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Fact or Fiction?
Shhh
secretlysidhe
I meant to do this a long time ago, like closer to when I actually announced who I was and all that (I'm pixiebelle in case you missed that...

But since I dabbled in truth and fiction, with a thin line between the two while writing as Sidhe, I wanted to elaborate on what was true and what wasn't just in case anyone was curious.

Take Heart: 100% True. Not a word of it was fiction. Everything from my dreams of becoming a rock star to the Valentine's Day "Heart" bit with my ex giving his to another girl and even that last bit about the boy in the bathroom and umm yeah...moving on now.

Irreversible: 100% Fiction. Obviously, since I labeled it as such. The only bit of truth here is that I do hold the belief that I doubt I would want to live if my carelessness caused the death of anyone, even a complete stranger. I based the idea upon that theory.

The Trails We've Walked: About 45% True. Maybe? I mixed the details up a bit, but my dad did die when I was a child, and I was moved from the city to the middle of nowhere, where I often took to the woods for entertainment since my sister was practically grown at the time. I also had an imaginary friend, but his name was Austin and I knew he was imaginary, I just made up stories in my head about adventures we would go on since I was dying of boredom.

Crunch: 99.9% Fiction. The only bit I can relate to is having my iPhone crunched (oh and that I am an iPhone addict). I got the story idea as I was flying home and texting non-stop with java_fiend and mentioned how I'd love to have to go on a vacation and unplug from technology and he joked that I was die without my iPhone. I had never caught my ex cheating this way, I never smashed his phone...though I have been to Cancun before :D

Softness: Also 99.9% Fiction. I totally made up the scenario, though the bit of truth here is that I really do think animals make better people than most people do. I have never ended a relationship like this, though I can relate a bit to the nostalgia.

Cracks: 85% Fiction. I based the characters on my high school friends. Sonya was my friend Courtney, and actually the main character (Valerie) was Brandy. I would have been Aubrey more than likely. The weird thing is, after I wrote this, I got the news that Brandy died (which is my main's Idol entry for that week). We had never broken into a house before, or even tried...but honestly, if we had thought of a reason to, we would have. We drank straight vodka, called each other mean names and always got into trouble along these same lines. It very well could be true, it just didn't happen exactly that way ;)

Nimbus: 100% True. Not something I am proud of, but yes, I have experienced PCP and that entry described everything as I remember it. It truly was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.


Open Topic: This entry is tricky. At one time, I would say it was 100% true. When I was with James, one of the reasons I chose to stay as long as I had was because I knew that by leaving him, I would likely give up any options to have kids considering my age and where I am career wise. I made the choice to leave obviously, and I don't regret it in the slightest. So where I am at life right now? It's probably 50% true or so, it depends on the day. But no need to worry, I am not super crazy about it these days, I just take it day by day and figure it really is likely not meant to be. I am strangely okay with taking it day by day too :)

Open Topic #2: 100% True. every single bit of it. The words from the letter my ex wrote? Exactly as he wrote them. I kept my journal from those days and I copied the letter into it, so it is spot on. The feelings about wanting to be the most gorgeous, most beautiful girl to just one person? Still holds true today. It's what has me by the throat in my life every single day. It perpetuates my eating issues severely. I have a problem here and this entry explains every bit of the harsh truth of what goes on in my head still to this day. The story about the guy in this post is also true. He did tell me he loved me twice and I never said the words back out of fear of not being good enough.

Jetsam: As stated, the story of the girl who killed herself by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge is fictional. Well, at least as far as my own life goes. I am still alive and would never think of killing myself. I have just read a lot about these stories and something stuck with me. Ironically enough, I almost wrote this entry for 'Salt of the Earth" last season when I was eliminated (virtual Idol suicide and all that), but didn't. The idea has just stuck with me. The true bit in this piece is that I often do feel invisible to everyone. I never really stand out to most people, so I could feel sympathy for my character here.

