And just like that, it was over. Talks and arguments, questions and accusations, feelings of unease creating a growing rift between us, until a quiet Sunday evening as we shuffled around her apartment getting ready to walk to dinner, orbiting around each other but never quite touching like we had the whole weekend. Two bodies both attracted and pulled apart by the forces that kept us in motion. A simple statement from her shook it all loose: “We both seem to be waiting for the other to make a decision.” It was the trigger, that waving flag indicating the final lap as we hurtled towards what had become the finish line. I breathed deeply, said what I hadn’t wanted to say, and we stood for a moment in silence, pondering nothing but what we both knew would happen from here. We never even had to say it, it was painted in bright florescent letters in the air over our heads, visible from space. “It’s over.”
We went to dinner, talked like we always had, but almost with more freedom, knowing we had passed the point of treading carefully. We talked frankly about what we felt and what we would do. It’s what brought us together in the first place; neither of us were comfortable when we padded the truth. Still, even as we unwound the emotional spring that had precariously held us together for the past few months, there was still that dark electric current of tension riding my nervous system, radiating from that small corner of the brain that likes to torture you late at night with doubts about every atom in your body. That small, unhurried voice quietly muttering the simple yet scalpel-sharp question, “Did I fail?”
That night I booked an earlier flight home and the next morning I showered, packed my things, dropped my key on the table, and left. I perhaps rushed a bit, slinging my clothes on with business-like precision, feeling like lingering would only help amplify the doubt and discomfort. After a last embrace I stepped out into the cool morning and looked back once to see her silhouetted just beyond the screen door, the morning sun from the kitchen framing her as she walked away, twinkling through her hair. Another deep breath and I descended the stairs, strolling up the street to catch the last tram.