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The Shirts of My Ex-Boyfriends

Mementos I Keep of Relationships Long Gone

I have almost an entire wardrobe dedicated to my exes. It may seem a little masochistic, but I’ve kept an item of clothing from each of them, to remind me of how they broke my heart and to make sure I never make the same mistake again. Sometimes I just like to leave both doors splayed wide open and stare at them for hours. Reminiscing. I know every piece of clothing in that wardrobe.

There’s a green, striped polo. It belonged to Andrew. He was my first. We dated for over a year just out of secondary school. Oh, it makes me giddy just thinking about it! So much effort went into that relationship. It could have gone so well, but he often wore a long face and it got me down, because if he wore a long face, he decided I had to wear one, too. So I fixed this problem and made him smile. With my switchblade.

Next to it is a moth-bitten blue cardigan. That was Louis. The buttons are almost coming off of this one, but I don’t dare fix them because that’s how he left them when he gave it to me and I want to remember him exactly as he was; so tall and handsome, my Louis. He’d take me out to dinner every week and make love to me all night. I was a princess in his eyes...unless he was drinking. Then I was a whore and he just wanted to fuck me whether I liked it or not. In a storeroom, a bathroom, an alleyway, a ditch. I never got to pick, so I figured it was only fair that a ditch was where I left him.

I do pride myself on remembering my exes’ names—all seventeen. But like any girl with a long dating history, I have my favourites. There was twice divorced Stefan in the white wife-beater—an appropriate name; Colin in the moss green jumper, obsessed with telescopes and binoculars, an avid bird watcher. Green was his favourite colour. He always liked to blend into the bushes; the bright red v-neck I got from Jared. We met at a festival. I wanted to rest in his tent after vomiting on my clothes. At least that’s what he told me when I woke up there; George’s skinny jeans full of holes, just like his body; Cody’s combat boots, missing the laces I’d used to tie a pretty noose around his neck.

I will say, though, my absolute favourite is the plaid shirt in bright purple. It was so ugly, but Alistair bought it anyway. I laughed at him as he did and he kissed my nose. He liked kissing parts of me, even if it was just to remind himself to break it later, so naturally, I broke his heart.

My newest addition is a hoodie from Johnathan. I like this guy, like, REALLY like this guy, and he seems to like me. He has a particular interest in my hair—says he wants to cut it all off. He knows I’ll let him, but I’m all about fairness, so of course I’d have cut something of his off, too.

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The Shirts of My Ex-Boyfriends
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