Mirage: This is 99.9% Fiction as well. Though Charles, the jerk guy? I did have a friend like him. Total manwhore. I based the guy off my old friend. The only difference is he tried to sleep with me countless times, but trust me, I wouldn't have that. I only WISH he got a rude awakening like Charles did. I went to strip clubs and stuff like that often (female strip clubs), but never with that guy...and we never met any transsexuals that I am aware of. The funniest thing about this entry is when I click on it now, the ads on the side are for gay men. LJ is smart. I have a paid account for my main, so I never realized that sort of thing before. Totally random, I'm sorry :D

So that's it. Surprised? I highly doubt it...though maybe some of my wild and crazy tales surprised people since most people always assume I am so sweet and innocent *evil laugh*.

The Big Reveal
Shhh
secretlysidhe
So it is official. I left the game this week (not sure if I would have been gone or not on my own, it's hard to tell). I made the decision going into the week that it would be my last week for a couple of reasons.

1) I am the last of the people playing under two accounts. I originally made the promise that I would go out after the top 50 IF I made it that far...but seeing as I was the last multiple alt standing? I felt it would be a good time to let those playing only as one account go.

2) With so many people going out this week, I knew we would lose some talented people since at this point, everyone is worthy of sticking around. I figured I could at the very least spare one person by going this week. I will never know who, but I am glad that it saved at least one real person from leaving the game at this point. After all, my main is still very much in the heat of things and I am rather fond of every single person left at this point. It's been hard for a few weeks now and I toyed with the idea of leaving sooner, and sort of wish I had...but for whatever reason, I stuck it out.

So who am I? Well only a few people were in on my little secret in the first place. java_fiend obviously. I also let comedychick know, and talon recently guessed. I am pixiebelle. Yep, pretty obvious, huh?

Why did I do it? For the same reasons many of the others have, I suppose. I love Idol and figured two accounts playing would be double the fun (and it is, I loved it). I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and write things which aren't typical of me (I most certainly did) and I wanted to share stories that were true, but which I struggled to share on my main account because they were too personal. I wanted to dabble more in fiction, I want to try my hand at crude and funny, and I wanted to write about experiences I don't feel comfortable sharing just anywhere.

I wanted to show another side of myself that I rarely show elsewhere. I am crude, not so innocent and have a dark past which I rarely show. I do suffer from some severe mental issues and am not always the happy girl that my main account seems to show. This let me show another side of myself.

All in all, I'd say I did exactly as I intended and I am very pleased with what came out of writing under secretlysidhe. Oh, and in case you were wondering...the name does have a double meaning. Sidhe is a term in fairy mythology, so Secrety Sidhe is meant to reference that I am somehow Secretly Pixie. Yeah, a far stretch? Maybe. Also, Sidhe sounds like She...so in a way, it's still a play on words.

I was told some people were offended by my last piece. In a way, I think that's good. I wanted to step outside of my "never offend anyone" bubble and try new things. I accomplished that. But I have no ill feelings toward the gay/transsexual culture, I promise. That piece was purely fiction.

What wasn't fiction? My experience with PCP was 100% true. Yes, that was me. My problems with my self esteem? Again, completely true. The first ever entry "Take Heart"? Also true. I can't remember every entry at this time, but feel free to ask if you are curious.

Most everything had truth to it in one way or another, just some more than others. Even my ghost story about the kid in the woods had many, many truths and was based on experiences I had as a kid. I just fictionalized some elements for personal reasons.

So all in all, I am pleased how it went down. I do plan on trying more experimentation with my main account thanks to this. I conclude it to be successful in every way.

Thanks to everyone for the support and the votes. It means a lot that I managed to do so well without the name recognition and large friends list to back me up (reasons I credit my main account for doing so well).

It's been fun. So did anyone (besides talon) guess that secretlysidhe and pixiebelle were the same person? I thought it would be kind of obvious :)

LJ Idol: Mirage (Behind a cut for crude language and sexual situations)
Shhh
secretlysidhe
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LJ Idol: Jetsam
Shhh
secretlysidhe
“If someone cares enough to stop me, then I won’t do it. I won’t jump.”

