July 8th

“It was all over now. Every memory we had was ruined.” A work that emphasizes the comfort and catharsis of whatever place we call “home”…

by: Sophie Schulze

July 8th, 2023: 6:00 PM

I gripped the steering wheel with my trembling hands as I sped onto the highway. In my distraught state, I had only packed a few things before taking off in a hurry, not realizing until later that I had forgotten my wallet with all my money and my driver’s license that now remained discarded on my bed. My body shook with rage. Tears leaked out of my eyes, down my face, and onto my lap. Sobs rang through me, and I began to hyperventilate. Anger flooded my mind and boiled my blood as breathless screams erupted out of me.

July 8th, 2023: 2:40 PM

I took a deep breath to shake off the nerves and walked out to his car. It was a beautiful day and we had decided it was time to bring out the hammocks and enjoy the weather. With a forced pep in my step, I strode out to the vista to get everything set up. The conversation flowed smoothly, though I could tell there was something on his mind. It’s okay though, I had decided. I had plenty on my mind as well.

With our hammocks set up, we sat in silence for a few minutes, admiring the nature around us. It was a splendid view before us, but racing thoughts kept me too distracted to take in the sight fully. When the minutes had felt like hours, I decided it was time for me to break the silence, asking him what was on his mind. He replied that there was plenty on his mind before making his way over to my hammock to sit beside me. Sliding his hand into mine, he began the conversation I now long to burn from my memory.

It didn’t take long for my anxiety to spike. Before I had the chance to confess that I had fallen in love with him, he started talking. Every word that left his mouth was worse than the one before. I closed my eyes in disbelief as I listened to him confess his betrayal. He spoke of how he no longer loved me and that he only wanted me as a friend. Dumbfounded, I sat in silence as my thoughts overflowed with questions. How was this possible? Hadn’t he just told me he was in love with me a week ago? Didn’t he say he was only thinking of me? I don’t get it, I don’t get it, I don’t get it. It didn’t matter how many times I ran his words through my mind again. It still didn’t make any sense.

The conversation went on way longer than it should have. I tried to get as much closure out of the situation as possible, but it was useless. Our talk drew to a close when he expressed that he realized he preferred a close friend of mine as a romantic partner instead of me. Pain tore through my chest so violently that my body threatened to empty out the contents of my stomach. Those words had been enough for me. That sealed my decision. He was not the man I thought he was, and I knew that even if he attempted to crawl back to me, it was over.

In our last moments together, he offered me what he deemed as helpful and valuable solutions for how to get over the situation. Parking his car in front of my apartment, he took my hand one last time and told me that he hoped we could still be friends. I snatched back my arm and slammed the door to his car shut before storming into my apartment to gather my things for a long drive to my childhood home.

July 8th, 2023: 10:00 PM

It was all over now. Every memory we had was ruined. Everything he had gifted me was tainted. The letters he wrote me were lies. The hammock was no more than a painful reminder of who he was and what we had. The experiences we had together, I could no longer recognize. I wished to take back everything I had ever shared with him. Every story I had shared about my life, I hoped he would forget. The trust I had granted him so freely now lay in shambles. He was not worthy of the playlist I had carefully crafted for him, full of the precious music that I held so dear to my heart.

I sat alone in my car for the duration of what was nearly a four-hour-long drive back to my hometown. My energy was depleted, my voice was gone, and my heart ached while I drove the remaining miles of the journey. Driving such a long distance without a license or any money while in such an emotional state should have frightened me, but at that moment, it didn’t matter to me anymore. I needed to be home, and I needed the support of someone whose loyalty and trust remained unquestioned. Pulling into my driveway, I parked my car and grabbed my bag before running to my father, who had patiently waited for me to return home to him and gathered me into his arms as I wept.


Sophie Schulze is an undergraduate student at Iowa State University. She is currently working toward completing her bachelor’s degree in English and hopes to further her education in Creative Writing. She intends to pursue her dreams of becoming an author and aspires to share her creative writing with others. 

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