Life

You Fell Out

On loving and losing your closest companion.

Allie and Molly have been best friends for over 10 years bonding over social paranoia, a mutual inability to spell the word restraunt, and having their feelings hurt by inanimate objects. This crazy real-life account of absolutely real-life events takes a look at what it’s like to fall in love, to have that love fall out, and to sob in a coffee shop while strangers wish you would leave.

Thank you for reading and please consider donating to Planned Parenthood. Though our IUDs broke our hearts, free and accessible birth control is a love story in and of itself.

I sit at the coffee shop wearing my favorite underwear. The ones I wore the first time I saw you. Stupid, of course, but I always was a romantic. My hands shake with each opening of the door.

A gorgeous woman in a scarf. Not you.

A chipper man with a mustache. You’re late per usual.

And then, without even looking, I know you're here — my copper IUD sitting down in the chair across from me.

"Hey," you smile. Politely ignoring the fact that you were once inside of me. We haven't seen each other since my gynecologist, Lisa, told me you were falling out two months ago — slowly, painfully, and without a breath of warning. Only three years into what should have been a 10-year commitment.

I grab your string, and you recoil from my touch. I want to light myself on fire, but my therapist and I accounted for this. I need answers:

"My sister's wedding in August…"

Silence.

"...So I assume you're not coming?"

You whisper so quietly I can barely hear you, "You're not going to be having sex anyway. You rarely do."

"Oh, really?" I hiss through gritted teeth, "What about March 2018 through May 2018!?"

Per usual, you're saved by the bell as the barista sets down your classic drink: a double macchiato with extra foam. I would know — I haven't been able to touch the stuff in months.

You take out a pack of cigarettes.

"You're smoking now?" I snap. I don't know why I'm even surprised. Clearly, I never knew you to begin with.

"Well... yeah." You sigh, pulling out your novelty Zippo lighter, "I've been under a lot of stress lately."

"Why!? You have no job. You're unemployed."

You let out a slow, cruel puff, "Retired."

No numbing cream could ever prepare for the pain of this loss. I don't respond, letting you sit in the energy you've put into the space.

Silence.

You look me dead in the eyes, "I'd been falling out for years," you say, “But you were too focused on your career to notice."

That's it. I can't protect your fragile ego any longer. "Well, Avery, Ben, and Joe all pulled me aside and told me they could feel you, but I didn't tell you... because I didn't want to hurt your feelings."

You kick your chair back, “I'm sorry I'm not perfect like your father!"

"You always do this." I yell, "Just because he introduced me to French New Wave cinema when I was 7, doesn't mean he's perfect."

"Well he is to me.” You cry for the first time since I've known you, “We're so young. I want to see the world! I've never even been to Paris!"

You throw your macchiato at the wall, and it shatters. Perhaps I went too far, "I didn't know that was something you wanted." I cry, "I took you to Miami over spring break."

"And you didn't even need me." You scream.

"ME USING A CONDOM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. YOU CAN'T PROTECT ME FROM STDS."

"Here it is!" You shriek, "I was never enough!"

"My mom never trusted you. She thinks it’s crazy to put plastic in my body."

"YOUR MOTHER'S A WHORE!!!" You punch the wall, and the restaurant goes silent. God, do we make each other crazy. Again and again, the same fight with the same bitter ending.

You light another cigarette, and the room fills with smoke. The barista would tell you to put it out (after all, this isn't Paris circa 1956), but he's too busy sweeping up your mess. We all are. A father rushes his son to the kitchen and reports you to upper management.

Silence. All eyes on us. Classic.

We take each other in, perhaps for the first time since you sat down. Without the rose-colored glasses, I finally see you for who you truly are: a small piece of plastic with some coiled copper and a string.

"Probably for the best," I lie, "You made me bleed through every pair of pants."

"Well, who's bleeding now?" You laugh, pointing to the red-stained wall. Touché.

"I was under so much pressure." You confess, “I only work 99% of the time. What if I failed you?”

There you go again: that patented narcissistic exceptionalism. I reach to grab your string, and for the first time, you let me. It's funny how you can pretend to hate someone until you can't, "I hadn't bought a pregnancy test in three years," I say.

You put your tongs down and look up, moved beyond measure. "You never told me that."

"I didn't think I had to."

Just then, the manager bangs pots together, screaming at you to get out.

“MAKE ME,” you scream back.

And low and behold he does. My younger self wants to chase after you, but the older and hardened version of me knows that I can’t. You look at me from the street, and I know I'll never see you again.

My DNA is all over you, so I can only hope that Gynecologist Lisa left a speck of your copper floating inside of me. Funny, that if either of us were to commit murder, we'd be the first door the investigators would visit — and perhaps that's enough for now. I watch you go, disappearing into the night. Even in your lowest moment, your string blowing in the wind would bring anyone to their knees.

The barista limps towards me, wounded from your ricocheted cup. "Who was that?" he asks in an unexpected Parisian accent.

I let out a cathartic tear, "Nobody." I smile, "Just was in my vagina for a long, long time."

Allie Levitan and Molly Gordon are actresses and writers based in New York; Gordon can next be seen in Broken Hearts Gallery, coming soon.