You loved him, and you lost him. In the wake of his absence, you were completely and utterly devastated. You spent countless nights awake and unable to sleep, your mind and body tortured by how much you missed him. You cried tears that tasted of heartbreak and betrayal and confusion. There was not a single day that went by where you did not think of him. He was constantly on your mind, the memories of you and him together repeatedly playing inside your head like some sort of broken record. It was torture for you to remember him, but remember is all you did. You thought back to your first date and remembered how nervous you had been. You remembered all of the jokes that he had told you and you laughed a second time. You remembered all of the sweet things that he had said to you and you blushed once more. You remembered the conversations you two had, both good and bad. You remembered the moments you two had shared, some of them the epitome of young love and some of them not. But mostly, you remembered him. You remembered the way he used to look staring at you, his eyes lit up and his lips fighting a smile. You remembered the way he used to take up space next to you, his presence comforting and thrilling all at once. You remembered the way his voice sounded over the phone and in person. You remembered the way he walked, the way he laughed, the way he talked, the way he danced. You remembered everything out of fear that you might forget something. You remembered it all because even though it hurt you to remember everything the memories were all you had left of him and you were not ready to let him go quite yet. For some time, you lived in the past, too hurt and afraid to accept the reality of him having left you.

As the months went by, though, the pain of losing him lessened. You started to remember him less and less. You cried less and less, too, until one day you had no more tears to shed. And eventually, you stopped looking for him everywhere and in other people. Yes, you still loved him. Very much, actually. You just loved yourself a little bit more you realized, and you wanted to be happy again, even if that meant letting go of him and the hold he had on your heart. And so, you eventually found the strength to put the memories of you and him together away in a box for safekeeping, and you started to do more of what made you feel good. You worked harder, ate better. You went out, met new people and tried new things. You smiled more. You laughed louder. And for the first time in a long time, things started to look up. The decision to be happy and choose yourself led you to realize that there was, in fact, life after heartbreak.