When she said goodbye, all she left him was that empty spot next to him on the bench in the park. But the universe was cruel, and without mercy, because a moment later even that empty spot was taken away from him, when an old lady came and sat next to him. He grimaced, and tried to make his smile as genuine as possible. The old lady should not have to pay for his change of fortune, he thought. He stood up and started walking home. Trusting his legs would carry him where he needed to be, he zoned out, the world a blur. By the time he arrived home, his chest was aching unbearably. It was like an invisible hand had dug its fingers deep into his ribcage and was trying to get his heart to part with his body. But by the end of the evening he was able to breathe freely again. He was amazed how quickly he was recovering from this break-up. The last time it took him a good three years to find himself again. Now less than three hours? Could it be a sign I didn’t love her deeply enough? He thought. For a moment he was overwhelmed by guilt, but he knew this could not be true. The next day she called. He thanked her for their time together. She cried. He cried. And then they hung up. The week after she called again. He was still fine, he said. And a few weeks later she called once again. I’m really okay, he said. He was surprised that he meant it. He decided this is what it meant to grow up. To have adult feelings without a child’s tantrum when things go wrong. He still missed her, of course. But I’m gonna be alright, he thought. Yep, I’m gonna be just fine.