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I know that this post is going to make me sound like kind of a jerk, and I’m okay with that. Sometimes the truth hurts.
I’m the kind of person that has imagined getting married ever since I was a young girl. I always wanted to find that one person that meant so much to me that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with them. I’m lucky enough to be able to say I have found my soulmate. We have never fought, we agree on everything imaginable, even stupid little things that couples argue about. When we do have any kind of difference in opinion, we talk about it and understand both sides and come to agreements without yelling or fighting or getting frustrated. We enjoy doing all the same things together. We say things at the same time, or say what the other is thinking before they can say it. We don’t say things to intentionally make each other feel bad, or spite each other. We take each other for all our insecurities and faults and love each other for every single one.
Honestly, I can’t think of one thing I don’t like about my relationship. I can’t think of a time he has ever made me cry, or made me angry, or made me feel bad about myself. Actually, every day I spend with him he makes me feel amazing about myself. He motivates me and pushes me and is there for me in any situation. We do it all together. We plan for the future together. I know, I know, everyone thinks their relationship is perfect. Well I’m genuinely marrying the guy who is more perfect for me than I ever thought any man would be. I’m extremely lucky and amazed on a daily basis.
Now that you have an idea of how I feel about my relationship and how it should be, let me get to the real point here.
Recently, a friend’s friend got engaged. Nothing against her, or her partner. Not at all. My distaste is towards the engagement and the relationship. See, as a friend of a friend you end up knowing a lot about other people that you probably shouldn’t know. My friend tells me everything and talks about other stuff going on in his life with me of course, because we’re best friends. And if I had to make a judgement about their relationship (which I do, and I’m not ashamed of being judgemental), I would say that their marriage isn’t going to last.
Sounds like a jerk thing to say, right? What gives me the right to judge someone else’s relationship? I’m not some relationship expert and I’m certainly no therapist or counselor.
The reason I say it is based off of the things I know of the relationship that I just feel like anyone would hear and wonder why they are together.
In a nutshell, they have probably both come close or actually have cheated on each other. That right there seems like a no no. If I had a good reason to think someone was cheating on me, why would I marry them? You’re setting yourself up for a life of possible failure. One of the people in this relationship has kids, and they have fought multiple times about how her partner wouldn’t help with the kids. The one in the relationship who got proposed to had been trying to force her partner for months to propose to her because she knew she had a ring. They fight constantly about stupid shit. On top of that (and many other things) they now post things on Facebook EVERY DAY about their engagement, shoving it in the world’s face. Of course I posted a picture of my ring on Facebook, and told everyone and got excited. But I’m not making it a point to constantly make sure everyone remembers that I’m getting married. The important people know. The important people will be there, not just friends on social media that I knew 5 years ago and don’t talk to. And don’t they say that a sign of a good relationship is one that stays off Facebook?
I wouldn’t be quite as confident about their marriage failing if it wasn’t for my friend who is very close with this couple. HE SAID THE SAME THING I DID.
Sometimes, you can just tell when two people aren’t right for each other. The sad part is that when you’re in the actual relationship, you can’t see it or you ignore it.
I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to get married if they want to. I think my thing is that I wish people would take marriage more seriously. I can say 100% without a doubt in my mind that there is no one better for me than my fiance. I could just be biased because my relationship is so amazing, but I just think that if you’re fighting with the person you live with every other week, maybe that’s not who you want to spend the rest of your life with. And you posting on Facebook every day about how happy you are and how perfect your relationship is, isn’t fooling anyone. I know, because I’ve done that. Somehow, in other relationships I’ve had that were bad for me, making Facebook posts about things we did together that were actually good made me feel better about the relationship. Trying to prove to the world that the relationship is good so you feel better about staying in it isn’t exactly healthy. It’s just a disguise. Hiding the bad and only showing the good is like putting icing on dog poop.
Marriage isn’t something people should do to try and repair a relationship. It’s a serious thing that people should ONLY do if they feel like they are 100% in the best relationship they can be in. If that kind of relationship is the kind that one would think is perfect for them…
well that’s why divorce exists.
