She had always thought happiness was something you acquired through other people.
That it was through friends and family that one found joy. So when her life began to empty and her list of contacts grew short, she felt the weight of loneliness press against her chest. She found herself wondering if she could ever be happy if she had no one, if no one wanted her. She feared the silence, the darkness, the reminder of the emptiness.
She had always thought love was a dance that required two people. That love was holding hands and holding hearts. She had always thought love was only possible with the help of someone else, with the help of him. So when the distance between them grew stale, when the spaces between conversations became canyons, she feared the worst. He was her everything. How could she find love when he'd left with her heart?
She had always suspected heart break to ruin her. But it felt more like a fracture of her very being. It didn't ruin her, but untreated, it tore at her insides until she was nothing but an empty shell. Until muscle pulled from bone and she was left weak and dying.
She had always thought people were made of up of halves. That you lived life searching for your "other". The one to complete you, to make you whole. Day after day, she mourned the loss of her chance, yearned for someone to make her whole. So she sat, alone, waiting for his return, begging him to come back to return her heart, to give her life again.
Days turned into weeks, weeks to months.
The world cares not for a single heart break. It keeps on spinning as it always has and always will. The days always end, the nights always cool, madly on it goes.
His silence pressed against her chest and made it hard to breathe. But his words were even worse. They were always filled with empty promises of a better tomorrow. But it always stayed the same, like waves; always coming and always going again.
She was not expecting it to happen, but something moments of clarity sneak up out of the darkness. The moment she realized it, the moment the world brightened. The moment she felt the earth move with absolute certainty. The moment she realized she was wrong all along.
"I don't need him, I only need me."
And she laughed. She laughed and she pounded her feet against the ground and she spun herself around. Tears slid down her cheeks and sobs pulled from her chest but she could breathe again and she felt the distinct pounding of her heart; thump thump thumping to the pounding of her feet against the earth.
She had always thought happiness was something you acquired through other people. She had never thought of the happiness she could only find within herself. The joy she'd find by looking at herself in the mirror and smiling because she knew she was something special. The strength she could feel when her head was held high.
She had always thought love was a dance that required two people. She had never tended to, never nurtured the love for herself. The confidence that could only come from knowing exactly who she was and exactly what she wanted and not being afraid anymore. Not afraid of the darkness, not afraid of the silence, not afraid of him and all the things he never said. Because heart break didn't ruin her. It tore apart her insides and it caused countless nights of breaking down, but never did she not rise at the beginning of a new day. Never did she lay herself down and refuse to get back up.
"I don't need him, I only need me."
And maybe he wasn't coming back. And maybe no one would take his place. But she'd been dragging the corpse of them along with her for miles and the burden was never any lighter from the day before. And she couldn't grow anymore with that weight on her chest, with his words like knives against her rib cage.
And maybe it'd be hard, maybe the journey forward would be no easier than the journey she'd already made. But she was dancing and she was crying and she was breathing again and she was real again and when it really came down to it, she couldn't ask for anything more than that.
"I don't need him, I only need me!"