I Am Bigger Than Those Five Years: Now I Am the Sun


By Stefanie Marshall

I died in the shadow of his love. He eclipsed me like he was the sun. But I didn’t mind that he had swallowed me whole because we were in love.

Correction. I was in love. Or some semblance of love bordering obsession that I was fully convinced was love. Looking back, there was a difference. The love I had felt before him was warm and reciprocated. Like an embrace that held you just tight enough. Comfortable and familiar and safe. That was real love.

This was fiery. This was scary and tantalizing. I craved him. (If we are being honest, sometimes I still do.) He was like a drug. I wondered what it would be like to have one more hit. He never embraced me. He yanked at me — pulled me by the hair — and I reveled in the pain. It wasn’t love if it didn’t hurt. Right?

So much of me was gone in him. And he did not care. He chewed me up and spit me out the same way he would tobacco. I was disposable. Replaceable. But he was the sun, and I lived for the kiss of his light. Until one day there was nothing left of me but regurgitated masses. Pieces of me scattered about the wasteland of my life.

How many times did I let him take me down? I lost count after five. To square it off, five years gone on bullshit disguised brilliantly as love. Moment by moment, day by day, I pulled myself out of his orbit. I wandered about trying to put myself back together. I picked up the pieces that didn’t even resemble me anymore and molded them back into who I am now. Some I left behind. Used up and useless, they were no longer a part of me. I am bigger than those five years.

Now I am the sun.

writer photo

Stefanie Marshall

Stefanie is a writer and a hopeless romantic. Probably both because of the other. She likes her whiskey neat and her men bearded. Mostly, she's told she's the good kind of terrifying.

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