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Stage 1: Denial 

You lock yourself in your room and refuse to come out. Not until he comes and begs you 

to take him back. Even though he broke your heart when he left, you will Take Him 

Back. You will because you Love Each Other even if he can’t see that right now. Men are 

stupid. They don’t know what they have until they have lost it forever. You smile smugly 

when you think of the moment he will realize he can’t live without you and would come 

crawling back, groveling on his knees. You’ll act nonchalant even though you know you 

forgive him. But you’ll let him grovel and treat him like shit for a while. To get back at 

him. After all he broke your heart. It’s enough of a miracle that you don’t want to break 

his face. You promised him that you will be Together Forever and that is how it will be. 

Men, you sigh. They need to act crazy and rebellious at some point being afraid of 

commitment. But he will come back because you Love Each Other and will be Together 

Forever. 


Stage 2: Anger 

Days pass. Slowly. You wait for him to show up at your doorstep. You imagine him 

looking like crap: tears streaming down his face, wearing sweatpants (which he only did 

when he was really sad, like that one time when his favorite team lost some football 

match). You remember you had made him hot chocolate that day, complete with 

marshmallows arranged in a smiley face. You had caressed him to sleep. You know you 

have been a good girlfriend. So what if you insist on being in touch all the time and 

saying ’I love you’ after every conversation. You read in a self help book on relationships 

that saying ’I love you’ every time you talked to your other half was a Positive 


Reinforcement and many couples take it for granted which is wrong because the other 

person Needs To Know. White hot anger lashes inside you. Why hasn’t that bastard come 

crawling to your doorstep? You dress up every day just so you are ready for when that 

happens. Looking your best in a hot, sultry dress that would make him want you back that 

very moment. You even prepare everything you will say to him and replay the whole 

scenario in your head again and again. But that son of a bitch does not show up. You 

check your Blackberry and Facebook like a manic everyday for his pathetic, I-want-you- 

back messages. Nothing. You curse him out loud until you are out of breath and curse 

words. You want to Break His Face. You make a mental note of it. You imagine yourself 

punching his face hard, your knuckles crunching against his perfect jaw line. That would 

teach him a lesson. You chuckle to yourself. The thought makes you happy. Happy but in 

a sad way. Your phone rings. You look around panic stricken trying to locate it. ‘Stupid 

phone, STUPID phone,’ you think and spot in on the coffee table. Your eyes lock on it. 

Your senses fail to work in the panic that it will stop ringing. There is a sofa between you 

and the coffee table. With your eyes locked on the phone, you jump over the sofa. 

Common sense fails you as you go sailing over it, heading straight towards the table. 

Laws of physics come into play. You crash down on the table. A whoosh and a bam! The 

table screeches halfway across the room on the parquet floor. The phone stops ringing. A 

disoriented you checks the call log and it’s not him. It’s Mary. Bloody Mary! You shout 

like a lunatic at the guilty phone. 


Stage 3: Bargaining 

More days pass. Slowly and painfully. No BBM. No Facebook message. You begin to 

wonder what you did to make him go away. If only you could get him back, you’ll never 

let him go and do everything he wanted. You’ll be perfect. If only God would bring him 

back. You curl up in a ball and lie in a fetal position on your sofa for days. Thoughts of 

ways to get him back whiz in your mind. Images of you calling him. Images of you going 

to his apartment. Images of you bumping into him at his favorite bar. The images rush in 

your mind faster and faster until they merge and don’t make sense anymore. You think of 

how you will never act clingy again if he just came back. Before he left that was his lame 

excuse. ‘You’re too clingy, it’s suffocating’. You thought he was joking at first and then 

when he left, you were sure he’d come running back within a few days. You decide that 

you will never be clingy again. You Google ‘Clingy Girlfriends’ and read up on it. There 

are articles saying things like ‘give him his space’ or ‘do not call to check up on him all 

the time’. You make a mental note of everything. You will Give Him His Space. You 

will Not Call Him All The Time. You even decide to limit the I-love-yous to once a day. 

That will show him that you are not a Clingy Girlfriend. So you decide you won’t call 

him. Or beg him to take you back. This works for a while and then you give up. You call 

him. Oh hell, you call him. Again and again. You leave angry messages and sad 

messages and I-will-never-be-clingy-again messages. But he never answers or replies. 

Not. Even. Once. 


Stage 4: Depression 

You have lost count of the days. You venture out of your apartment to stock up on 

groceries. As soon as you step out you realize it is a big mistake. The world is going on 

without you as if nothing has happened. Shiny, happy people going on about their happy 

lives. You see couples. Everywhere. On the streets and the benches. In Love. What fools, 

you think and laugh to yourself. A sad, private joke. A guy and a girl stuck to each other 

on a bench make you want to take a crowbar and pry them off each other. Tell them it’s 

no use and they’ll only end up heartbroken. What fools, you think again but this time the 

laughter does not come. More couples at the cash register. It is like the whole world is 

made up of couples. Happy. Together. Mocking you. Ha-ha-ha, poor little woman buying 

groceries alone. Ha-ha-ha. You want to break their face but instead give them the stink 

eye. Mary comes to check on you after you fail to return her calls and voicemails. She 

brings a box of chocolates and wine. The Cure For A Broken Heart, she says. You get 

drunk with her and talk in loud voices that seem to come from far away rather than from 

your mouth to the ears. At night, after Mary has gone you lie alone in your bed. The wine 

has loosened up your brain and the part that you were trying to seal, opens up suddenly. 

All the memories of HIM. That sick bastard who left you wallowing in misery. You cry. 

The liquid mix of tears and mascara puddles up on your duvet. Staining it. You tear open 

the box of chocolates and stuff them in your mouth. The Cure For a Broken Heart. The 

chocolate melts in your mouth and disappears. One after another until the box is empty. 

Your heart is still not cured but you feel a bit better. But only just a bit. You cry yourself 

to sleep. And that’s the only way you know how to sleep for days. 


Stage 5: Acceptance 

Over the next few days, Mary drops by more frequently. She even drags you out to ‘The 

Dragon’ to have a girl’s night out. Singing karaoke in awful voices and ‘wooing’ out loud 

as though the bunch of you were high school girls rather than grown up, college women. 

You giggle pointlessly and dance with strange men. You get so drunk that the lights at 

the bar blur into each other. The sounds heighten and the music thuds at your brain, 

wanting in. You do not think about him that night. The first time that he is not the first 

and only thing on your mind. Mary tells you that you don’t need him. You make a mental 

note of it. You Don’t Need Him. You’re glad that summers are almost over and you’ll be 

going back to college in a week. You Don’t Need Him. There is Plenty of Fish in The 

Sea. You’ll go fishing when college starts. 

Written By: Anum Imran (LUMS)



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