So, recently a best friend of mine that went to high school with me moved back from another state. My best friend that lives with me was close with both of us and when we were in high school we used to be a little group and hang out all the time. We did everything together. Went on adventures to abandoned or haunted places, drove all around and did stupid shit, and smoked a whole bunch of pot together. We basically did what any other kids in high school would do. Although we like to think we were cooler than everyone else. We would purposely drive around and look for places we could go to smoke pot together and not get caught. When high school ended we all went our separate ways. I moved to a state far away, my current best friend stayed where he was, and our mutual friend didn’t graduate from high school and moved away to another state with her boyfriend.
Now, when she came back we were super excited. We thought to ourselves how great it was going to be to have the group back together and how it would be just like old times and it would be awesome.
It turned out not to be so awesome.
I found out accidentally that she was moving back. I had commented on something she posted on facebook out of the blue and she messaged me afterwards. She told me she was coming back and that she would be staying at her new boyfriends’ place some nights and couch surfing the rest of the time. Naturally i immediately told her that she could come stay some nights if she had no other place to go and she immediately seemed to assume that we would just be her hotel all the time. She said how her boyfriend would give us money to house her and whatever we paid for for her would be reimbursed. We didn’t think much of it at the time because we were just excited to have our old friend back.
And then it began.
We picked her up (naturally, she has no car or job of course) and she stayed at our place for a few nights. We wanted to welcome her back so we bought a bunch of booze and pot just to have for old time’s sake. The entire time all she wanted to do was be on her phone facebook messaging her boyfriend or using one of our phones to call him and assure him she wasn’t doing anything she wasn’t supposed to be doing. Sounds like a healthy relationship right? The rest of the time if she wasn’t doing that, she was smoking our cigarettes and we also felt obligated to feed her since she had no money and was staying with us. We went to the mall and she asked me to buy her tapers to stretch her ears bigger. That was the first warning sign to me. She was now asking for us to pay for shit that SHE DIDN”T NEED. You need food. Cigarettes I understand and I’ll usually share them with anyone. We went to another friend’s house and brought a bottle of alcohol we had bought and decided it was hers to try and make everyone else there at the house drink- even though we had paid for it.
To be honest, it sucked mostly because although we had fun with her and talked about old times and it was cool that she hadn’t changed, it was also a bad thing that she hadn’t changed.
We didn’t mind helping out and providing for her a little bit. After all, she is our old friend and we still wanted to have that relationship with her. The problem was that although we had stayed the same and retained our personalities and still did the stuff we wanted to do, we also have changed. We became more responsible. We make money. We pay for our own bills. We have our own vehicles. We have a stable place to stay in that we pay for and we never ever have to ask anyone for help or money for anything.
The first time she stayed with us we kind of let it go a little bit. We wanted to give her a chance and be able to have our friend. We wanted to be understanding of how she is and supportive since she doesn’t have a whole lot going for her.
It wasn’t long before we realized it just wasn’t going to work.
She had promised us that she would pay for us to go grocery shopping next time we picked her up, as her way of paying us back. (it was supposed to be her boyfriend’s money of course). So the next time we went to get her (oh, and she doesn’t exactly live close by, so there’s also the whole gas money thing) she said we would go shopping. Turns out, we first go to get her and end up sitting in her boyfriend’s driveway for over an hour waiting for her because she was busy polishing off a case of beer while we waited. Then on the entire drive home all she did was try to scream over the music to talk to us (in a super annoying drunk way, and not about anything actually relevant, just drunk stuff). She stole my friend’s cigarettes when he was sleeping. She tried drinking all the alcohol we had leftover from the last time she was there. Then we come to find out that we were apparently supposed to wait until her boyfriend was off work and try and make plans for this guy to go grocery shopping with us. Are you kidding me? This guy we don’t know at all, me, my best friend, and my fiance are all supposed to build our schedule around this person who is supposed to be paying for all the shit we’ve paid for for her?
To top it all off, she then, as we were leaving, came over to the car and gave us $10 and 4 cigarettes. 4.
We spent at least $10 on her just in food probably over the course of two days of her being with us. Let’s just look at that on top of the booze, countless cigarettes, and gas to get her and drive all over the place.
This post isn’t necessarily just to bash her or make her look bad. The main point is the reflection. I find it interesting that over the years, I’ve done a lot of growing and learning. I had an urge to be independent and strong and make my own way in life. I wanted to be successful and not need other people. And I did just that. We look back and think about all the good times we had and all the crazy shit we did and laugh about it and maybe do some more crazy shit. At the end of the day, we are adults now and we have responsibilities and we have learned to prioritize.
