It would have been simpler if you had just hit me with your fist. 

It would have hurt less had curled your fingers up and slammed your fist into my gut.

No. Oh no, you would never hit me. You claimed you would never give in to the urge to physically hurt me. You denied that the urge was there, but I could see it. Please. After nine years I can read you like a book.

On the good days we inspired each other, brought out the best in each other. On the bad days we would stand, six inches apart, applying the verbal lash over and over. Flaying one another to the bone, stripping defenses down until nerves were raw and exposed. 

Even after all those years, all those fights, all the pain, I never threw that kind of insult at you. I never said anything that literally took your breath away, never dealt you a verbal sucker punch. Don't get me wrong, I'm certain that I hurt you. Intentionally or not, I know that it's true. I know we both bear scars on our hearts. But I never spoke to you the way you spoke to me. I never poured salt on the wounds.

You took every single self-doubt that I had, every aspect of myself that I hated, and threw them all at me. I sat there, wounded, in shock, seeing the rage and pain blaze in your eyes like wildfire.

If you had just made a fist, punched me in the gut, maybe we'd still be together. 

No. You had to wound me and then grab the salt and just rub it in there, didn't you? 

Fat. Lazy. Selfish. Mean. Bitch. 

Those words hurt. Can't deny that. But I've heard them before. 

Do you want to know what the last straw was? The word that hit me like a fist to the gut?

Barren.

BARREN.

How dare you?

How DARE you throw that in my face? 

You. You of all people. You who knew how I struggled with that diagnosis, who saw me weep every month, watched me grieve for another lost chance every time I bled.

Four years of a thousand tiny deaths. Every birth announcement, every baby shower, every happy family in a grocery store: they all left a scar.

Countless appointments, driving back and forth to clinics to undergo tests and invasive medical procedures. Always alone because your work schedule wouldn't allow you to join me. Trying to reign in my crazy mood swings from the drugs so that I didn't take everything out on you. Slogging through life on a second-string antidepressant because it would be safer during pregnancy. Drawing fluid into a needle and shooting myself up with hormones in the bathroom, alone, because you're afraid of needles. 

If those scars were physical instead of emotional I don't think I'd have an inch of pristine skin left at this point.

You condensed all of that pain and anguish into one little word.

Barren.

It took my breath away. I felt a chill ripple from the tip of my skull down to my toes.

And it was over. Over. In that moment, we were over. No going back. No patching it up this time. 

It would have been simpler if you had just hit me with your fist.

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