I cradled her in my arms. The comfort I was offering a lie in itself. The warmth of my caress born only of a last-minute affection for one who had, until recently, meant more than nothing. I'd lost sight of whatever glimmer within her had first drawn me in, but then, I hadn't particularly tried to hold on to it. I felt very detached, not superior, just apart; a stranger watching a couple while he waits for his bus. The steady shaking of her body had slowed down; she was saying something.
"…. promised me we'd always be together, you said we'd……."
Promises. You'd think they'd learn. How simple it is, for anyone with the slightest flair for the dramatic to say the right thing at the right time, using beautifully chosen words. Not too clichéd, not too obvious, something that seems spur of the moment. Look into her eyes, half-passionately, half-shyly, as if you are embarrassed by your own raging emotions. Pause a second, just long enough for her to anticipate what's next, and then say it. It doesn't really matter what you say exactly, whether it involves the stars, or the moon or her eyes. Its just part of the game. Everyone knows that, or so I'd thought. And here was this silly girl quoting back to me, word for empty word, my own fervent speeches, as if they were God's Eternal Truth. Now I was beginning to get irritated. Her wet cheek against my neck was fast becoming a nuisance. I moved slightly, as if to get her hair out of my face, but really to avoid the uncomfortable trickle down my back. The voice in my ear continued.
"…. remember the time when we'd taken that walk in the rain, down to the….."
No I didn't remember. It can't have been any different from the time I'd taken that same route with almost every other girl I knew. Why was this girl putting such a premium on meaningless memories? So we'd taken a walk, so she'd thought it was romantic. Maybe it was, but so what? I hardly think that qualifies it as a treasured moment in my life, one that, if brought up at a time like this, would make me revert my decision and bring back lost passion. The sheer childishness of the ploy revolted me; now I did feel superior.
"….don't know how you could do this to me after….."
Blame. Sure, go ahead. Blame me, curse me, do what you want. Just get it over with! Of course I could do this to her! If I'd cared enough about her we wouldn't be having this break-up. And it wasn't me doing it to her, come to that, she was doing it to herself. Hadn't she realized that she had driven me away with her constant attention seeking, with her nitpicking, with her jealousies? The way she would grill me when I forgot to call, or was a little late in meeting her. All under the transparent heading of 'How was your day?'
I'd gotten involved with her because she was a fun, easy-going person. I wanted a fun, easy-going relationship, instead she had packed up the rest of her life, and entered into a world that revolved solely around me. I was flattered for about three days, after that it just wasn't comfortable anymore. She was screaming now. Loudly, and shrilly.
"….gave up so much for you, sacrificed so much…."
Enough was enough. I'd behaved decently and done this face to face, the least she could do was breakdown someplace else. I had things to do; I had to get on with my life. There were other, more important people waiting for me. I couldn't help that her intense love for me had shattered her completely….
The fantasy finished for the thousandth time. He lay in bed, clutching himself, trying to dull the ache of rejection.. He'd get her somehow, someday. She'd love him again, and he'd break her heart, coldly, cruelly, just as she'd broken his. She'd cry, and she'd beg him to take her back. Next time things would be different….