Only one pain is worse than being dumped by the person in the world you most truly love, and that’s the pain of being trapped in pre-breakup purgatory. Maria Sanchez knew it well. She was caught in it now, and she felt like a bug in a toilet where the swirling tide was gradually pulling her down. What had she said to make Jon unhappy? What had she done that utterly displeased him? Why wouldn’t he just tell her? Why’d he insist on this roundabout way of torturing her soul when it could all end in a moment? Knowing the answer, she sadly shook her head. Why? Because he was a boy.
Maria knew that boys and girls handled breakups differently for different reasons. When a girl grew tired of a relationship, her decision was usually quick and unexpected. It’s over. Girls didn’t mess around with who felt guilty or whose fault it was. They ended it and moved on—often leaving the former boyfriend hurt, dazed, and confused. He never saw it coming.
But a boy who wanted to break up would try other tactics to shift the blame away from himself. He’d treat his girlfriend as thoughtlessly as possible, even to the point of dishing out cruelty. He’d ignore her, stop calling her altogether, laugh at her, and sometimes abuse her, all because he hoped she’d become fed up enough to dump him first. That was their plan, at least. Maria would have laughed, if she hadn’t been hurting. The silly plan rarely worked, of course, because girls can be very forgiving creatures when it came to love. They rarely took the bait. Boys, for some reason, just didn’t understand that basic concept. At the end, after all his prolonged shenanigans, the boy still had to deliver one of the cruelest lines in the history of the world: I just want to be friends. Ironically, the boy became bombarded by the very same anger and tears he’d hoped to avoid. No, boys just didn’t get it.
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