Poems of Heartbreak

Do you remember your first love? Your high school sweetheart? How did it end? If your story is anything like mine I feel for you and the pain you had to go through. Even more so for the guilt you must feel for the pain you caused. When it comes to the poems I have written over the years, ones of heartbreak were always the easiest to write. Words and feelings flow like a spigot when you are trying to search for the answers. The following poems have never been shared with anyone and the stories behind them with only a select few. They came during a dark time in my life. A time where I was completely lost. But a time that completely altered and transformed me, sending me on a path that eventually helped me find the best version of me.

It all started my junior year of high school. I was the All-American kid. Three sport athlete. Honor roll student. But when it came to girls I was extremely shy and insecure. I went on my first date and had my first kiss just six months earlier. But somehow I got up the courage to ask out the coach’s daughter. She said yes and for the next 6+ years we built a relationship that was surely headed toward marriage, the high school sweethearts living their fairy tale back in their hometown. But this life isn’t Disney, and I’m no Prince Charming.

I would have done anything for her, would have followed her anywhere. After I finished my years playing Junior College baseball I followed her to Michigan State University, and even though I was miserable there, hating my choices in course of study (something I never shared with her), I stuck it out because I wanted to be with her. But after graduation it all came crashing down.

I had a plan. I needed to make some money so that I could buy a ring and ask her to marry me. The plan was going to take me away for a little over four months. I couldn’t tell her why I was going away since I wanted the proposal to be a surprise and as a naïve twenty-something I figured we would make it work. And we did make it work for a while. But a trip we had planned for her to come see me fell apart and with it the relationship started to crumble. I became bitter, hurt that she chose not to come see me after everything I had done to be with her. I said a lot of hurtful things, attacking her for not making time for me. Finally, one day she had had enough. The relationship that we had built, the dreams I had shifted to match hers, gone. I was shattered. I was alone. So I wrote.

“Last Song”

So many things we didn’t do, so many things we didn’t say.
These scars upon my heart grow with each passing day.
We don’t talk anymore, we don’t even show up.
I’m no longer the one, we are no longer an us.
There once was a time when we would have given it a chance
But now we have come to the final song, our final dance.
I could have been better, I could have listened to you more.
You could have opened up to me, instead you closed the door.
But as the last song ends, as the final note plays
The story of us fades to darkness as we go our separate ways.

“No More”

There’s no more us, there’s no more we.
There’s no more wondering what ever could be.
There’s no more forever, there’s no more holding on.
All that is left is what is dead and gone.
There’s no more I love you, there’s no more be mine.
There’s no more happy ending, no more once upon a time.
There’s no more “how are you,” no more “just checking in.”
There’s no more times together, no more what might have been.
There’s only you, there’s only me.
No longer an us, no longer a we.

When I finally returned home there may have been a chance to repair things but with the pain and rejection that I felt, I continued to attack her, driving her even further away from me. I spiraled into a dark abyss blaming her, blaming me, trying to make sense of it all. I realized that the harder I tried the worse things became. And more importantly the uglier I became. The woman I thought would become my wife, by no fault of her own, became the demons that would eat away at my sanity and self worth for years to come.

“Bad For Me”

I drink because the whiskey doesn’t burn as bad as your memory. 
I smoke because I’m chasing a high that gets me as high as you.
Everything I do is to help me forget everything that we had.
Everything I do is bad for me, but you’re bad for me too.
I drive fast because in a second one wrong turn could end it all.
I take the pills because they help kill the pain of losing you.
Everything I do is to help me forget everything that we had.
Everything I do is bad for me, but you’re bad for me too.

I’ve only dated three women and somehow leading up to the first date of the last two relationships have been the same. The day before the first date, after I had finally decided to date again, after months without a word, the previous love interest came back into my life. In high school it was kind of funny because I didn’t love the first girl I dated, but this time it hurt. After being torn apart by the woman I was going to marry I finally was attempting to move on. I was finally trying to put myself, and my heart, back together. Why after all that time, time I spent pining for her, did she choose to reach out?

As I started to build a relationship with the woman who would become my wife the past haunted me. When I thought I was over my ex she came back, ripping me apart again. This eventually made me reach out for my ex to rebuild the destruction and try to feel that love again. But like after any natural disaster, you can rebuild but the trauma will always remain.

“Natural Disaster”

You blow in like a soft, warm breeze
But before I know it you’re a hurricane.
Your storm surge washes over me
And I’m running for cover again.
But I can’t avoid the destruction,
I can’t hide from the endless rain.
I can’t get by this obstruction.
As you blow in so does the pain.
Like a cyclone twisting and tearing through.
You pick me up then toss me aside.
Wherever I run, no matter what I do
I can’t escape, there’s nowhere to hide.
I feel the tremor even before it starts,
As my world crumbles and quakes.
I’m in ruins as you rip me apart.
Like the ground beneath us, my heart breaks.
As I try to move on, try to rebuild,
Knowing the destruction remains hereafter.
Every time I think my holes are filled
You hit again, my natural disaster.

We tried to make things work but I was still hurt, I was afraid she would hurt me again, and there was now another woman who somehow made me feel nearly whole again. I knew that I would never truly be happy with my ex again. Maybe I never truly was. I was never truly open with her. I was never truly myself, always trying to be the person that she and others thought I was/should be. Eventually I went back to the woman who I now share a life with, destroying my ex again in the process. I still live with the guilt of how I handled the situation.

She ended up back in our hometown where she was always going to be. The friends I once had I no longer talk to. My college roommate, who was in my wedding, I haven’t talked to in years because he was her friend first and their kids are best friends. I only ever miss my hometown when I go back but going back also opens old scars. She got our hometown so I’ll take everywhere else.

“Everywhere Else”

She’s still small town, 
I’m more big city.
She still has a heart of gold,
I’m lucky I’m witty.
She chose to stay,
I chose to leave.
She’s still the same,
I’m a different me.
She has the same friends,
I don’t even talk to mine.
She never thinks about us.
I do from time to time.
She’s been doing fine.
I say I’ve been doing well.
She got our hometown
I got everywhere else.

I owe a lot to my ex. She taught me more about how to love in that year of destruction than in the 6+ years prior. I became a better partner from going through that heartbreak because I never wanted to go through that kind of pain again. She got the life that she always wanted and you know, so did I. I don’t necessarily believe in fate but I do believe we ended up where we were meant to be.

“Where We Were Meant To Be”

Two yellow lines separate the coming and going.
This once small town just keeps on growing.
I left years ago but you’re still around
And somehow we both have found
Where we were meant to be.
The roar of the crowd, those Friday night lights,
They bring back the memory of every night.
Every kiss, every fight, every single tear.
Every moment that has brought us here,
Where we were meant to be.
You were there and I was too.
You had me and I had you
But we had to go our separate ways,
To spend the rest of our days,
Where we were meant to be.

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