No less than 5 years later, we’re all back together and she’s the only one out of the 3 of us that has gone absolutely nowhere in life. She still has no job or money. No ambition. Still leeching off others (which is kind of different when you’re 17). She has no care in the world. Lives out of a backpack. Steals coffee creamer from gas stations. is perfectly content with just leeching off of others and not going anywhere in life. This girl doesn’t even have an ID or social security card.
Part of me thinks that maybe I’m wrong and maybe that’s just an acceptable way to live. Not having a care in the world sounds pretty great to me. She doesn’t have to be at work on time, she doesn’t have to save money or pay bills or worry about sales goals.
But then I look at everything I have and I think to myself how I would never let my life get to that point, and I begin to understand. Some people just don’t give a shit because they don’t have that will or ambition in their brain, or maybe they never had anyone to look up to to lead them down the right path. I personally didn’t have family that did that for me, but was lucky enough to have the drive to make a life for myself. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to have money and make money. I wanted to have a husband one day and go on cool vacations and have my own place to live in that was MINE, that I earned and worked hard for and put blood sweat and tears into. I wanted to have my own dog that I could feed and walk and cuddle with and love. I wanted my own furniture and house decorations and my own food in the fridge.
Maybe other people want those things and just don’t have the will to go out and get them. Maybe all those things aren’t important to everyone. Maybe in some way, it’s okay to just live life with no purpose other than fucking around.
It’s just not the life for me.
So everyone, recently I entered a contest from a literary journal I found on here. It was to be an essay that could be anything you wanted relating to “April”. Well, although I did not win the top prize they still decided to publish my essay which I am very excited about! It feels like I made a little progress. Below is my essay and also the link to view the journal’s website if you wish to see it and the other winners.
The month that started it all.
The month that ended it all.
As unexpected a time as any, April is no longer a month that brings light and renewal into my life. Only despair. Others around me rejoice in the glow of new birth and the green retaking its claim on the earth. Everyone else feels invigorated for the change of the seasons and I feel nothing.
I feel worse than nothing. Instead of feeling the warmth of April, I have become obsessed with the dull grey cold of death.
It was in April that he crossed my path. On a fresh new day, I just so happened to be traversing a path through the trails in the woods when he stumbled into my life. It was a chance meeting, but meant to be. No other had made my heart sing the way he did when I first saw him. It was the perfect time of year to meet my soulmate. No one else made me feel as though I was just as beautiful as the delicious reds of the roses that bloomed, or the joyful pink hues of the tulips.
April was beautiful.
And now I detest it.
Every piece of April brings memories of him. I look into the falling rain and remember how we held hands and walked through the refreshing rains together, taking in the smell and the cool feeling on our skin. How it gave new life to everything around us and seemed to give life to us as well. How I looked into your eyes as it poured down upon our heads, and they seemed to sparkle with determination, strength, will, and most of all love. How his eyes showed me his soul, glistening with a fire you only find once in a lifetime.
April took that fire away from him, and that sparkle away from me.
And I can never have it back.
I walk down the street and see his house, recalling how we walked around his neighborhood for hours, talking about anything and everything, or nothing. It never mattered. We reveled in each other’s company. Laughing, telling serious stories from the past.
He would grab my hand and stop me and kiss me out of nowhere. In those kisses I felt all of his passion, all of his heart, all of his everything. Like I was his lifeline, the only thing keeping him alive.
The truth was that it was him keeping me alive. That in April I found my purpose in him. And in April he took it with him when he went away. He took a piece of me I had long been searching for, and will never have again. I never kept him alive. It was always him.
I can’t even go to the store down the street without him prying his way into my mind. The entirety of my being tries to go on. I wander the streets to try and forget, trying to escape the wicked grip this devastation has on my mind, and I end up seeing him. The time we went to the store, got food, sat down on the top of the hill outside the store to eat together and bask in the warm April sun. Gentle April wind ruffled our hair and made us feel alive, like nothing could touch us.
How wrong we were.
