The episode of This American Life that aired over the weekend was painfully perfect for me. Break-Up: Stories from the Heart of Heartbreak. When did I become a walking cliché? Oh, the shockingly contradicting feelings. Tonight the lad asked me to call my ex, to inquire about their plans for tomorrow. I nodded, took a deep breath, and willed myself to make it brief. To not chat about anything else. To let the kid talk for just a moment, then cut and run (well, hang up). But the boy handed the phone back to me and then we, the us that used to be an us, started talking. Like nothing had changed. For a second I could forget. His voice, so soothing and inviting. The man just sounds like home. But then I remembered we’re no longer an us. He’s now them, him and his new girlfriend. And then the hurt was searing. Like a scab that gets ripped off. I’m wondering when I’ll get past the open-festering-wound stage and into the scarred-for-life-but-healed stage. Right now it feels like this shit is going septic.