[from A’s memory]: She looked me in the eye and told me how much my words hurt her, how my actions and lack of effort effectively left her feeling unwanted. That our time spent together, she could only cringe when remembering: what we did, what we didn’t, how I seemed impassive. I watched a single tear roll down her cheek and I felt the cold blow of reality hit me across the face.
I wasn’t completely oblivious, despite what I portrayed, my carefree mannerisms. Under the surface our problems had been on my mind for some time; but right then, hearing her say them out loud, and seeing her so beautiful and vulnerable in front of me, I felt so unreservedly ashamed.
For a while now, I had realised my mistakes, I had wished I had acted differently, but bad habits and male ego are something so thickly etched within our personalities that they are impossible to get away from. Until we finally look up and see the result of our actions piercing our heart with honest words. Until it was too late.
I tried to reach for her soft hands, but she moved them off the table, away from me. I searched her face to answer her confusion as to how we had gotten to this endlessly distant place. I found it hard to express myself but attempted to, I tried to formulate my sentences. Opened my mouth to start, closed it. I wanted to tell her she had been continuously on my mind, wanted to tell her I’m sorry for the way I had made her feel. I needed to make it all better, I needed to make her feel better. She put her finger to my lips. I closed my mouth, my words unformed; I slumped back into my chair. She was oblivious to the spark that ran down my body, as her touch brought back all the memories. She shook her head, I saw the lump in her throat. I lost all my words.
In that moment, I saw the full extent of her pain; her closed heart as she looked listlessly into my eyes, said a resigning ‘oh well’ without ever speaking the words. She stood up to leave. I couldn’t concentrate, she was saying her goodbyes, I racked my brain to understand how we had gotten here, how such friendship and longing for one another had ended so abruptly; how I was suddenly so immobile, so lost for words, for action. I wanted to tell her how I felt, to pull her into me, to stop her from walking away. But she wouldn’t give me the chance. Somehow she was slowly disappearing into the crowd.
[from my memory]: I walked away from him. Each step was the hardest I had ever taken in my life. My feet felt heavy and my legs shaking as the finality of the situation consumed me. Head down I moved through the crowd, everyone was a blur. With every breath I took, my tears collected in a pool in my eyes. I tried to stare at the exit so I didn’t crumble and turn around, beg him to want me, to hold me, to make everything okay again. My confidence shattered, my throat raw from last night’s shouting. I was both physically and emotionally seconds away from crashing to the floor.
Despite expecting too much from him, I could not believe the nerve of him to just watch, to not make me listen to his reasoning. Even if it was me who had silenced him, he stayed impassive, still, like his usual self, wall-like, ignorant.
However hard it was to see any glimmer of good in my current state, I knew I had done the right thing. Love or not, nothing should be this painful. Being the bigger person is never easy; spilling your heart out is even harder; worse yet being met with immature silence. But seeing it in this light, admitting the reality of his personality, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
I knew it was time to move on, and I was happy it was done. I could now start the healing process, and stop blaming myself for things not working out. His reserve was terribly heart-breaking; his ability to remain seated and not stop me walking away was beyond accepted norms. That was the final harsh slap I needed to be able to step out. That is who he was and not what I wanted.
That’s what he never realised.