She spoke the words to herself as she walked across the bridge. She repeated her mantra over and over, softly to herself. Her tears slid down her cheeks, she wasn’t hiding her pain from anyone anymore. She could no longer fake her strength to save face or to prevent others from being uncomfortable. No, she wore her pain and agony out in the open, asking for someone to please help her find a better way.

But if not, she was ready to end it all today.
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LJ Idol; Open Topic
Shhh
secretlysidhe
“You are the most gorgeous creature I have ever seen. You never came second to me, you have always been first in my heart”

A tear slid down her cheek as she read the letter. Such sweet, romantic words from her boyfriend, her high school sweetheart. This was the boy she lost her virginity too and swore they would be “first, last and only” because they were the most perfect couple to ever walk on this planet and she would never meet another boy that fit with her just the way he did. They had something truly special, or so she thought. Any girl would be lucky to receive a letter such as this, especially from her boyfriend.

Only the letter wasn’t written for her. It was written to Nikki, the girl he sat next to in math class.

She was in strength training class with her best friend when she read it. Cindy was friends with the original recipient of the letter and thought she should see it. She probably should see it. But did she want to? She couldn’t answer that at the time.

It tore her up inside. Perhaps some things are better left unknown? She would have liked to think so at the time.

“He’s never once told me I was the most gorgeous creature he’s ever seen...not once”.

In fact no boy has ever felt that way about her.

“If she’s number one to him, what does that make me?”

Obviously that meant she was number two.

She should have been angry and kicked him to the curb. She should have ended the horrible relationship once and for all for the cruelty he inflicted upon her day after day....but she lied to herself. She continued to lie to herself about how wonderful he was because she knew there was no one out there that would love her the way he did.

Instead, she blamed herself. If only she were beautiful enough, her boyfriend wouldn’t fall for other girls. This wasn’t the first time it had happened, and wouldn’t be the last. Maybe if she were thin enough? Would he find her sexier than? She started skipping meals and working out at ridiculous levels to hopefully bring her boyfriend closer to her.

Her nose that was crooked. Her round face that looked chubby no matter what. He curly hair that wouldn’t cooperate. That belly...oh god that belly that wouldn’t go away no matter how many hours she worked out.

It wasn’t his fault, it was all hers. If she were more attractive, he wouldn’t need to cheat. He would be happy with the girl he had and would no longer stray.

She prayed and prayed for God to make her beautiful and then cried herself to sleep knowing full well that she didn’t even believe in God, nor did she ever think it would be possible to turn this horrible looking creature into something even somewhat decent looking, much less the most gorgeous creature anyone had ever seen.She would never be beautiful. Never.

That night, she sat with her finger down her throat, willing herself to throw up. If only she were thinner and prettier, none of this would be happening to her.

********************


Years later, that boy would tell her that no man would ever love her the way he loved her, they would only use her for sex and dispose of her as quickly as they came.

She believed his every word, but chose to leave anyway. She figured she would spend the rest of her life alone since how could any man ever love her

********************


Then, by chance, she met Him. He was gorgeous, the complete opposite of her ex. He said she had something special and he wanted it. She assumed he wanted her like the others wanted her, meaning on her hands and knees with their cock inside her. He wanted nothing more from her, or so she thought.

He had a reputation, he was a man whore and it was well known by the horrible nickname that was bestowed upon him. Yet, in their nights together, he never once had sex with her. They kissed, they rubbed up against each other until they were raw. Bruises covered her body from their long, hot nights together where they would make out until she begged him to let her sleep from exhaustion, and he would put his arm around her and hold her tight.

They never did have sex.

He took care of her when she had pneumonia, made her get some rest while he comforted her. He always made sure she had a blanket covering her as she slept. He stood up for her when people put her down. He thought she was beautiful in PJ pants and an old t-shirt. He even invited her out for Valentines Day, just the two of them. But after two months together, they never had sex.

