The Art of Mourning

I still think about my second boyfriend.

I had just moved to Texas. I met him at a country dancing bar one of my first nights out in town. I was 17; I snuck in on a fake ID, fingers crossed for the chance to experience “adulting”.

He was a cowboy from the hill country. I had never fallen so hard for anybody. I would bike multiple times a week across town, 45 minutes up a huge hill to land sweaty and delighted at his Christian university and spend a couple hours talking, playing ping-pong, and listening to him play guitar.

He called me one day as I was preparing to go to class. “It’s over,” he said. “Do you want to talk about it?”

I was in shock. “No,” I said, and hung up the phone. Then I knelt down, my head in my hands, there on the sidewalk. It took me many months to feel okay again.

The cowboy still comes to my mind sometimes. Not because I miss him or want to be back together — I don’t feel like we ever really...

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