You have 4 free member-only stories remaining for the month. Subscribe now for unlimited access

The Text Message

A chirp, a buzz, a flashing light.

Phones work hard to let you know there is someone trying to get ahold of you.

If I don’t pick up my phone, I know that just a few moments after the ringing stops, I’ll get another buzz. The words float up from a screen, but I can still hear your voice.

I’ve tried to avoid you. I’ve literally ignored you, but you don’t stop. You’re a shadow on the periphery of my life, fighting to come into focus.

There was a time, maybe not so long ago, when your words worked like magic. They seduced me, scared me, and made me ache for a place in time that only exists in my mind.

Going back was never an option, although we both pretended for far too long that it might be.

I can’t entertain your false passion any longer. You don’t love me now when you couldn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t love me then. You don’t want me, you just don’t want what you have.

You’ve left my heart hollow and filled my mouth with ash-soft lies. I tell you I miss you, I need you, that I love you – I don’t mean it.

But it makes you happy.

And making you happy was priority number one. I spent years making love to your ego in the hopes that it would prove how much you meant to me.

It never seemed to matter what I said or what I did. It was never enough.

Until I was no longer yours.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here, beyond the valley of doubt, to take back the power you have stolen.

I slowly type out all the things I want to say, tiny letters glowing like minuscule flames against the background of my phone. The fire of my words burns against my fingertips.

I write of my desire to rewind time and do it all again, but differently, with less heartbreak, less anger, less of you.

Saltless tears of relief stream down my cheeks as I finally get the words out. I say all the things I’ve never said. I put every emotion I’ve ever felt about you on display and I hit send.

You call me immediately. I do not answer.

You text me back, angry and confused. I do not answer.

You say horrible, awful things about me, to me.

Then you apologize and beg for my attention, my affection, my endless acceptance of who you are and what you’ve done.

I do not answer.

I no longer feel compelled to do so.

For the first time in years and years and years, I feel free.

Free of you and the destruction you bring to every corner of your life.

You send one last text message;

I hate you

It’s the essence of everything I ever feared — to be hated.

But, since it’s coming from you, it does not sting.

It merely slams the door to the past. Closed.

Recommended2 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Drama, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Personal Narrative, True Story