Perhaps he actually gave a damn about her? Perhaps he actually cared?

She couldn't fathom it.

She gave in to a little play. Using her mouth and tongue to bring him to such pleasurable highs, he spouted out the three words she longed to hear for so long.

“I love you...”

But he couldn’t...love her? So without uttering a response, she continued. He must have spoken those words by mistake. Surely, he couldn’t have meant it?

“I love you...”

He said it again. Believing that her ears had deceived her, she continued along her way, bringing him to finish and then cuddling up against his warm, strong body without a word about the mishap. It would just bring embarrassment if she misheard him and she most certainly had to have misheard him because he couldn’t love her. What was there to love about her?

Months later, he was gone from college and thrust into the real world. While he called her plenty of times, she refused to call him, not feeling as if she were worthy enough for his time. Just waiting for him to drop her in favor of the beautiful girls that threw themselves at him, she slowly let everything they had melt away, losing him forever. Deep down, she loved him too. She wanted to call him “hers”. She wanted to look him in the eyes and tell him she loved him too...but she was too afraid she would scare him away for good, so she resisted the urge. Before she ever got the chance, he was gone from her life as quickly and quietly as he had come into it.

Years later, he is happily married, but not to her. She let him go because she didn’t feel as if anyone could love her for who she is, but yet, she feels that maybe he really did love her.

Seven years later, and the “what if’s...” are finally starting to dissipate. He’s happily married and still a very good guy. Her own insecurities got in the way of something potentially wonderful. Her fears destroyed something before she even had a chance to see what could have happened.

If only she had told him she loved him back.

She swore she would never do that again. But sometimes, it’s hard when you really hate yourself and can’t see why anyone in their right mind would love *you*.

If only this ridiculous girl wasn’t me, but she is. It’s one side of me I hide away from the world. You see confidence when you look at me, but deep down, that’s not me at all.

Most of the time, I don’t even know who I am. Yet, all I know is that I don’t like that person and still find it hard to believe anyone would like me, much less love me. It's even more impossible to believe that even just one man would look at me and think of me as the most beautiful girl he's laid eyes upon. Not possible. That’s just not me. Why do I want such impossible (and ridiculous) things out of life?

Once in a blue moon, I can look in the mirror and see a pretty face staring back at me, but then I look again and she’s gone, replaced by the girl I am so used to seeing. The ugly girl who is unworthy of someone great loving her.

While I have aged in years, the insecure girl that craves the thinner body, the prettier face is still there. I am often told I am beautiful, and have been told I am gorgeous too....but deep down, I don’t see it myself. I can’t believe it. I still see ugliness when I look in the mirror. I’m still the girl longing to feel as if to someone, I am the most gorgeous creature in the world.

Until recently, I just went from one abusive relationship to the next with one-night stands and flings in between. I went for the jerks who couldn’t respect me since it proved what I already knew in my own head: that I was undeserving of their love and adoration. Every cruel act was just another sign that I was worthless.

But no, not anymore...I won’t fall into the same trap again now that I recognize that it's happening. If I can’t find someone who can treat me with my respect and that actually makes me feel good about myself, I don’t need to be with anyone at all. I already have enough voices in my head degrading every little thing about me, and trust me, it doesn’t need any outside help. It does a good enough job of abusing me all on it’s own.

(no subject)
Shhh
secretlysidhe
I'm not sure how much this will help...

But it looks like I'll be eliminated from Idol and I really, really don't want to go. I feel like I'm growing a lot and I've put together some work that I'm very proud of.

So even though I didn't do as well this week, I will work hard in the future to write quality pieces and fight as hard as I can. So if you have enjoyed my previous entries, consider sending a vote my way. I'd forever appreciate it <3

Poll behind the cut for those who would like to vote still.

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LJ Idol: Open Topic
Shhh
secretlysidhe
My good friend, Sarah, asked me to meet her at the local coffee house yesterday afternoon. It’s nothing unusual for us to meet up for coffee, even if our outings have become more and more sparse these days. Newlywed life had taken a toll on her, she secludes herself away with her new hubby and I really couldn’t blame her. He’s not too bad on the eyes. I’d spend my free time shacked up in bed with him too if I were her. She’s a lucky girl, that’s for sure.

