The interiors of the coffee shop was warm and comfy. The conversations from the other tables – of teenage friends, business men…and lovers – created a happy drone of voices around us. The coffee in front of me is cold, like my heart. A numbness is spreading across me. You are looking outside the window. Maybe you already know the words I am choking on. A mad impulse seizes me – a desire to get this over with, for once and all. Like tearing a band-aid. You start off slow and then you peel it all off, in one hasty move, revealing the pink throbbing wound underneath.
“I can’t do this anymore” I blurt out.
I think I see you wince slightly. Your shoulders hunch.
My eyes sting, but I can’t take my words back. I don’t want to.
I squeeze my eyes tightly. No tears.
“I am sorry” I whisper.
It seems inadequate. I should probably say more. But I don’t know what, and so I remain silent.
The silence stretches on…
Finally, you look at me. A laconic smile plays on your lips – bitter but resigned. “I am too”.
The pain in your eyes stabs me like an ice-cold blade. I want to not care, and yet I do.
I know this was wrong. It was never going to work out. We were too different – you and I. Too headstrong. But it hurts all the same. There is a terrible, terrible blackness inside me. A hole where you used to be, till I ripped you apart.
The repressed tears sting my eyes.
I get up and leave.
Standing outside in the cool, fresh air, I realize I am relived. It feels like for these past few weeks I had been carrying a burden around with me, and now I have finally dropped it. I feel lightheaded, and that’s when I realize that as much as this hurts, I am happy.
I hate the fact that I hurt you though. Despite all that passed I still care about you…a little too much. I berate myself for not being more tactful; more kind? Maybe I should have waited a little longer, tried a little harder – maybe I could have taught myself to love you, as much as you loved me.
Yet if you are going to break someone’s heart, is there a ‘good’ way to do it? Now or later, this way or that, it was going to be painful. Maybe this was better, to get it over quickly. I don’t know. I guess I never will.
I walk away from the cafe.
I hope you have a good life, away from me. I hope you are happy.