How do you mend a broken heart?

Reads: 202  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A true story about a broken heart and a shattered soul. In other words, a cliche.

Submitted: August 20, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 20, 2012




How can you mend a broken heart?  Or the tale of the reverse alchemist.  Or songs about Jane.

By Second Best


The day I died was an ordinary day.  A Friday morning in August.  August is now a cruel month too.  It was just February that hurt before.  Add august to that now. But like I say, it was an ordinary day. After he had wounded me mortally and shattered my soul once before, I thought it would never happen again. It happened again.  It was even worse than before.

He had been slowly killing me for months. He had shown me coldness like no other.  He was cruel, distant, callous, removed.  He had watched me for months with eyes that held nothing but bitterness, resentment, antipathy and an almost wry amusement. Amused at the stupid, ugly girl who no longer interested him, just dragged him down and stopped him from being where he really wanted to be and with who he wanted to be with. I thought I had hurt him.  I never ever ever wanted to hurt him.  I thought I had. After all, it couldn’t be him, I reasoned.  He had always loved me, despite all that I wasn’t.  He had held me. For ten years he had held me.  He had told me that I had diamonds on the soles of my shoes. And he had held me.  He had just put a baby inside me.  His baby.

It didn’t all happen at once.  It crept up on me.  At first, maybe in June, he had left our bed.  He no longer held me.  This should have been the biggest clue.  He used to find it unbearable if we spent one night apart.  He couldn’t sleep without me next to him. He used to snuggle in to my body to keep at bay the evil of the world. So I should have known that the end of me was just around the corner that night in early June when he slept in the other room and didn’t come back. 

He would hear me crying.  I cried tears enough to fill an ocean. Not so he could pity me, but because that is what happens when the soul is being torn from the body. It didn’t make any sort of difference. My tears, my grief, my loneliness, my destruction, my anguish all had no impact on him.  They meant as much to him as an ant crawling up a wall. And I now understand that if he had even shown basic human compassion to me, it would have meant he was betraying First Best.

 I tried to be what I thought he wanted and needed.  I tried to help him overcome his sadness and fears.  After all, I thought that I had caused them.  I was to later understand that they were merely a mask for his true feelings towards me – unhappiness that he had to come home to second best. That it was difficult for him to know that he was settling for second best.  Because giving someone the deeds to your soul makes you second best.  Because loving him for ten years in a way he never thought someone could made me second best. Settling for second best.  What cruelty exists in that simple phrase.

I craved him every day.  Every part of my being cried out and ached to be touched by him.  I felt that if he just looked at me again, just once, the way that he used to look at me then maybe my quivering soul and my defeated heart could be whole again.  He never did.  Not then.  I had lost my friend.

When he wasn’t indifferent, he would slowly and methodically strip me of my dignity.  Everything that was wrong with me, in his eyes, was laid out for me to see, to dissect and to obsess over.  Maybe I could fix them, for him, for the hope that the memory of us would come back one day. How was I to know that there was was no way to fix crimes invented by a cheating man with a cheating heart?

I thought it was a sadness within him.  I had prayed for his sadness to leave him.  I prayed hard.  It seemed my every waking hour was a prayer for him.  I prayed with all the powers of my faith that he had constantly ridiculed, and eventually destroyed.  It seems my prayers were answered.  He found a way to acquit himself of his sadness.  And it was First Best.



Now for the second act.  First Best works with him. I didn’t know of her existence until that Friday, the Friday that I died.  On the Friday that I died, I started receiving a torrent of information that was to continue for a few more days.  I don’t actually know how much of this is true, as my main source of information is a profoundly skilled liar, but I will try to sequence the events that lead to my death. It had started with the simple act of having coffee. They started going to have coffee together.  This was June.

As I was starting to disintegrate and was looking towards my anchor for help, my anchor started drifting toward and confiding in First Best.  Thus began the emotional affair. She, poor poor poor darling, was “having problems” in her marriage.  HER MARRIAGE. He was clearly besieged by problems with me and this baby that he had tried desperately for a long time to have with me. It must have been such powerful comfort to have someone so extraordinary to help relieve your pain.  And then they eventually started falling in love with each other.  But nothing at all actually happened.  It was a truly chaste, honourable and noble love.  That’s what I was told. It was a lie.  A great deal more had happened.