What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the bomb she was about to drop on me as we sipped our non-fat caramel lattes. I hadn’t even really had a chance to ask her how her week had gone before she busted out with the news.

“I’m pregnant!”

She didn’t speak the news, she squealed it. My surprise had to have shown on my face, and from the fact that I practically spilled the hot coffee all down my shirt from jumping when she squealed at me.

“You’re what?”

I wanted to make sure I had heard her right. I’d hate to bust out wit a “Congratulations on the baby” bit and find out that she said something else entirely. She would then assume that she put on weight, you know, that whole girly fear of thinking you look pregnant when you’re not.

“I’m pregnant, silly! You know, with child? A bun in the oven? I’m going to have a baby!”

She could barely stay seated in her chair from her excitement. I tried to soak in the news. I should have known this announcement was coming, but this soon? They had only been married 2 months and talk of babies never even showed up on their radar, at least not with me.

“Oh wow...congratulations...I didn’t even know you were trying yet.”

“Well, we weren’t exactly trying...but we weren’t not trying either. It just sort of happened! But isn’t it so wonderful?!?”

It was wonderful. She deserves to be happy. I was ecstatic for her, I really was. Even if my enthusiasm might have taken some time to show up, I was excited for her future as a mommy.

But I also can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy and that makes me feel like the most horrible person in the world.

Hardly anyone knows this about me, but I want nothing more than to be a mother. I want the family life. A husband, 2.6 kids, a dog an the white picket fence too. I want it all. This big, tough, career girl wants a family more than anything else in the world.

I have known since I was a little girl that I wanted kids. While playing the game of Life, I’d be disappointed if at the end, I didn’t have at least two little pegs in the car with my pink and blue pegs to represent my husband and I. My friends and I would pick out names for our future kids, often pairing the name up with the last name of whatever boy we were crushing on at the time.

As I grew older, the intensity grew. With my ex, we knew that children would be in our future. We planned on starting to try for kids this year in fact. I could very well have been the girl exclaiming in glee that I was having a baby right now. I could be the one shopping for cribs and blankets, but I’m not.

And with the way that things are going, probably never will be. That hurts. It hurts deep down, and I get jealous seeing the pregnancy announcements pop up on Facebook. I am happy for them, but I am also jealous of what I doubt I will ever have. While I am career driven, there is a little part of me that would love nothing more than to be a stay at home mom for a couple of kids. Wiping noses, comforting them when they are sad, taking them to parks and one day ball games. I want that so much more than the life I am living now.

The grass is always greener on the other side, huh? But more than anything in the world, I want that to be.

With my hope of having kids with Jeff shattered by his cheating ways, I feel lost. Lost and confused. Some days are better than others, I do try to convince myself that I wouldn’t want kids. I’m too selfish to be a mother. I like my sleep, and not getting enough sleep and working overtime to advance would not be compatible. I have free time to go out with friends at my leisure. While others are scrounging around for a babysitter, I can instantly go out on the town if I so desire. I can plan a vacation to Mexico or the Bahamas and actually do nothing but sit on a beach for days on end and not worry about breastfeeding a child or making sure they are having a good time.

I can be selfish and do things for me. But that is growing old. I no longer have a desire to do those things, I long for the days of trips to the zoo with my children in town, excitement showing on their little faces at the animals around them. I’m truly ready for this life, I really am.

The fact that I don’t even have a man lined up as a potential father factors into the equation though. I am getting closer and closer to 30, and I know that even if I meet a man, I would wait several years before marrying after what I have been through relationship wise. And then potentially several more before kids could happen, I’m sure. Honestly, age is just not on my side here. Sure, anything can happen, but it’s looking more and more improbable as the days go on. I may simply never get to be pregnant.

