A Boy From the Internet Broke My Heart and I’m Only Somewhat Ashamed to Admit It

* Names have been changed.

Charlotte has just graduated from high school. She is already extremely bored and jaded for someone that is only 18 years old. She survived high school by telling herself that she would go to college in New York City and would never have to return to her suburban hometown, which had little more to offer than a 7-11 and an abundance of privileged teens driving SUVs.

Her plan was to become a New York City It Girl and date an indie rocker, preferably one with a cool, ironic name. She would be his muse, break his heart, and have an album written about her that would go down in history as one of Rolling Stones top 100 best albums of all time. Or at least that was her plan.

Charlotte ends up going to a state school and having her heart broken by a frat boy. Such is life.

I don’t know why, but I agree to go on a date with a boy from the Internet. I’ve spent all of high school doing nothing besides being an annoying theatre kid, so I decide that now is the time to make all the dumb decisions I should have spent high school making.

I was never planning on actually hanging out with this boy, although we did exchange some funny messages. One night I drunkenly send him a Snapchat, and he tells me he was sad when I never texted him back. Being overly sensitive, I feel guilty, so we make plans to get lunch in a few days. If nothing else, I figure it could be amusing.

Charlotte spots Blake from across the parking lot. He dresses like the boys from her high school who would always laugh when they passed by the theatre kids in rehearsal.

“Hey!” She calls out.

Blake turns around, and Charlotte is struck by how cute he is. She thinks his salmon-colored pants are ridiculous, but the boy is undeniably cute.

Blake has never met a girl like Charlotte before. She is confident and outspoken, and unlike him, never seems to mind what other people think. Blake decides on their first date that he likes her. He never thought he would like a liberal feminist girl, and shudders at the thought of what his ultra-conservative father would think. Still, there’s something about her. Blake likes their fast-paced conversation and witty banter. He likes Charlotte’s instant comebacks whenever he says something outrageously ignorant just to annoy her.

“Well, are you gonna kiss me?” I ask, before getting out of your car. You look surprised. I’d just told you that my mom wanted me home, and you thought it was nonsense, that I was just trying to get out of a bad date. I swear up and down that I really do have to go home, to pack for college.

I laugh, and you kiss me, and I spend the rest of the day wishing I had met you a long time ago.

You text me later that day: “I thought I was never going to see you again.”

In the car I just can't wait,
to pick you up on our very first date
Is it cool if I hold your hand?
Is it wrong if I think it's lame to dance?
Do you like my stupid hair?
Would you guess that I didn't know what to wear?
I'm too scared of what you think
You make me nervous so I really can't eat.

We’re sitting in your car, and you’re singing along to Blink-182 in your best Tom Delonge voice. You bob your head to the music and do a very impressive air guitar solo.

“Well?” You ask.
“Well what?”
Do you like my stupid hair?”
I laugh and nod, running my fingers through your long, black hair.

Let's go
Don't wait
This night's almost over
Honest, let's make
This night last forever

You text me: “You intimidate me.”

You tell me that you’ve never met a girl like me before, a girl who could talk about politics and “actually knows what she’s talking about.” Part of me wants to point out that this is misogynist (and definitely not true) and that girls know plenty about politics, but the other part of me is flattered (and I hate myself for it). But still. You make me smile. I respond by telling you that you intimidate me too.

I am so scared of losing you.

You always tell me that I have “sad eyes.” I don’t think anyone else has ever said this to me. Maybe my eyes only ever look sad around you. Maybe deep down I know that you are going to break my heart.

It’s the night before you leave for college in West Virginia, and you are sitting on my bed. I know that everything will be far more complicated once you leave, so I hang onto every minute I have with you. I put on my favorite Vampire Weekend record, and we slow dance. It’s not until later that I realize that I meant every word I sang to you.

You and me, we’ve got our own sense of time.

The next morning you leave for school. I try to ignore the voices in the back of my head that keep telling me about all the hot girls you’ll be surrounded by and how far away you’ll be and how easily you’ll forget me. I feel jealous of everyone that gets to be around you. I wish we had more time.

“Can we talk?”
Blake tells Charlotte that he met someone, that it’s “for the best anyways,” that she’s so far away.

