The new message window flashed on my AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) client one January evening. I got up from my desk and walked over to my computer to read it.
“i think its best if we stop seeing each other,” it read.
I expected a flash of anger, but got a cold and calculated intellect instead. I should’ve been angry. This was before the “free” texting and smartphone days. On the dumping scale, doing so by IM was pretty bad and disrespectful, if not the worst way to do it.
I wasn’t angry though.
Deep down I knew this girl was a rebound. Me trying to fill the hole FirstGF dug out of me when we broke up. A replacement of lower quality, if you did an honest side-by-side comparison. I know that I shouldn’t have gotten involved with her in the mental state I was in, but I did anyways because I was weak.
She had a lot of red flags that I ignored. Was my age yet wasn’t in college. Was sleeping on the couch at her sister’s. Had the “popular in the small town but a non-person everywhere else” complex. No drive. No plan for the future. Divorced parents. These rationalized away by me, the fool looking for love.
I stared at the window for a good while, thinking of some sort of reply. I wasn’t pissed or angry. The analytical side of my mind reminded me of a few ignored signs that a breakup was coming. The conclusion “she never was that into you anyways” rang with finality in my inner monologue.
“Shit,” I said to my CRT monitor.
Typing back, I said I agreed with her and this was for the best.
She was heading back home to her small town. I was full up with coursework and my part-time job work schedule (one of her complaints, actually).
In a hidden recess of my heart, I was glad it happened. That small mote of my psyche chastising me for being such a selfish chickenshit.
“You deserved this! What did you expect?” the mote exclaimed.
It wasn’t wrong.
After I finished typing, I hit “enter” to send the message. Unsurprising to me, I watched her icon change. It went from “online” to disappearing with the door slamming sound accompanying a log off. I clicked over to my buddy list and removed her from it. I knew it was better to do this instead of seeing her everyday like I did with FirstGF. I was learning.
I logged off of AIM and stepped over to my open Chemistry book at my other desk and got back to doing my homework.