Explain yourself! The thought hammers at me once more. I hear it begging me to fill the stony silence he has created with words. A plea urges me to use words to vindicate myself and make him realize that he wants to keep me around.

Say something! The thought is a recurring chant in my head. It has all gone wrong and someone has to take the blame, and I’m my favorite whipping boy.

The words gather in my throat and pool in my mouth, so many words are in me. So many words, and yet, I don’t have the ones that will make him stay. I’m right, I know this deep in my soul, but knowing and accepting are two very different things. I cannot let him go while there is still breath in my body and there are still words in my mouth. He means too much to me for me to abandon what we have like that. Love only stops being love when both parties stop fighting for it. I’m willing to fight for us until he sees how much he loves me again.

A couple kissed in a corner ignoring social rules on public displays of affection. I remember when we were once like that. Not kissing in the open, of course. I’m too self-conscious for that, too worried about who might be watching and what they would think. I remember the reckless abandon with which we loved each other. We behaved like we were the only ones in the world because we were each other’s world.

That’s what he wants now, a young woman, younger than I am. Someone who could give him what I once did in when he still saw me as a brand new adventure. When he was the romance novel hero, and I, his heroine, how long ago was that? A brief moment of calculation solves that riddle for me. Not that long, but already I have lost my shininess, there is nothing left of me to discover and marvel at. Now, I am the annoying girlfriend who wants to know things. My presence stops him from meeting more interesting people. Interesting. Life comes at you fast.

A brief flash of anger lights me up from the inside out. This is the dark corner where our love has crawled into to die. Am I supposed to accept that with equanimity like I do everything else? Well, I won’t, I have loved him enough to get us through so much, and I will not stop now.

The desperation leaks in, poaching my grief, anger, shock and any other emotion I have. It is one thing to suspect that the one you love has fallen out of love with you; it is another to know for sure. But the ability to accept this knowledge is something I know I do not have.

I will forever be grateful for the way he loved me, I will always want to try to love him enough for two. Moving on?? I have lost too much of myself in him to even consider the idea.

“Goodbye.” He says dispassionately. Now that I’m looking for it, I can see that towards the end, he was never interested in our interactions.

Don’t leave me like a pathetic broken thing. I want to stay here with him, as I have before, we’ve felt a bond before and we can feel it once more, all I need to do is try. I want…to belong, and where else would I belong, if not with him?

“Don’t leave!” I finally speak and I immediately wish I didn’t. Because my voice comes out shaky, like a broken doll speaking through a mouthful of glass. I hate myself for that voice, why would he want to stay when I sound so pathetic? I stare at him, letting all the hurt and love show on my face. I will not let our love go; I cannot let our love go.

He doesn’t feel the same, so he walks away, and like a whipped dog, I follow.

Categories: fiction

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