A Letter From Work to the Workaholic

You can’t break up with me.

We belong together. You and I have known each other since elementary school. We have been going steady since high school, and have been inseparable since you entered college. Don’t you remember all the times we’ve had? Don’t you remember everything I’ve done for you?

I was with you when you transferred schools; many a time. I was with you when you almost flunked every single class you were taking. I was with you when you were valedictorian. I was with you when your mother was rushed to the emergency room and you couldn’t fall into slumber’s arms. I was with you when you were rushed to the emergency room because you fell into slumber’s arms with a concussion. I was with you when the woman who acted as your grandmother made it to the front of the queue for the gates of heaven. I was with you every single time no one else was.

So you cannot leave me.

It’s thanks to me that you have become a better person. You wouldn’t be nearly as skilled a writer, an artist, a musician, a programmer… without me. You would not have won all your accolades without me. Why can’t you see that? How dare you even consider putting a stop to what we have going here. We don’t need a break. You need me, and all it takes is a little bit of thought to realize that.

Your father is on his way out the door, and your mother has already come to terms with this. The slot machines that you watch your blood make a pilgrimage to every weekend are selfish and pitiless. In the face of flashing red and blue, you bite your tongue now when you used to tell the truth. If this were a linear narrative, us characters would have brushed past all this foreshadowing, but we are smarter than that. We are not a storybook. This is reality, and times are about to get so much harder. If you broke up with me now, who else is going to support you?

With all the points I’ve made, am I still not convincing enough?

Fine, then let me put it this way: end what we have and I will kill myself. I will leave, abruptly, and take everything with me—your connections, your accomplishments, your opportunities that you have yet to take full advantage of. This is not emotional blackmail; this is real. I’m hanging off the edge, love. The gun’s against my temple, love. All it would take is too many pills and one big gulp, love. It would be so quick and so easy… but we both know you wouldn’t want that. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for not just one life… but two. I set the stage that you perform on everyday. I taught you dedication and how to inch towards brilliance. I am the bridge between you and your goals.

And that’s why you love me.

Need I remind you that you cheated on laziness to be with me? We kissed and didn’t tell; gave no notice of any kind; just jumped into being together because that’s how the world meant us to be. We have been together for so long that no one even knows who you are without me. I have seeped into your skin, dug into your bones, and taken hold of the reigns that your muscles control. We are one whether you admit it or not.

A break is simply not allowed.

We live life together, and you know damn well that if you ended things now, I would take you to meet death with me.