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It’s been one year and nine months since it ended. And it’s been almost one year since we last talked or more accurately, since I last made an attempt to care. In fact, it’s been just as long since I last looked at a picture of her. The only image I had of her anymore was my mental one and that had receded bit by bit with time.

Until today, that is.

I looked at a picture of her. It was curiosity, I promise, nothing more. My love addiction hadn’t relapsed. I’m almost 365 days sober, doctor. I was trying to find someone’s Twitter handle in my browser and hers popped up from the history. I clicked away. I clicked back. It was curiosity, I said.

Her profile’s locked to non-approved friends, so you can only see her profile, but not any Tweets. I clicked on the picture.

Huh, was my first reaction. I was trying to reconcile what I was seeing in present time with what my mental image was. Let me explain.

My mental image of her is attached to that love addiction. And like an addiction, I was blinded. Her image was entangled in a perception that wasn’t the reality. I’m not saying she turned out to be a bad person or that after her breaking up with me, it was like removing beer goggles and she was ugly, but rather, my memory only retained that conceptualization of her that was favorable. So, I remembered her eyes when she stood before me, giving me every fucking signal in the world to move in for kiss, which I awkwardly ignored. I remembered her smile when I made her happy, the flash of perfectly white, but small teeth. I remembered the proverbial bitten lip, inviting me to unleash my feral, sexual animal within…

But, in this new picture, there she stood, the camera looking down on her, which seemed apropos as my new eyes had her under a microscope: pink bikini top with frizzles and a pink bottom, black sandals, some blue contraption attached to her wrist, her hair (which looked a lighter brown than I recall) pulled back hastily in a bun with a tight smile facing the camera.

She seemed different. She seemed like a stranger to me. That didn’t seem like the same person that I had gleefully surrendered my heart to and which she had returned back, “Sender address rejected.”

I guess, I really don’t care anymore. There is nothing there. The proverbial heartstrings are no longer strung. And this is a truth I’ve known for the last almost year now, but seeing it in such visual, visceral manifestation is illuminating.

I have never harbored any ill-will toward her. And I do not now upon seeing this picture. So, this isn’t going to be a “fuck her” piece. However, the power she possessed over my surrendered feelings, that power? Yeah, fuck that. It’s gone now.

At least, until the next one comes along.

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