Sure, adoption is always possible and I would consider it. However, there is something about the whole joy of experience pregnancy with the man you love and actually creating life that I want to experience too. Yes, I want the child too because I adore children, but I also want my shot at creating life. I want to experience that whole joyous experience of baby showers and shopping for cute little baby things, planning a future and picking out names. I want that too.

I could do the artificial route and be a single mother. My career would be more than enough to support that lifestyle, there is no concern thee. I will make a fine living on my income alone (and probably get paid more that most men I might marry as well). I’m not afraid of the financial implications of bearing a child alone, but again, I would love the emotional support that comes from a loving partner. That whole picket fence fantasy again, unfortunately. And I know life wouldn’t be perfect, that’s fine. But to have a little family of my own? It would be worth the trouble and the hardships that come with it.

I won’t rule anything out at this point....but the stinging sensation is still buried deep within my soul and jealousy still comes out when I see my friends get married and start their little families, all the while knowing I may very well never get to have that for myself.

But thus is life, right? I will continue to have faith that my life will go in a direction I am happy with, one I could never have imagined before. I need to have patience and take things day by day, pull my head out from the future “what if’s...” and life for the “right now.” Some days are better than others, that’s for sure.

So for the time being, I will live vicariously through my friends happiness. There is talk about me being the Godmother, which is very flattering indeed (even if the title means little these days). I will be delighted to experience her pregnancy from the sidelines, be there to brainstorm names with (even if she is more likely to name her child something like Atticus or Rogue rather than Emily or Lucas, but hey, to each their own). I will give her opinions on colors, and I am sure to spoil the child rotten with clothes and toys every chance I can get.

I will be there for her every step of the way, oohing and ahhing over all the cute little baby things and being her emotional support when her hormones kick into high gear. I will be the best friend she needs me to be and put my selfish emotions aside for her during her happy time.

After all, I have been asked to plan the baby shower...

LJ Idol: Nimbus
Shhh
secretlysidhe
My limbs were heavy and out of my control. The uncontrollable shaking wouldn’t stop. Demons were waiting there, to try and take hold of my soul. Every tremble sent me closer and closer into their grasps. The watched, and their mouths watered as they waited for me to succumb to the darkness.

A face appeared in front of me, with an aura of light giving the appearance of a halo upon his head. I knew this face. This wasn’t the face of an angel, as I first thought. No, this was even better than an angel and he would surely save me because he was real. He would somehow save me from the evil that surrounded me, I had no doubt that he would because he loved me.

“I’m dying...” I barely whispered out to him between the tremors.
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LJ Idol Week 14: Cracks
Shhh
secretlysidhe
“I have never broken into a house before...” I whispered into the dark, watching as my breath showed in the crisp, fall air.

“Me neither...but Sonya has before, haven’t you?” Aubrey replied a little louder than one would think for discussing such a mission. But that’s my girl, she’s always the loud one wherever we went. She even walked loudly, if that was even possible.

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Second Chance Idol; Softness
Shhh
secretlysidhe
Even after an amazing vacation, there is something about stepping foot into the warmth of your own home that I simply cannot explain. I looked forward to sleeping in my own bed with my own pillows snuggled up with my baby kitty, Jack. There really is no place like home.

Unless, of course, you come home with one less person than when you left.

Everything about our condo was the same as we left it. Jack, my orange fuzzball, greeted me as soon as I walked in the door. He rubbed up against my legs with his loud motor running. I scooped him up into my arms and instantly started nuzzling him with my face. His soft fur was the comfort that I needed in that moment.

“Hiya baby....did you miss mommy?”

His loud, precocious meow was the only answer I needed. Of course he did. Whoever said that animals can’t love really doesn’t know what it’s like to own a pet. They are so full of unconditional love. Their motives are pure and simple, unlike that of humans.

Animals aren’t deceitful or greedy. They don’t lie simply to fool you. Especially with cats, they are honest. Their emotions are written in their body language. They are who they are and they love you just as you are. They might bite or scratch, but they will never hurt the ones they love as deeply as a human. Not intentionally at least. They simple don’t have a need to hurt the feelings of others to make themselves feel better. They are who they are and don’t have to hide anything.