Now I lie awake for hours. I write and write and write and write, about these times I’ve had that held my heart and made me feel invincible. Now those times make me feel broken, like the last piece of my heart is still deteriorating day by day. I write desperately hoping that all my thoughts and feelings will escape through my pen onto this paper and save me from insanity. They warp my head and what’s left of my heart.
April. It’s bad the entire year, every passing second of agony turning into minute into hour into day into month to month to month to April. April is the worst. April is when the memories are the freshest, down to the date we met to the date we first kissed.
I can’t sleep when all I can think is how I could do nothing to keep him, how I was completely powerless, how I had no way to bring him back. As cigarette smoke hazes the room and ashes dust my desk, I struggle to fight the allure of death as an escape from my mental anguish.
It could be an answer, an escape from April.
I couldn’t keep him for myself, but I could find him again.
I can’t be strong for him, and I can’t be strong for myself. He wanted me to be. He asked me to be. It just isn’t enough to make me feel the pain any less. I thought it would be lessened in time, but it isn’t. Every April that rolls around just makes it feel new again. Instead of feeling the new birth of life in the world, all I feel is fresh reminders of pain that pierce my heart. Would he be ashamed of me? Would he be upset with me? Would he tell me I was wrong, that I had a life to live? Would he understand?
Maybe he would tell me I’m not the person he thought I was.
But what does it matter? I would rather be with him than live this half-life, grasping for some piece of the past every day.
I stand in the rains now, no longer feeling the invigoration on my skin. All I feel is cold freezing my bones in the downpour, silently wishing he would come home. Silently screaming to the sky that it wasn’t fair, that he deserved better.
But April took him away. April made me miserable. April is the reason I’m alone.
It’s the only answer. It’s been far too long, and I can no longer bear this pain.
I will say goodbye to April forever.
No one wants to be alone. Love is one of the most sought after things in life for me, and so is companionship. I grew up trying to make friends, maintained relationships with our families, and spent plenty of time looking for someone to spend my life with. It turns out that one of the most important things in the average person’s life, finding a partner, is one of the hardest and one of the ones that wore me out the most. After looking for a great deal of time in my life I finally almost gave up. If I had given up, I would never be where I am today and I would definitely not be as happy as I am today.
My story starts with my work life. I spent a lot of time focusing on the same job- six years, in fact. My goal was to climb that corporate ladder, as cliché as it sounds. I worked for the company first as a salesperson, then as a team lead, a supervisor, and then a manager. I spent all my time thinking about how I could get promoted, how I could do things better, and how I could get noticed. When I did find someone that I was compatible with, they were usually working for the same company as well. I didn’t really have time to be out and about much searching for the “right” person. I figured they would just come along through my adventures at this job, and anyway getting promoted and being successful was definitely a top priority.
I spent years dating people that weren’t right for me, just like everyone does when they’re not completely focused on love or when they don’t really have time to look in places that aren’t related to work. I wanted nothing more than to have someone to come home to at night, to share my day with, to love and laugh with and forget the day’s troubles. I just kept holding myself back from going out and finding that person because work was always more important. Meanwhile, I struggled to make myself known within the company and struggled to accomplish a goal in a company I ended up staying with for way too long. It took me too long to realize it, but I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be, and I also didn’t have the relationship I wanted. I ended up dating a girl I met online since I really had nowhere else to meet people. She was nice and we hit it off so we ended up dating. She was decently pleasant to be around, and I was rather taken with her for the first few weeks of getting to know her. Unfortunately, however, that did not last. The relationship ended up becoming rather boring, and I realized I was just kind of going with it. Why? It wasn’t terrible and I didn’t want to be alone. At that point I had pretty much given up on finding what I suppose you could call my “soulmate” and I was really just settling for someone who was okay for me, but wasn’t perfect for me. Little did I know my world was about to be turned upside down by one turn of events.
It all started because of a temporary promotion I got at work. There was a job opening for a manager in a store almost an hour away from my house, but I saw it as an opportunity to network, and to gain more managerial experience. So, being the ambitious person, I went for it and I got it. The spot was temporary due to it being a fill in for a manager going on maternity leave. It was right around the holidays, and the store needed a manager to be there to keep the specific department I would be managing running smoothly during the busy season. I got to the store and met all the employees I would be managing, but one stuck out to me in specific.