When I first confronted him with my information, he made it seem that he had acted nobly.  That theirs was a chaste and pure love.  “We didn’t even hold hands”.  I may be Second Best, but I had lived too much to believe that.  Even then, without the viciously sordid details, my world had crashed around me.  Just knowing that he had fallen in love with someone else….While I was treated like less than dirt, while I tried valiantly and in vain to give him some happiness, while my every waking moment was consumed by the pain I thought that he was in, while I tried to make up for all the past hurt and pain caused by a scarred life, while I carried his child inside me, while I loved him, while I was consumed by the love of him.  He fell in love with someone else.

He tried to sell me lie after lire – that they were chaste in their feelings, that she was a “good” person, that there was something pure in their selfish infidelity.  And every time he said “we” as he was talking about her, I died a little more inside.  He was never supposed to be part of another “we”.

The next day, as I was relentless in my questioning, it started to emerge that there may have been some hand holding and kissing.  But that was it.  Really. Honestly.  Nothing else.  She wasn’t that type (don’t forget her purity). Still lies.  I am not sure what I have ever done to make him believe that I am stupid.  He treated me as such even then.

Then Sunday came.  I had some sense of premonition during another sleepless night that there was a great deal missing from the schoolboy-esque crush version of this cheap romance that he was trying to convince me of.  I demanded that he show me his phone.  He has always had an unnatural level of paranoia about protecting his phone from me.  Passwords were always evident.  Was it me that he didn’t trust or himself?  He lost his mind and started shouting why, and what was the point, and why, and what would I get out of that, and why and why and why.  It took me a while to convince him of my intentions.  If he didn’t show me the phone, I was to leave him and never come back.  I suppose he eventually understood the seriousness of my resolve.  Like a dying man handing his last hope over to his mortal enemy, he unlocked his phone.

Not only had they fallen in love with each other despite knowing that they were not at all free to do so, not only had they been skulking around for months, getting ever closer – both emotionally and physically – but one week exactly before I died, he had taken her to a hotel and fucked her.  “I can still smell you on me” said First Best, in a text message.

There was so much more.  He had wished a miscarriage continuously throughout the course of this pregnancy.  Her husband had discovered what was happening (prior to them fucking each other), and their response was not to stay away from each other, but to set up a private email account where they could continue to skulk around secretly. There is so much more but here are a couple that stand out. The day before I confronted him with the information, he had written that it was hard to know that he was settling for second best.  Perhaps the same day he had written that he felt sad that he couldn’t love me anymore at the time I most needed to be loved.  He had wished for the death of his child. He didn’t love me. In his eyes I was considered a form of settling.  I am Second Best.



Many things have happened since then.  Perhaps due to my suggestion in an email I sent to her, she hasn’t been back to work since.  I suggested that she tell her husband she had fucked someone else.  His mother and his sister have found out, and while they have been incredibly supportive and understanding of my pain, I shall respect their privacy by not discussing them anymore, except that his shock and pain at their knowing the worst of him is not something I am certain will ever go away.  He has constantly said he loves me (cruel words that I would have killed to hear a few months earlier – but never at such high a cost), that he wants to be with me, that I should stay and that we should raise this child together as a family.

I find it incredibly unfair that I have to make these choices.  He has put me in an impossible position – pride and dignity, or a family?

He has been forthright in answering the majority of the questions that I have about the whole thing.  I have discovered that he still loves her.  That he misses her.  That he still has music playlists dedicated to her.  That she meant a great deal to him.  I do not believe it is possible to love two people at the same time.  I do not believe that you can state that you know longer love someone and that you consider them second best, and then profess that they are the one for you the very next day.

How do I stay and have a family with a cheating deceiver that killed me so callously and not looked back? How am I supposed to sell all that is dear and true to me in order to save something he sold so easily and cheaply?

Did he forget all that we have had to do just to be together? Did he forget me holding him? Did he forget the deepest and darkest parts of him that he had confided in me?  Did he forget that I stored his pains away for him, and that he had done the same for me?  Did he forget the love of a boy aged 15 for a girl he never thought he would end up with? Did he forget that I am someone’s daughter?

The price he sold the greatest love he could ever have hoped of knowing for was this: a fictitious shambles of feelings for a deceitful, cheating liar and a mediocre fuck.

And in fact, who am I second best to? If he believes that I am second best to a repulsive individual who would actively deceive her loving husband, have a sordid and revolting affair with a man about to be a father, then he is insane.  I am so many leagues above this individual, to the point where I am almost a different species.  The simple fact that I would never destroy a family, or encourage a man to wish the death of his child makes me human.  She is far, far, far less than that.

I think a reverse alchemist is someone who takes gold and tries to make it into something far less precious.  And in tossing away my love for one so utterly and completely worthless, he became the reverse alchemist.


By A Human.



© Copyright 2018 cocoaleaf. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:




More Non-Fiction Short Stories