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I stare at myself in the mirror as I apply lip gloss to my dry, pouty lips. I lace up my black high heel boots and head out the front door.
I shiver as I lock the door behind me, instantly regretting the decision to leave my jacket at home on this chilly fall evening.
I shrug, knowing it will be worth it later in the night when I won’t have to worry about extra belongings while I’m out on the dance floor. It’s a night out with friends, and our favorite country band is playing at the local bar.
The Uber driver smiles as I pull the handle on the back door, inserting my head first with a polite hello before I jump into the back seat.
I dig in my purse and pull out my phone in order to text the gang that I’m on my way. Once I send the text, I click on the phone’s camera and reverse the image to myself in order to check my lip gloss, although I literally just put it on in the house.
My feet lightly tap the floor in the backseat of the car to the beat of September by Earth, Wind & Fire, which plays from the radio.
“Big night out, yeah?” My Uber driver eyes me from his rearview mirror.
“Oh yeah, sure, it’s a big night out, alright,” my genuine smile displays on my pretty pink lips.
I turn my head to look out the side window to watch the trees pass by under the dark skies. The stars twinkle above and look as though they are moving at the same speed as the car. I close my eyes for a second to regroup before my night begins.
It’s been months since he first walked out my front door. I felt relieved at first. We knew the end was coming. We grew apart over the years, and there was no saving us.
It wasn’t until the following day that it hit me. He was gone forever.
It felt like someone reached into my chest and yanked my heart out. I couldn’t hear the beat of my own heart. It was dead. The pain consumed me. I avoided my friends at all costs. They kept calling, but I rejected all of them, just like my failed relationship.
I couldn’t face them. I was ashamed of my brokenness. I was embarrassed by my pathetic life.
I couldn’t eat. I hadn’t slept. He stayed on my mind around the clock and wouldn’t leave my head no matter how hard I tried to forget about him. Thoughts of him consumed my every move.
Every twist and turn had a memory of him. I lay on my floor with tears streaming down my face holding onto the T-shirt he bought me at our first concert.
Life was never going to be the same. Not now. Not ever.
Days turned into weeks, and my empty soul continued to weep. I couldn’t even bring myself to shower most days. My friends wouldn’t give up on me. They continued to assault me with multiple calls throughout the day, every other hour around the clock.
I couldn’t bear the thought of being around happy people. I continued to avoid them.
Weeks turned into months, and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I was afraid to see what I had done to myself. I was terrified of what the loss of him had done to my inner shine that died on the day he left.
And then one day I woke up and my heart began a slow but quiet beat. I slightly smiled at the notion it wasn’t completely dead.
Each day the beat of my heart became stronger and louder.
My heartbeat for my tenderness.
My heartbeat for my beautiful soul.
My heartbeat for my openness.
My heartbeat for my bravery.
My heartbeat for my strength.
My heartbeat for my forgiveness.
My heartbeat for my fiery spirit.
Days had gone by without any thoughts of him. He wasn’t consuming my life anymore.
All I could hear was the beat of my own happy heart—stronger and louder with each day that passed.
It was finally time to enter the world again. My excited heart now beats for my new life, my rejuvenated soul, and all the possibilities that await me.
As my Uber driver pulls in front of the bar, I can see my friends gathered outside waiting for me. This last thought of him is my goodbye to the life that wasn’t mine anymore.
I smile to myself as I open the door and hurry over to my friends. Life was never going to be the same. It was going to be better.
The beat of my own heart saved me. It reminded me that I am f*cking alive.