She was tall, slender, and beautiful, with hazel eyes tinted green and shoulder length reddish hair that gave her an edgy look. However it wasn’t just her physical features that stuck out to me. Everything about her from the moment I saw her screamed that she was something special. Her vibe boasted confidence and strength, and she was immediately friendly with me from the first conversation we had. Right from the start I felt as though I had already been friends with this girl for a long time. Getting to know her at work was an immense pleasure. She worked harder than every other employee, stayed late or came in early if needed, always looking for an opportunity to make more money or move up in the company if possible. She did all this but had fun while doing it and brought one of the funniest, quirkiest personalities to the store. She easily influenced everyone around her and her vibrancy resonated throughout the store.
She may have caught my eye in more than one good way but I did not want to let that distract me from my goal- working hard to move up in the company. However there was no way to stop our friendship from growing. We hit it off better than I ever had with anyone before and it surprised me. The only problem was that at the time, she had a boyfriend and I had my relationship. I assumed nothing would happen between us, I was going to do my time at her store and go back to my regular life.
How wrong I was.
The night before my last night at her store, we were closing up together and got to talking. We talked about her relationship and she asked me for advice- she wasn’t happy in her situation and had feelings for someone else, but didn’t know what to do. I confessed to her that I was in the same spot and we ended up admitting to each other how we felt. We both went home very confused that night. What followed was a long, intense conversation that included a lot of smiling and thinking, “wow this girl is amazing!”. We texted each other nonstop the entire next day while working together, trying to hide our smiles slyly so that it wouldn’t be obvious what was going on between us. The conversation just couldn’t end because it kept getting better and better the more we talked and learned about each other. The feelings were literally the most intense thing- to this day they still are, and she agrees.
An entire group of us went out to a restaurant that night as a kind of going away party for me. We sat at the table and texted each other the entire time. We were still trying to hide our situation from our co- workers. Next thing you know, she ended up drunk and I was taking her home. I took her to a coffee shop to try to help her sober up, and the next thing I know, she kisses me.
That moment was one of the most memorable things that has ever happened in my life. I have never felt such a spark, such a ridiculously fantastic feeling in my life as the feeling that exploded into my heart on that night when we first kissed. We sat for a while discussing our next moves, what was going to happen, and so on. We ended up hanging out a few days later, and both broke up with our respective partners not long after. It didn’t take long at all for us to fall in love, as we so told each other laying under the stars on one cool December night. From there, it took off. Our passion is greater than anything I have ever experienced. She inspires me and motivates me. She makes me do and try things I’ve never tried before. She thinks and feels the same things I do at any given time. She agrees with me on everything imaginable. I am far, far, far better off with her than any of those other girls I may have ended up settling for. She is my soulmate, and if I hadn’t taken a chance and told her how I felt, I would probably be in the same boring life and the same boring relationship, never trying for more and always just settling. Who knows, I may never have gotten engaged either.
Her love is the most precious thing in my life. Her love is the reason I can make it through a rough day at work, or any bad time in general. If I had given up, ignored our connection and just stayed where I was, I definitely would never have been as happy as I am now. In life, you have to take chances. You have to go for things you want. Even if they’re just a little out there, if there seems like there could be even the slightest chance or feeling that something good could come of it, you should do it. If you end up settling in a relationship or a job that is just okay because it’s not terrible, you’re probably not living life to the fullest. Life is full of chances but nothing great ever happens by just sitting and waiting. Sometimes you just have to go for the things you want. No one should settle just to avoid being alone. If a relationship isn’t right, move on. You can find someone that without a doubt makes you happier than you’ve ever been. If you’ve been working the same job for six years and still feel like you haven’t made enough progress, motivate yourself to do better, or to find something new. We only get one life to live. Living it to the fullest and to the happiest extent we can ensures that it doesn’t go to waste. No one wants to be alone, but that doesn’t mean you should be with the person that comes along that is just tolerable. No one is perfect, but someone out there is perfect for all of us. You just have to take the time and not give up, and you can find them.
The bed is warm from a big fluffy soft blanket and body heat. I snuggle as close as I can. This is the time of the day to be cuddly and savor every precious minute before my favorite person goes away all day long. I really need to go to the bathroom but I can’t wake her so I wait. She gets up and she can see the excitement in my movements. She shuffles around, being affectionate with me to enjoy those same last few precious minutes in the heavenly folds of the blanket.
