It started with a small crack. He had underestimated just how much small cracks mattered, but it made sense. A small crack was all it too to eventually break down any rock. One sentence, said once, and it changed everything.
It was always there, in the back of his mind. Other moments that would have meant nothing now had a way to worm their way into his mind. Fears that previously would have had nothing to latch onto now found a foothold. As time wore on and the crack grew bigger, he started to feel like he was looking at life through it. Everything came back to the crack.
If he’d done something about it when it was small, he might have been able to avoid the eventual breakdown. A small discussion or some work to try to patch things up. Anything would have been better than letting it go.
Eventually, it was ruining his life. The fear and doubt had wormed their way in so that there was almost nothing left to him but the rubble of his once unified sense of self. So he ended it. He broke it off.
It did not go well. She didn’t see what the problem was and she wasn’t willing to talk about how bad things had gotten. He wasn’t willing to try to make her see it. Eventually, after many tears on both their parts, they split up.
In the weeks that followed, as he swept away the rubble and tried to figure out what to do with what was left. Once he started picking up the pieces, it became clear he would never be the same. Eventually, he knew he’d be okay. Different, but okay.