She walks around in a daze, blinded by her overwhelming love for the world until its people turned their backs on her and the fantasy was shattered.
She let the pieces lie.
We weren’t broken until the world said we were.
There’s almost beauty in rumors and lies, the elaborate creativity is enough to sell novels, fill up hours of screentime, and does not falter at the feet of ruining lives.
I guess, if I’m honest with myself, I get the appeal. Sometimes the details blur and the accusations fly but at least we’re getting original. Rumors are more exciting than the truth- it’s in their design, woven into every fiber of their sharp texture. It’s their purpose. If a rumor wasn’t grand in design, it wouldn’t exist. Its entire purpose is to incite shock and provoke gossip to sweep an entire community.
Or maybe that’s only how it works in mini towns where everyone is so compelled to have the world do their thinking for them. If you are ever so unfortunate to be in with these people, you’re in for life. If you’re not…..
People want to believe the rumors. Rumors are more exciting, dragging names and reputations into scandal just to feel better about ourselves. We believe the worst because its almost riveting when other people’s lives go to chaos and for a moment, we can feel better about ours. Or maybe it’s just to feel cool.
I’ve never tasted that side of understanding.
But, a feeling I have tasted, is one that I couldn’t place for a very long time. I was regularly looking over my shoulder, waiting for the next colossal gossip wave to crash over and drag me under. Sometimes I drowned.
Sometimes I swam. For a while anyway.
The feeling was of brokenness. Of severed ties to my life preserver. Of a relationship fragmented over words.
Words, stories, tales, rumors.
For a long time, my relationship felt broken. Not because it was but because other people said it was. Rumors don’t hide in the way that some of us skirt the outer walls of the parties we’re never invited to anyway. They make themselves seen, heard, and interpreted in the worst ways.
Knowing that the rumors were flourishing faster than I could resurface for air hands me the worst restlessness I’ve ever known. It’s exhausting to constantly defend my relationship, my person, my best friend. It’s useless. No matter how great our love, to others it’s concealed by the ever more appealing fabrications. The truth is bland in comparison.
What did you hear? That my fiancé is charming, sweet, and has been in love with me since we were sixteen?
Of course you didn’t hear that. Why would you? When compared to lies, secrets, and sex, why would the truth even interest you? Two people are in love- how overwhelmingly dull. Cheating? That’s intriguing. Lies? Tell us more.
In the end, I ended my defense. I let the rumor garden swell and become fields of collapsing optimism. People were no longer authentic in my eyes. Rumors painted the faces of friends ugly and turned me eternally guarded, cold. Rumors ripped trust from my bones and guaranteed I would never feel safe to open up again.
You can give all of your love to a place, to people and get nothing in return. Sometimes I just want to shake them, beg them to believe the truth. I wanted to plead with their understanding even though it never wanted honesty anyway. My mind made everyone into an enemy, assuming they thought the worst of me, of us.
We must be broken because I was broken.
For a long time, I was enveloped with the idea that I must deserve it. I must deserve to be silently mocked for… what was it again? Letting my boyfriend cheat on me? Or was it knowing that he did and still agreeing to spend a lifetime with him? I don’t know which makes me feel worse.
But the truth, that my fiancé and I have been in love since we were sixteen and have grown up together working hard on our relationship because forever together is all we’ve ever dreamed of , that’s never uttered. Never shared among the crowds of gossip.
So for a moment, I thought that he and I were broken. I held this feeling in my heart for such a long time because I couldn’t let go of the ache that now surrounded the best thing that has ever happened to me. Because the stories came from the mouths people I love, I felt trapped in an endless loop of rumor suffocation. I will never allow myself to feel that level of agonizing betrayal.
People don’t take feelings into consideration, that’s the funny thing. Actually, I guess it’s not that funny. Feelings drive everything we do yet mine were heaved aside for someone else to get the feeling of… well what is the feeling you’re searching for? Satisfaction? Triumph? A sense of accomplishment?
I had let people who will never care about me make me feel broken. I had let the overwhelming anxiety cave into every crevice of my exterior that I was trying so hard to hold together.
It was so easy to feel out of place in a world of people that would never accept us. It’s confusing to feel so right when deception rears it’s ugly head and manufactures such heartbreak. But we’re not broken just because people say we are- even if it’s the whole world.
We’re still us, the same us we have always been. The same us that falls in love more and more with each new day. He is my dream in a person.
I hate that rumors have ripped the optimism right out of my soul and forced my heart to be even more guarded than it already was. I can’t be that girl anymore who walks around blind to the slander and the bruises that it brings.
I hate that the truth goes silent because, as far as truth goes, it’s a pretty great one.