She gets ready and I wait patiently, but also wanting her to hurry. Finally I get to go outside and enjoy the fresh new day, the fresh new air and a new excitement. I enjoy it with her for a while, then we return to the inside. She gives me love before she leaves. Tells me “Be good.”, walks out the door. I wait. I stay with him and lean up against him while he plays video games. I steal his spot when he leaves, but he gives me love nonetheless.
We wait all day together for her to come home. He goes outside with me again, and the air is cooler but we enjoy it. We go inside together and have something to eat. I lay down on the couch afterwards, full from dinner. It’s always the same thing.
Finally, I hear a car door. Happiness leaps into my heart and I become antsy as I hear her ascending the stairs. The door opens, and I can contain myself no longer. I go right to her and show her how much I love her and how much I waited all day for her return. She hugs me and kisses him. We all hug, just like a loving family should. We all hang out for a little while, and then they take showers. I walk up to the tub and they splash water on me and so I run away. I come back as they are drying off and they go back to the warm comfy bed. It’s so luxurious and filled with love and cuddling and it feels like home. We lay down together and keep each other warm. I adjust my spot where I want to sleep a few times, while laying on my loves and pawing at them playfully. Finally they stop talking and the light is off. I curl up, and drift away to dreams.
I am Apollo. I am a basenji and I am fickle, intelligent and loving. I am playful in a way that is different from normal dogs. I can’t bark, but I can yodel. I have pointy, erect ears with fantastic hearing. I hate water. I will try to outsmart you, and I might win. I will learn quickly but only follow commands if I think it will benefit me, or if I happen to be feeling extra love today. I get yelled at for things and then do them again later even though I understand what I’ve done is wrong. I just wanted to do it. You must keep things you do not want chewed away from me in the safest possible way- if I want something bad enough I will find a way to get it. I will make you laugh because I did something good, cute, or even bad. When you walk in the door I will make you happy by acting like I haven’t seen you in years. You are my human, and I am your companion. We understand each other and love each other with all the innocence in the world. I am your dog.
And you are my best friend.
You turn your car on. Plug your phone into the charger, connect the bluetooth in your car to your phone, and open up the music app you use every single day on this drive. Sometimes you have music in mind that you want to listen to or gets stuck in your head, which means you need to listen to it as soon as possible. Most days you put that thing on shuffle and just let it surprise you.
You notice you’re closer to the city.
You might have been thinking about your relationship, and it made you want to listen to The 20/20 Experience album by our good ol’ classic J.T.. Specific parts of songs make you relive moments in your mind. You remember the first time you looked into that person’s eyes. You recall the fireworks that happened inside when you first touched lips. You left your current partner at the time for this person and dealt with problems because of it. You feel their pain at losing you. You build your life with your soulmate. You feel every part of every moment just by listening to this one album.
You realize the bridge is coming up soon, and drive under an overpass right before it.
You might be listening to Death Cab for Cutie, and it reminded you of all the hard times you had with relationships when you were younger. you see all the events of your struggles right before your eyes. You were hurt so many times, and learned so many lessons. You looked back on even hard times with fondness, because you are finally free. You feel all those years past rush around you with warmth just by listening to this one album.
You get off the interstate and get on another highway, a smaller one.
You might be listening to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” as you travel quickly down to the right exit, speeding up as you feel the excitement of one of your favorite memories fills you up with happiness, sadness, longing and nostalgia all at the same time. You recall your best friend driving his car with the top down way too fast down a major road in your town leaning back and looking up at the stars together, all in 40ish degree weather. Not a care in the world. And feel the all too familiar regret that you can never have moments like that with him again, because he was the victim of a cruel, unfair fate. You feel all those moments wash over you with a reassuring sense of closure, almost as if he felt your sadness and hugged you.
You get off the highway.
You turn the music down a little, as you mentally prepare yourself for a nine hour shift, now very close to your job. You enjoy a few last beats as you focus on parking and getting all your stuff together to get out of the car. The music stops and you get out of your car and look towards your building, the last few lyrics fading from your mind.
You start to walk in and those feelings all fade, as if they were only an wisp of smoke. You don’t even think about any of those things that all meant so much to you ten minutes ago.
You feel all those emotions fade into your mind again, almost as if they were never there at all.