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  • It began and ended with a phone call.
    The first tells the tale of a nervous sixteen year old boy, underwhelmed by the scars of his elders, who had experienced it all (loss, guilt, loneliness), ready to take his chances and ask her out.
    The last makes all other conversations obsolete.
    It's too difficult to remember long hours of young loved-up words when the very telephone you shared them with is the very same you tore it apart.

    Her name began with L.

    It's crazy to think back three years ago. It makes me wonder what it will be like in twenty years time when I hear her name at a reunion or on the television or something, how it will make me feel then, if I'll have let go of the guilt yet.

    We started dating, as boyfriend and girlfriend, the month before Christmas of 2009, and stayed together up until the first year of University, a year ago. It was 'right', and I was happy. She had problems that plagued her, but who doesn't. I broke up with her two weeks into my new independent life, living with 11 people I'd never met, one of whom would also end up being a victim of my numbness. I broke up with her because I realised what I'd been missing out on, and because the happiness she could conjure up inside of me was directly equivalent to the questionable guilt she could pierce me with. She was unforgiving.

    Nevertheless, L was important. She is important. Still.

    Right now I'm going through a personal rough patch, with money, loneliness blah blah blah, and it seemed, if anything, the perfect time to tell this story to the world.

    The last time I saw here, at Easter, it was a house party, we were slightly drunk, and hadn't spoken a word to eachother all night. She asked me to come outside, and so I did, heart beating, knowing all too well what was about to happen.

    The word 'Coward' spat in my face, again, and again.
    (Sometimes I see the word 'coward' instead of cowbird.)

    I'm not good on the spot. I never was, and I never will be. I need time to reply.
    But I guess somewhere in her words, there was a tumour of truth growing.

    Three months later I would break up with another girl, a girl with a kind heart, and I would realise exactly who I was. I would gain weight, eat lots, drink lots and hope, god damn it I would hope, that this would all go away.

    I still do.

    And I think it's down to 'L'. Not because of what she did, or what she said, but because of what I did, and I what I couldn't say. I loved her, I really did, and I sometimes question my decision, ask myself if things would have been easier if we'd stayed together... and I'm sure they wouldn't have been.

    I don't love her now though.

    I barely like myself.

    Coward.
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