Tears from a Mug

When my boyfriend broke a mug we use to hold our toothbrushes, I felt almost physical sensation, like a burn from something extremely hot or cold; a feeling of wrongness and the promise of severe, intense pain. He started to clean up and threw the first piece in the trash. I tried to say “Don’t do that.”  But I couldn’t speak loudly. Then I started gasping and realized my face was wet.

My dad bought me the mug when I was 7 or 8. It was the most luxurious thing EVER. Strawberry Shortcake was on the side, and my parents were too frugal to buy branded stuff most of the time. I felt so special I felt guilty. Now I keep it in the bathroom to remember my father and his love for me every day.

I cried for what felt like a very long time. I kept trying to stop but just couldn’t, even though my boyfriend was feeling horrified and wretched. He glued the mug back together, and the next morning I discovered that he hadn’t slept at all.

It’s been over 4 years now, but I never really cried about my father’s death. I always change the subject when anyone in my family talks about him. If anyone asks me if my parents are still together, I say “Yes” instead of “They would be.”

I’m still not ready to talk about it. I think if I did, I wouldn’t be able to stop crying. But now if I do start crying, not being able to stop doesn’t scare me anymore.

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