I hit "Publish" on the last post and immediately threw up.
Only I was sitting at my desk at work. I was already the girl that got dumped; I did not want to be the girl that got dumped and threw up into her recycle bin.
I got up and started racing for the front door: tall, heavy mahogany doors that require effort to open even when your hands aren't clasped to your mouth. I made it into the hallway, but the bathroom was too far away and involved yet another door.
I threw up in the hallway. And then I had to tell my office manager that I threw up in the hallway so he could call building maintenance to clean my throw up in the hallway. Ugh.
I've never had that reaction to a breakup before. I'm normally a crier. Scratch that. Normally I'm a wailer. Big, shuddering sobs that have me gasping for breath and on the verge of passing out. For Valdosta, I cried lightly on the phone to a few select people for about an hour. Then I took an ibuprofen to ward off the crying headache, put a cold pack over my eyes to help with the eyelid swelling and went to bed without the aid of alcohol or sleep meds. I slept soundly through most of the night, bar one episode of waking up completely drenched in my own sweat. The next morning I put another cold pack on my eyes for an hour before I went to work. That was that. I did good.
On last season's finale of Grey's Anatomy, there was a scene where Miranda's tending to a shot Dr. Percy and she looks around and above her. "Where is that water coming from?" she asks, confused.
"Doctor Bailey, you're crying," answered Mandy Moore.
I remember thinking that was the most preposterous idea, that someone could cry and not know it. Only I was laying in bed with the ice pack over my eyes, listening to Good Morning America on TV when water slid down my face.
"What the—" I said as I removed the ice pack and checked for leaks. Nope. Turned out to just be my face. The medical term is called ocular hyperosmilarity: too much fluid in the eyes.
I had prided myself on not crying too much, on immediately telling my friends I was going to be okay and I was only sad in that moment, but then I got sick when I had to confront what had happened. And now all of my coworkers are asking why it's wet in the hallway and I'm slumped at my desk thinking, You best be glad I hadn't eaten in 24 hours and that's only green tea in the hallway.
Of course because Valdosta was a gentle and kind person, he ended things gently and kindly. Knowing what I know, that he couldn't give me any more than what he already had, it was the right decision. I'm glad I know now and not later on down the line, and I'm thrilled that I meant enough to get an in-person dumping. I've never gotten that kind of closure before.
All of a sudden I felt like I was in a teachable moment. I wanted to prevent one more girl from getting dumped via text or fade away. Before I went to bed the night I got dumped, I sent Valdosta one final text:
Thanks for being honest with me and telling me in person. I have nothing but respect for you.
You're a great girl, Sarah. I'm really glad I met you.
Before I could think any further: delete, delete, delete. I cleaned out my entire text messaging inbox and outbox. I deleted his name out of my address book. I went through my call log and deleted every instance of his missed calls or received calls. Oddly enough, there were no instances that I called him. I logged on my e-mail account and deleted the folder that contained his e-mails. I hovered over the folder that contained our pictures, but had too much heart to delete those just yet.