Why We Broke Up

Matt and Violet were never the sort of people expected to get together. But in the end, the funny part was... they didn't quite know where they went wrong.

Why We Broke Up is a love story told backwards... to find where they went wrong, and where exactly they went right.


6. June 2nd, 2011


He’s not listening to me. He’s looking at me, but when I stop speaking he just stares at my face awkwardly, like I’m a traffic accident. His eyes are fuzzy and dazed, and I shuffle and kick my feet in the river. This is a stupid idea, I think. I’m not one to second-guess myself, but Matt?

We’d be a trainwreck.

So I’m shocked when I find he’s holding my hand, and his hand is shaking, and then so is mine, because I’m losing it, and I have to say something, but all I can come up with is:


“Sorry,” he says, and his hand darts away. I feel the cool water around the edge of my feet, and I see him look away, and shuffle his hands from me, and I’m laughing, because we’re so ridiculously stupid and young and playing into all the conventions I proudly abhor. And he takes my laughter as mocking, and starts to get his coat, and then I grab his hand and everything stops for a moment, like the record’s snapped in half, and it’s just us, alone, on the edge of the riverbank, and all the butterflies and hurricanes in the world could not move us.

“Matt,” I say again, this time my voice heavy.

He sits back down, and then I grab his hand tighter, and I lean in, and I press my lips to his.

Maybe we’d be a good trainwreck. Or at least we’d have some fun on the journey.

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