During The Great Decluttering of 2015 (or How I Started Finding Closure in October), I went through my drawers and found IT.

You know what I’m talking about. The thing that you see, touch, smell, or taste and are immediately transported to another time, another place… sometimes another self.

In this case, I found The T-Shirt in the back of the drawer. It was a favorite of mine in two phases of my life: before him and during him.

It was a flattering shirt. It made me feel pretty. And though I should’ve known better before I let him in my life, that he liked it on me made me feel even prettier.

For a time.

The day before I shoved it in the back of the drawer, I got a call.

“How much money do you have?” he asked, without preamble.

He and his ex had gotten arrested together and he wanted to be bailed out that day. The sooner the better as his ex was having difficulty finding someone to bail her out and he wanted me to show up with money right in front of her.

We argued, and I broke the phone against the television. But ultimately, I agreed since he said he’d pay me back immediately. Then he said those words,

“Wear that grey shirt with the sexy black tight pants when you pick me up.”

Of course, I did. And he grinned and held me. And of course, she was watching.

We didn’t last much longer, I’m sure you’re not that surprised. But I can’t quite explain why we lasted as long as we did. Naiveté and innocence only stretches so far, but I don’t think it really covers turning a blind eye to days and nights he spend with his ex “for the sake of {their daughter}” and listening to him tell me that he didn’t want more children because “you can’t have a kid as beautiful as the one I have.”

Flooded with these memories, it was hard not to rip the shirt into shreds immediately. Instead, I put it on. A part of me was surprised it still fit – it was shockingly easy to fall back into his opinion that I am fat and ugly.


The surprise turned to joy and I put those memories behind me, where they belong. Not forgotten, working on forgiving, looking ahead, and wearing the shirt because I look good in it.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. clcouch123 says:

    It’s hard to click “Like” when your being insulted (in many ways) is a part of this. But I do like your adventure with the shirt, especially as your perspective has evolved. If I ever found a grey shirt with a Mickey Mouse barely able to be seen on it, I’d be transported somewhere else. Thank you!


    1. Call me Cordelia says:

      What do you mean, being insulted?


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