A Preview of Fink's second novel
"Diary of a Broken Heart"
The following is an entirely fictitious account of what the author imagines would be a horrifying break up. Any connections to names, places or events are pure coincidence.
However, if while reading this you find yourself thinking, “Is this about me?”
It probably is.
“Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.” -Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune
Diary of a Broken Heart
When recounting a particularly cruel and unimaginable torture, the narrator always tells their listeners that they were blindsided. “That was the worst part–that I didn’t see it coming,” they often say.
While my particularly cruel and unimaginable torture left me feeling like a shell of my former self, looking back, I wasn’t blindsided. I only thought I was.
I’m sorry to say that after having given myself over a year to analyze every, single, minute detail of my particularly cruel and unimaginable torture, I have realized that I not only should have seen it coming, but I may have even played a role in the whole mess that lead me here.
Me: I’m so happy with you
Him: Good, I am happy with you.
Me: I just wish you were home
Him: I will be soon
Him: I’m so hungry and I’m out of food.
Me: If we were in California, I’d make you breakfast
Him: That would be perfect
Me: Are we okay?
Him: Hey. Yes we are
It's been hours since I've heard from Him. Waking up this morning I was overcome with the most unsettling feeling. Paralyzing anxiety that I've only felt once before in our relationship. It was before He was supposed to go on an emergency plane fix and the plane He was supposed to take ended up being unable to fly. This is so unlike Him. I don't understand what's going on.
There are days in every person’s life that leave a lasting mark. Some, you wish you could relive, like the first warm day of the spring during the school year when you could practically feel the heat thawing the classroom, clouding the room in an electrifying excitement. Others, you hope you never have to experience again. Days when you messed up so badly the disappointment engulfed you, making you wish you could turn back the clock and do it all over again.
Then, there are the days that shatter your world and if you hadn’t experienced it even once, it would have been more than enough.
This was one of those days.
I haven't heard from you in two days. I have no idea what's going on with you or why you decided to cut things off. It's so uncharacteristic of you that it makes me worried something bad happened. I hate that I'm acting like such a needy girl right now because this isn't who I am or the pressure I want to put on you - especially if this radio silence is all because of something with work. Honestly, I think I'm just worried that something’s wrong because this doesn't seem like something you would do.
I'm so proud of you and what you do every day. I know I haven't been the easiest person to be with lately. It’s just hard with the distance. You get that, don’t you? I don't know why I push people away but I've been trying to change for you and if we'd been able to talk about this I'd have told you that. Thinking about not having you in my life makes me want to do whatever I need to, to make sure you're happy every, single day.
I love you more than you know and truly never thought you, of all people, would treat me like this. After every conversation we had about how other people have hurt us and promises we made to each other that we'd be honest about our feelings, it's difficult for me to really accept this is how you'd end things. I truly thought I'd be with you for the rest of my life but here we are. You've broken my heart but I'll be fine, like I always am. Good luck & goodbye.
I don't know what changed between us or why you won't even talk to me about it. I thought we were fine and you were happy, but I guess I was wrong. None of this makes any sense to me and I really never could have imagined this is how you'd treat me. I've never felt this bad or been this hurt. I love you and I thought you loved me too. As hard as it is and as much as I don't want to, I guess I just have to accept it and try to move on. I'll mail your sweatpants back to your mom. It makes me too sad to keep them.
Saved on my phone are a series of notes, the previous four entries being a sample of them. Although “notes” seems like an inappropriate description for what they really are. What they really are, are the messages I wanted to send to Him. My desperate attempts at snapping Him out of whatever trance had convinced Him we shouldn’t be together.
Why didn’t I send them? I wish I could say it’s because I’m not the type of woman that would beg a man to be with her. The type that only wants to be with someone who wants to be with her.
As I have learned, I’m not that type of woman and likely never will be. I’m the type of woman to send 57 messages, spanning four different methods of communication. A flagrant disregard for whatever shred of self-respect I had left after the first 30 unread messages.
Only then, when there is still no response after message 57, do I resolve to typing them out as “notes” in my phone to satisfy the aching need to say something without having to press send, destined to be read and re-read and re-read again by me and only me.
I can’t sleep. I can’t focus. All I think about is Him. All I think about is what happened and the anxiety I feel knowing it’s over. Thinking about my anxiety is giving me anxiety. My mom tells me maybe it’s nothing, that it could be work and I need to give Him space, but I know there’s nothing that would keep Him from getting in contact with me if He wanted to.
The cold, hard truth is that He doesn’t want to get in contact with me. Any other reason I try to comfort myself with is a lie.
All my dreams are about Him. I wake up in the middle of the night checking my phone. I feel like a crazy person and just wish I could get a good night’s sleep.
The worst part about breakups or more specifically breakups that are entirely one-sided and the word “dumped” is not only appropriate but not far enough to describe what has happened to you, is the overwhelming lack of escape.
You know you’re alive because people tell you that you are, that this won’t kill you, and, after all, you’re still in unimaginable pain so you can’t be dead. But, all that’s left inside you is a tsunami of heartache, put on a release timer that’s set to come itching, crawling its way to the surface in waves.
When the wave of heartache breaks, you try to run, but there’s no escape, no hiding from what you’re about to go through. You want to cry, scream, vomit, your heart races. You’d do anything to make that feeling go away, but there’s nothing you can do. You must endure it.
So, you go to sleep. Only, you can’t sleep, because your mind wanders and lacking control of your subconscious, you see that person. You bolt awake, wondering if your dream was real, if the person you loved came back to you. The only thing worse than realizing it wasn’t real is allowing your mind to believe it was a premonition because that’s food for your dreams.
Not even in your bed, under the ordinary guise of security that are your covers, are you safe.
I know I messed up and if I could go back in time I’d do it all differently. California, visiting you, everything. None of it really matters. There are so many times something happens and I want to tell you about it but I can't. I miss everything about you and I love you.
Another note I never sent. This is what I like to call the bargaining stage of a break up. The point when you’re no longer hoping you work things out as a couple, but that you take all blame for what happened. Even though you don’t even know what happened. Sending 57 messages is embarrassing, but this is what makes me cringe.
The moment when I was willing to barter myself away to get Him back.