I picked you up from work today, "I was just thinking about Monday..." you told me.
"Oh, Monday." I thought, "The worst day of my life in recent history!" I didn't realize today would mark the day where we trump that... Although I had a pretty good idea. Realizing quite some time ago you stopped looking at me like you cared at all, I accept my fate and drive thirty minutes out of my way to pick you up from work.
You get into my car already on the phone with your sister. Talking about financial matters of course, the ruling factor of all of our lives. Not wanting to be rude I start driving, the day started off normal why couldn't it end normal? Hey, maybe, just maybe you were referring to the fact that we overcame our argument and grew because of it. Maybe you were citing my speech about how much I care(d) about you, maybe you wanted to thank me and give me a hug for being, I don't know, supportive and loving. Perhaps you were going to apologize for the way you made me feel and reconcile with me.
Of course that little delusion was shattered so quickly I couldn't even pull out of the parking lot. Very quickly our conversation changes from "How was school?" to "It's cliche but it really is me!" I wasn't really interested in arguing or fighting it any longer. So I put on my alternative persona, the strong version of Ian. The one that can stand up to people and handle accusations. More importantly the one I've adopted every time someone I love walks out on me.
I tried to get you to spare the excuses, the reasoning, was there any really? Love isn't cause and effect. X doesn't cause Y and Y doesn't necessarily even exist in reality. Anyways, my current Ian was very mature and composed. Even though I didn't want to hear it I let you finish. Not that I really had an option! I was stuck inside that box for about an hour trying not to punch my window out or hang myself using my belt and sun visor.
Its unfortunate that it wasn't my fault. I really would have preferred it was. "Is she being honest with me?" I wondered. Because if you're truly being honest with me and I didn't have any say in it from the start what was the point? Why was I trying so hard and changing so much for something doomed to fail. Ian at that moment tried to play it cool, talk about the future and possibility of being friends. Honestly I think all of my personas believe(d) that were going to end up in each other's arms again before the end of the year.
Whoever I was at that moment, I wasn't sure I could do it without you. You gave me so much confidence and support its unreal. More than my family I've lived with 20 years can provide, more than my parents have given me throughout that whole time. How can I go back to the life I had before? You know the trick where someone pulls the table cloth out from under a dinner table and everything remains intact? Its like that... Except everything fell and broke.
You were the glue that held it all together. How can I return to my shitty part time job and feed my soul into people who will never see me as more than a name tag? Who's going to listen to and support me when I fail and my life is falling apart? Who's going to encourage me to enroll in classes and work on my writing? Who's going to give me ideas and tips on my stories?
I asked you some of these questions and you told me I did just as much for you, that I helped you just as much. How can that be true? How can you tell me I mean as much to you but you're willing to leave me? I just feel that working past our problems is a much better method than running away from them and avoiding our own issues. However I don't raise these points any further.
No, I had the chance to make the call Monday and I chose to fight for you. You chose to run today. There's no sense fighting a war no one is interested in winning, right? So we arrive at your house, my gas light on as usual. Somehow we managed to make a 30 minute drive take an hour, that can't be just traffic, right? It felt like time itself was fighting for us, giving us just that much longer to reconcile.
I slowly open my mouth, "Anything left to say?" I say as I stare with a blank expression at my steering wheel. It seemed that we talked out our reasons, our feelings and our regrets in a mere hour, I guess that's all the last two months have been worth to you. Hey, I get it, I'm definitely not worth a coffee. Hell at this point I'd settle for tea, or water or even gasoline and a match.
No that's all that's left to say. I couldn't even look at you. You say goodbye and I say one word, "Yup." That's what I muster. "Yup." No last kiss, I don't get out and hug you, I don't even look at you when I say it. I've always been horrible at saying what I feel. I've also been horrible at being assertive so when you combine the two I become a simple, one word person.
Being a creative writer I feel that my ability to express and speak should be greater. But they aren't and I'm not perfect. I have and probably always will have social anxiety. But this is my chance to speak my mind, even if it is writing and not speaking.
I've been waiting all day for the panic to start, for my life to start falling apart. And not a damn thing has happened. I guess that's an optional practice of a break up, or as I like to put it, "growing apart." You never held my hand at work, I forced my way in there and fought for myself every day. You never helped me study for my entrance exams, I did that myself. You never wrote my stories or edited them, you only gave me suggestions.
I can do this on my own. I can, I truly believe that or I can find someone else to do it with me. Don't misunderstand, this isn't a "Fuck you, I'm better off!" post. I just want you to know, I'll be alright. And maybe the panic will come, maybe I'll break down a few days later or even in a few hours but thinking clearly I feel pretty good.
Let me explain to you what I will be upset about. I love(d) you Claire. I love(d) waking up and talking to you first thing in the morning. I love(d) when you wrote to me or gave me mementos. I love(d) how hard and loud you laughed at my shitty jokes or just in general. I love(d) how passionate and creative and beautiful you are/were.
I'm upset that the night we danced on the rooftop is always going to be just a memory and never something we can revisit. I'm upset that I won't be able to go to open mic night or my favorite cafe without thinking about you. I'm upset when I write my story because I think about how you were and still are the only one in existence (except one schmuck in New York) who read it. I'm upset that I won't get to see you be happy again, that I'll never see love in your eyes again. I'm just upset thinking the last time I may ever see you my last word, not even words, was "Yup."
But as much as it sucks, I'm still glad I met you. Do you remember? It was raining just like this the day we met. The day we kissed. The day I fell in love with you. I saw this moment coming weeks ago but I couldn't let go. I'll tell you this much. In my experience it has always been easier holding on than letting go. Even if its better for everyone to let it go.
I hope you'll be happy. I hope you achieve your dreams. I hope you get your place and stay safe. Who knows, maybe one day we will run into each other again. Maybe then you'll be ready. Maybe if it is meant to be, it will be. If not I just hope we both find happiness, love and a place in this world. I love you Claire, but I want to let go.
Even though I want to, I feel like I never will. Now I stare at my phone waiting for a text or a call. I think about ways I could run down to your house and win you back. I thought about finishing my next chapter so I could send you a progress report. I know if you called me now I would answer, I know if you text me I would drop whatever I'm doing. I know if I saw you I would run up to hug you. I miss you already, six hours later. I hope you see this someday. I hope I hear from you again, I hope I hear from you soon.