You Say Good-Bye | Teen Ink

You Say Good-Bye MAG

September 3, 2009
By Julie Wilson BRONZE, Dublin, Ohio
Julie Wilson BRONZE, Dublin, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Today, I broke up with my boyfriend.

He likes peanut butter sweet-and-salty granola bars. He was born in Russia, but his accent only comes out on the word stupid. One of his radio presets is Mexican polka, and he's infuriatingly lazy. He loves rock climbing, PHP coding, and calculus. But he loves me too.

Tomorrow, he's headed to MIT. And I'm headed to second-period English with Mr. Barrett.

Love is supposed to hold us together, stop wars, save Darfur, and feed the starving. But let's face it, world peace isn't happening, and high school relationships don't last five years and a thousand miles – not counting grad school. Sometimes we have to cut our losses and move on before reality moves on without us.

Love isn't glamorous. I'm not sure it's beautiful. It's hard and sometimes it sucks. It's a dozen roses, an endless rain, and top 40 songs on the radio – a bitter cliché that everyone knows but you. But it's also the voice on the phone at 3 a.m. and the white mocha latte from Starbucks the next day. It's the shoulder to cry on and the inside jokes. Alfred, Lord Tennyson had it right, “'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I propose that love is nothing new to the world but everything new to me.

He made me laugh; he made me cry. He bought me tacos and laughed when the playground swings made me sick. He never picked me up on time, but he was always on his way. He snuck me chocolate (I'm allergic) and watched chick flicks with me, though he'd never admit it. We talked online a lot and always signed off the same way: “Night, jerk.” Why use three words when two will do?

Love is not the end. Shakespeare got it all wrong with Romeo and Juliet. There are plenty of reasons to die for love, but selfish need is not one of them. If you can't live with only yourself, you've lost your own reason to love and you're living someone else's. Though this makes great poetry, it's not true love. True love comes from within.

What is “within?” Is it the part of my chest that hurts when I can't fall asleep at night? Or is it where my mind wanders during science class? Does it know where I'm going? Does it know if I'll get there? “Within” is finicky to define. It's shaped by the people you meet and the choices you make. It's the memories that last forever and the day-to-day drama that is forgotten by lunchtime. It is something everyone needs to define for themselves. It's part of life that nobody else can figure out for you, because “within” is you and nothing else.

If life is art, I'm starting a new project, and it's huge. I like the challenge of taking nothing and twisting it into something, even when I don't have a plan. In class, I'm molding a conglomeration of old newspapers, a stiff glaze, and liquid watercolors. I have no idea where it's going and my teacher is grading it in two weeks, but that doesn't scare me.

I have a hunch I knew what I was doing when I bought waterproof mascara, but I trust that I'm going to be okay. I'll glue myself together and paint away my tears. It'll be a new me walking out the door – maybe not next week or the week after, but I'll get there. Love is never the end.

Night, jerk.

The author's comments:
this is the prompt, its for the University of Chicago.
Prompt: Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Propose your own original theory to explain one of the 16 mysteries below. Your theory does not need to be testable or even probable; however, it should provide some laws, principles, and/or causes to explain the facts, phenomena, or existence of one of these mysteries. You can make your theory artistic, scientific, conspiracy-driven, quantum, fanciful, or otherwise ingenious—but be sure it is your own and gives us an impression of how you think about the world.

Love, Non-Dairy Creamer, Sleep and Dreams, Gray, Crop Circles, The Platypus, The Beginning of Everything, Art, Time Travel, Language, The End of Everything, The Roanoke Colony, Numbers, Mona Lisa’s Smile, The College Rankings in U.S. News and World Report, Consciousness
I chose love obviously

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This article has 23 comments.

deanna98 said...
on Aug. 24 2012 at 9:43 am
I felt tears well up in my eyes as I read. This is flawless.

on Jun. 4 2012 at 6:28 am
neeneeboots BRONZE, Ireland, Other
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
This is unbelievably well written. Well done.

on Nov. 19 2011 at 2:10 pm
SuchALittleLady BRONZE, Barberton, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments
So much truth to this

AlexisB SILVER said...
on Oct. 6 2011 at 10:57 am
AlexisB SILVER, Milner, Georgia
9 articles 2 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
A synonym is a word you use when you can\\\'t spell the other one.