I have Jack. That’s all I needed in this world. He is the most loyal man in my life and always will be. Maybe that sounds bitter, but when you have been hurt as much as I have, it’s only natural to want to protect yourself, to protect your heart from the heart ache of loving another human being and having it crushed into a million little pieces. Sure, it will be put back together one day...but just as with anything that’s been broken and fixed again, it will never be the same again.

I had a daunting task ahead of me and I knew it. Since the condo was mine before we got together, it would remain mine now. I needed to simply remove anything of his from my place so that perhaps, slowly, he would remove himself from my mind.

Stuff. It’s all just stuff. It should be easy to throw a few things in trash bags and take them to Goodwill. I needed him out of my life right then and now, I wasn’t worried about the consequences of throwing out his things. He needed to be gone.

I took my bags into the bedroom and sat them down on the bed. Our bed. Since my bedding was purple and green, he decided it was too girly. We shopped for the new bedding together. It wasn’t an easy task since I like bright colors a lot, and he prefers to stick with the basics of black and white. We settled on the nice, crisp white down comforter with accent shades of light blue and brown. I loved the colors. They were serene, relaxing....but they had him written all over it.

One more thing to add to my mental checklist. Buy new bedding and paint the bedroom. I think I might go back to purple just because I can.

There, on the dresser was the teddy bear he got me for our first Valentines Day together. It would have to go, though the idea of parting with it tore my insides to bits. Not yet....but soon.

My attention focused on the closet. Being a small downtown condo, we had very little space. He liked to hog up what little closet space we had, and for a man, he had way too many fucking shirts. Designer dress shirts which he liked to tuck in and look pretentious when he went out on the town. T-shirts from his old frat days in college that he never wore again, but simply refused to get rid of or even store because he just might decided to wear them one day. I believe, if you looked hard enough, you might even find a Hawaiin shirt or two mixed in the bunch.

That’s one thing I had to look forward to at least. I would finally get my closet space back.

I went on a mission of clearing it all out. Button-up shirts, under shirts, clean shirts, dirty shirts....you name it, I threw it in a trash bag with Goodwill written all over it (figuratively speaking that is.)

I was in a trashing frenzy, throwing everything of his out. One piece of clothing after the next he was vanishing from my life. Until I came across one, lonely shirt tucked away in my corner of the closet. It stopped me in my tracks.

“Val, it’s just a stupid shirt...”

I know I must have looked silly talking to myself like that, but I had to say the words out loud to hopefully convince myself that what my brain was trying to say was really true.

But I knew that it wasn’t. It’s just a grey men’s shirt with a small hole in the armpit and the name of some college on the front. But it was oh so soft, no matter how many times I washed it. It was one of the softest cottons I have ever felt. And it always smelled like him since I’d make him wear it just long enough to pick up his scent. I’d sleep in it every single night while he was away on his “business” trips to lull me to sleep without him beside me. It was, essentially, our shirt. I stole it from him every chance I got. I loved that thing more than a person should love an inanimate object, especially a stupid shirt!

While I’d like to say I threw it out with the rest of his clothes, I couldn’t. I pulled it out, held it to my nose and breathed in his scent. I was still there. I can’t explain it, it’s a natural manly scent you simply can’t buy in a cologne. It was him

I put the shirt on, for old times sake, curled up with my teddy bear and my Jack and cried for the first time since I found out he was cheating. I cried myself to sleep, surrounded in his things, in his very scent and realized while I’d like to think that getting rid of all this stuff would magically erase him from my life....I know that it simply doesn’t work that way.

As the weeks go by though, his scent is slowly wearing off the old shirt and pretty soon, it won’t smell like him at all. It’ll be what it always was, what it’s meant to be: a simple, men’s shirt. And in time, I will be back to what I am meant to be me: me.

Some things just take longer than others.