It was a girl named Katie who first broke my heart.
She wasn’t the one I loved, I guess. Not in the diamond rings and white dresses and ‘till death do us part’ kind of way.
I loved her the way any unassuming 16-year-old loves a friend. With commitment and endlessness and simplicity, I suppose. I loved her in a ‘I hope you’ll hold my bouquet and adjust my train one day’ kind of way.
We celebrated the middle of March each year by buying each other a gift. We laughed at jokes that no one else found funny. We slept on each other’s floors on the weekends. Stayed up until all hours of the morning telling secrets and believing the world was ours.
And I told her things I thought only she could understand – the way I felt about the boy I was seeing. That I adored him. That he was consuming me. That I thought he was the one. That I finally felt ready to have sex with him. That I completely lost myself in the euphoria of him.
I told her those things. All those things. Every last moment. Every detail.
Those were the things I thought only she would understand.
She did understand.
Only later did I realize just how well.
I went away for school and left the two of them together. The boy I loved more than anything and the girl I trusted with everything.
And they found each other.
And they forgot about me.
Time came and did the best it could to heal, but I still cannot think of the gruesome details without wanting to buckle over and vomit.
The two of them fucking in the back of his small green pick-up. Pulled over in Hurt Road Park, judged by only little league fields and empty concession stands. How many times did he pull away there with me as only the faintest reality suffocated in the back of the his head? Or hers?
For a while I was so sure he broke my heart. I thought it was he who shredded me up inside.
But years later, I’ve long forgotten him. Him and his selfishness and his perfection. His opinions and his qualifications. I never quite got a hold of him. He was always just out of reach
But I remember her. That girl, the one whose breasts he groped and kissed – that was my best friend. The brown eyes he stared into once told me I could trust them with all my secrets. The dark curls he wrapped his fingers around, I pinned them in an up-do for her prom. I pulled them out of her face for her own father’s funeral.
What a fool I was to fall for her.
Sure, it hurt that he would do that to me, but boys break hearts. I knew every moment of that relationship that he was going crush me.
But your friends, they’re supposed to be the ones who pick the shattered pieces of you off the ground. Not the ones holding the sledgehammer.
It was my best friend Katie who pulled the trigger and walked away. It was my best friend Katie who dug the knife in my back then twisted it around. It was my best friend Katie who first broke my heart.