Unlucky

by Nola

She gave me a heart for Christmas two years ago. I wear it on a chain around my neck with two other charms from the same jewelry designer. It is small and covered in red enamel. I wear it almost daily.

Then one day, it dropped from my neck and hit my kitchen floor. I told her this and she gasped. “What?” I asked. “It didn’t break, did it?” she responded. “Yes, it chipped the enamel. That is what I’m trying to tell you. It’s no big deal. I’ll have the jeweler fix it. What’s wrong?” I prodded. She looked nervous and said, “That’s bad luck.”

I did get it repaired. If you take the time to notice, you can see the touch-up.

And isn’t that just the point? One gives one’s heart. It gets broken. Then mended. But the scar remains as a reminder.

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I am struggling with her death. I think it is the unexpectedness of it coupled with our closeness. There is some goofy meme out there that says something like, “I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.” Except it doesn’t have an asterisk to warn that when you lose a quarter, it leaves a gaping gash. Like the hull of your ship is ripped open like a tin can taking on water.

The loneliness I feel is stunning and stinging. It’s worse when the loneliness hits when I am not alone. Ah, then to struggle through the social niceties of casual conversations. It’s exhausting.

Depression is a sneaky thing. It creeps slowly, imperceptibly, until it is all there is. There is no joy; there is no energy; there is no comfort. But there is hope. Hope that if not tomorrow then the next day or the one after that — that one day soon the fog of depression will lift and you will slide into your old self again. This is what always has happened, and it is what will happen this time.

Except. Except my old self with its old heart has a new scar. And there is no going back to what it was. I regret every opportunity I squandered to be in her presence. I want to save everything I have that makes me think of her. I want the urge to call her on my drive home to pass. I want to hear her laugh again. I want her back.

Bad luck, indeed.

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