don’t overwhelm yourself. Remind yourself that you were the one that called him. It was mutual. Things hadn’t been that great for a little while, it’s just what’s best. This is what you should run through your head. You probably are automatically thinking about those afterschool dates, taking walks in the park, eating dinner with his family, who you feel are your own, trying to do homework but getting too distracted by the thought of him… but don’t. Don’t think about those days, it’ll only make it worse.


Thank you so much for dinner, that was delicious.

That’s what you’ll say once the vegetable and beef stir fry has vanished from your plate. You’ll start making your way upstairs to get your backpack from the study when he’ll probably sneak up behind you placing his arms around your waist, his head on your shoulder.

I think my family loves you more than they love me.

You’ll both start laughing at the thought of imaging his little sisters trying to impress you with their jokes at the dinner table. You’ll feel like you fit right in, flowing along with the tide of the river.

You grab your bag and grunt at how heavy it is from all of your books and he’ll offer to carry it as he walks you to the train, let him. Even with the sky pitch black, and stores closing up for the night, he’ll still walk you to the train, 10 blocks, not one complaint. Holding your hand all the way, pulling you in for a quick kiss before you swipe your metro card and enter the subway.

Text me when you get home.

At this point you’ll be in the subway car trying not to smile too much so that people don’t start to notice. You can’t imagine anything better, and you don’t dare begin to imagine it worse.

There’ll be one phone call, two rings, 3 minutes, but only one goodbye.

Gabriela Lorenzotti, Age 15, Grade 10, Bard High School Early College, Silver Key

One Comment

  1. Sharon Rawlette

    I love this. For me, it perfectly captures the way, after a break-up, the good memories continue to intermingle with the not-so-good, so that sometimes you might even forget for a split second that you’re broken up. And then, hard on the heels of that pleasant feeling comes the reality that no, that’s over.

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