Charlotte skips class because she feels like she is going to throw up. Her roommate gives her some sleeping pills, which she has never taken before, and she cries herself to sleep.

It’s late December, just a few days before my 19thth birthday. I haven’t seen you since you left for school months before. I hate you, but I miss you more, so I agree to see you. I’ve spent so much time thinking about what it would be like to see you again, but now that you’ve asked me to meet you, I can’t remember any of the passive-aggressive things I had planned on saying. I drive to a big parking lot downtown in the historic district, our old meeting place. I sit in my car, trying to collect myself and remember how to breathe evenly. I want you to know that I’m okay—better yet, that I’m thriving—without you. I doubt this comes across.

You wave to me from inside your car, and I muster up all the strength I have within me. I climb into your passenger seat—the same passenger seat that I spent so many summer days in, laughing, smiling, happy. I can’t help but notice how cold I am now, and how cold you seem beside me.

An hour later, I’m pressed against the backseat window of your car. The glass is frigid against my bare back, but your body is warm. You kiss me hard, like maybe it will undo everything you’ve done. But it doesn’t. You can’t un-break a heart.

I do my best to hide the tears streaming down my face. You try to talk to me, and I cry into your shoulder for a few moments before wiping the tears from my eyes. You mutter an apology as I walk away.

Three days later, my birthday comes and goes. You don’t even text me to wish me a happy birthday.

You tell me that I deserved better, that I was so “kind and caring,” that I should find someone.

How gracious of you.

Charlotte has a bad habit of texting Blake when she is drunk. She thinks this is because it’s the only time she feels brave enough to say what’s on her mind, although Blake doesn’t even know half of the things she wishes she could tell him. Like that he is the only boy she has ever loved.

I’m at a frat party in a low-cut shirt and I can’t stop thinking about whatever frat party you’re at and whether that girl is there. Whatever song is playing changes, and it’s that goddamn Fetty Wap song that I hate. I can still picture you singing it to me, and the way I would complain and tell you to stop. Then you’d kiss me and I would smile and let you finish singing your dumb song. Maybe I secretly liked it.

Tonight I do not like the song. I find myself outside, sitting on the cold, hard curb. My head is in my hands, and my hands are smudged with black mascara. I’m not sure if it’s the alcohol or the panic attack, but I can’t quite remember how I got out here. I call for an Uber to take me home.

Donald Trump is elected President, and I feel nauseous. You text me and say that Trump won’t be “that bad.” I comment on how that’s easy for you to say as a privileged white male. We get into an argument, one that reminds me of the political arguments we used to get into all the time, like the one about abortion that nearly caused us to stop speaking over a year ago. We don’t talk for a while. I think maybe neither of us sees a point in it anymore.

Blake is at the beach with his family and texts Charlotte for the first time in a long time: “You changed my life. I’m a better person because I knew you.”
Charlotte is also at the beach with her family. She remembers once reading a quote: “The person you think of when you stand in front of the ocean. That’s the person you’re in love with.” Charlotte curses this quote as she stands in front of the ocean thinking about Blake. It’s been two years.

Charlotte’s most recent text to Blake reads: are we still friends? Blake never responds, which Charlotte decides is an answer in itself. In fact, she’s almost made peace with it.

And then, months later, she receives a text:

Hey I didn’t mean to ghost, I haven’t had a phone for like 2 months, how have you been?
Also I have a girlfriend who I think you’d get along with, huge feminist

I feel sick.

Despite everything, somewhere deep down I think I had I always believed we would end up together. I don’t want to hear about your girlfriend. I don’t want to meet her or get along with her. But I don’t say that. I go along with it, trying my best to sound like I don’t care, and pretending that I’m still the funny, quick-witted girl you once fell for.

I’m going through that college liberal phase right now

it’s almost like education makes people liberal

Yeah it’s crazy right? I listen to people say things that I used to say and I’m just like “wow… that’s ridiculous and you’re ignorant”

yep lol

Also this idiot we have in office helped me realize

What I say:

always knew there was hope for u

What I mean:

I always thought there was hope for us.

By Charlotte Smith


  1. Char I'm crying this is incredible. I'm blown away.

  2. i teared up. for real. why do you have to attack me like this