Absolutely beautiful. This piece struck my very soul. Keep writing!

on Aug. 22 2011 at 6:41 pm
sundaysmile SILVER, Jackson, Mississippi
9 articles 0 photos 8 comments
This is amazing! Not only is it beautiful and well-written, but I love how you give personal details without getting all goopy. It shows you're putting your heart into it and still making an attempt to impact someone else! Awesome. Keep writing!

on Feb. 28 2011 at 8:28 pm
Alexa97522 GOLD, Portland, Oregon
19 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
With God, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

no wonder this is in the magazine! i love love love this a lot! please keep writing! you have a wonderful gift for describing things and making them your own. i loved how you included other pieces of writing to back you up on "love" and really connected with the reader. I felt like i was you and i could feel and see everything you went through. this piece is just amazing! great job and keep writing!

on Nov. 29 2010 at 6:46 am
xAllegria BRONZE, Singapore, Other
1 article 2 photos 112 comments

Favorite Quote:
Ça fait tellement du bien d’aimer les gens qu’on aime, que ça finit par faire mal. Je sais pas comment on survit a ça. Non franchement, je sais pas. LOL (laughing out loud) ®, Lola.

Quite honestly, your style stands out and is really powerful. Keep writing.

on Nov. 10 2010 at 4:33 pm
audreyhepburn SILVER, Tamworth, Other
5 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?

i loved this! it is really well written, and writes about a subject that is often written about poorly, in a new way.

on Oct. 24 2010 at 3:50 pm
KelleySchorn SILVER, Fort Worth, Texas
8 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
Whatever you are be a good one-some president i dont remember which
procrastinaters unite!...tomorrow!!-matt
i'm F-U-L-LLLLL i think i can spellllll-allie =]

wow i loved this especially the whole "within" thing that was really good :))

on Oct. 19 2010 at 2:30 pm
EmilytheAuthor DIAMOND, St. Francisville, Louisiana
55 articles 20 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. -dr. seuss

Thank you so much. I don't know how to explain it, but I really needed to read this. :)

You are a fantastic, inspiring, and brutally frank writer, but don't ever change that.

on Oct. 19 2010 at 11:51 am
Kresint50401 BRONZE, Erie, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 17 comments
Quite honestly, one of my favorites on this site. =)

inspir3d GOLD said...
on Oct. 19 2010 at 9:22 am
inspir3d GOLD, Norcross, Georgia
11 articles 2 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:
We're all just looking for attention, to be discovered overnight. We're all frustrated by the popular ones that claim the limelight before they fall to pieces. So many of us are stuck under the radar--what makes me different? You decide!

absolutely beautiful. finally something that's REAL, that speaks from experiance, that we can all relate to! When you love someone, your brain and your heart capture and memorize every little thing about them (and you don't even realize you're doing it)-- so that when they're gone, every little thing reminds you of them.

on Aug. 14 2010 at 11:31 pm
DaydreamBeliever GOLD, Lockport, Other
15 articles 4 photos 140 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you live to be one hundred, I want to live to be one hundred minus one day, so that I'll never have to live without you. -Winnie the Pooh

beautiful- is all i can say.

on Jul. 23 2010 at 2:06 am
Defiance_14 BRONZE, Wyoming, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My greatest accomplishment is realization"

This is great. the composition of how you relate it to real world and literary terms like darfur and shakespear is awesome.

i even appreciate the part where you were talking about the waterproof mascara. thats kinda cute. :]

it almost made me cry a little bit. congrats.

e_t_t_r BRONZE said...
on Jul. 8 2010 at 11:43 pm
e_t_t_r BRONZE, Crawfordsville, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
This is incredible.  Very well controlled piece, never too sappy but great and heartfelt at the same time.  Great job.

simplysteph said...
on Jun. 24 2010 at 3:27 am
simplysteph, Dallas, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you laugh, the world laughs with you. When you weep, you weep alone."

You are an absolutely amazing writer.

Just thought you should know. (:

on Jun. 9 2010 at 1:01 am
dreamer759 SILVER, San Ramon, California
5 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I know, right?"
(you know you say it)

(finicky . . . ?)

i loved everything about this piece because its so true. ive never been in love but from everything ive heard and read about it i can tell that its painful but, as always, the upsides always outweigh the downs. ur piece did a wonderful job of reflecting that. well done!!

(I know, bad sign off but not everyone can pull off 'night, jerk')

on Feb. 19 2010 at 7:44 pm
LostAngel DIAMOND, Jersey, New Jersey
65 articles 0 photos 89 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Just live your life, if people don't like the way you are doing it then they can get out of it" "if you can't stand me at my worst you dont deserve me at my best"

That was beautiful!

desi95 said...
on Feb. 5 2010 at 4:37 pm
desi95, Tallahasee, Florida
0 articles 8 photos 22 comments
i love it it is sad but gives you hope, ur relationship is so real . I love that you can say night, jerk! haha

on Jan. 6 2010 at 7:11 pm
MadAsAHatter GOLD, Ames, Iowa
15 articles 0 photos 20 comments
you're so strong, it's amazing