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Totally Exonerated 

A partially redacted breakup letter

Hey, everybody. Some of you may have already heard that Laura and I have broken up. In our six months together, cohabitating for the last two months, we loved, laughed and, yes, discovered some incompatibilities. I'd like to believe we'll always be friends but that may take time. You know how it is! And I don't want anybody to feel like they have to pick sides. But some of you may have already heard her side of the story, which could, without context, be unflattering to me.

So I'm sharing the breakup letter she sent me, redacted to protect both our privacy. Reading what's there, I think you'll see that relationships are complicated. But ultimately, she was the worst and I am now on a path of healing and forgiveness. And available.

— Brad

click to enlarge seriously-2-9bbc58e5c4c60807.jpg

Following is Laura's unredacted letter to Brad:

Dear Brad,

I'd rather do this in person but the last time I tried to end our relationship I watched you down a family-size bag of Takis with a six-pack of Monster and I had to drive you to the ER.

Let's be honest. Living together was a mistake, except that it showed me how incompatible our habits are. I admit I'm a bit of a neat freak and maybe instead of enabling you by cleaning up I should have left your laundry and dishes all over. But it was not my fault your filthy socks, empty cans of Monster and half-eaten Hot Pockets covered every surface of our apartment. And for future reference, Axe Body Spray is not in fact, a great room freshener.

I was happy to pay the rent until things took off for you. I didn't care about the money and it was cool that you were involved in so many creative fields. I cannot believe I ever fell for your bullshit. Newsflash: posting reviews on Amazon does not make you a book critic, Brad. Just like staying up all night swearing at tweens on Fortnite isn't the traditional path to a career as a game developer. (A small complaint in comparison but I wish you would stop trying to sell my dad on Bitcoin. Because you clearly don't understand what the fuck it is.)

Easter brunch with my parents was a nightmare. I begged you not to show up drunk or high, but there you were in a soiled 4/20 T-shirt covered in leaves from the previous night, eyes like two red pinholes and reeking of Fireball. I'll never forget watching you jamming your fingers straight into the cream cheese frosting on the carrot cake, croaking, "This shit is bo-o-o-o-omb." Though the highlight was definitely you waving a lambchop with one hand and smacking my sister's ass with the other. This kind of shit is why she has always hated you and you are just lucky you passed out before my dad tried to murder you.

And as far as our physical relationship, I guess it was OK but there were some things we should have discussed before you sprung them on me as a surprise because I don't know how many people are into a guy coming out of the bathroom in the top half of a Gritty mascot suit with zero warning. If it hadn't happened in the middle of my book club meeting at our place that evening, we could have gotten past the awkwardness but who knows?

For the record, I wasn't even that mad about the porn you left on my laptop browser history, though looking back now all the interspersed hockey mascot sites was disturbing and probably should have registered as a red flag. But you were using my work laptop. Not cool, Brad. What I can't get over is the sheer volume of it. My god, the hours and hours you could have spent cleaning, making dinner or, hell, looking for a job. Nope, I am not going to miss all that.

I wish I had listened to my friends, who all said you were a hot mess, and not wasted half a year of my life and so many great chances to meet other people — and so much money on hockey games that I now feel super weird about — by staying with you.

Come by and get your crap sometime when I'm not around. And never call or text me again.

Or my sister.

— Laura

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor at the Journal. Reach her at 442-1400, extension 320, or Follow her on Twitter @JFumikoCahill.

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About The Author

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal. She won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 Best Food Writing Award and the 2019 California News Publisher's Association award for Best Writing.

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