I didn’t get dumped. I did not get divorced. We didn’t break up. We aren’t taking a trial separation. We didn’t even fight.
Normally, when two people in a sort of quasi-relationship of fifteen years finally part, there are fights that escalate into fireworks, or conversely, the fire slowly dwindles until it silently goes out with a tiny puff of smoke coupled with the realization that you aren’t in love anymore and maybe you had nothing in common in the first place. How did fifteen years go by and you didn’t even notice that? How did you spend fifteen years with someone who maybe wasn’t even right to begin with?
I got no fights. No fireworks. There was no breakup. There was no arguing it. There was no driving by his house. There was no stealthily stalking him. There were no drunken late night text messages trying to regain what we lost. I got none of that.
There was no pleading, bargaining, convincing, winning or stalking. He just disappeared forever with a tiny puff of smoke. Having the love of your life die on you feels like the worst break up imaginable times ten.
The last thing I ever said to him was, “90 degrees in March. Fuck LA.” I’m not even sure he saw that text. He was probably already dead.
When he visited in January, had I known it was the last time we’d circle the subject of our relationship–that it was the last time I’d see those blue eyes–things would have been different.
When he asked me what I wanted from him, I wouldn’t have said, “I don’t know.” I would have said, “I want you, dumbass,”
When he asked, “What’s going on with us?” I would not have said, “Is there an us?” It was hurtful, stupid and cowardly.
When he said, “The next 3 or 4 years are yours. I can’t promise anything after that,” I would have told him that he’s an idiot. I already had everything he had to give.
I didn’t get 3 or 4 years after that. I didn’t even get 3 or 4 months. When he said, “I love you and I always will,” I would have forced him to mean it for more than two months.
I can’t argue or plead with him to take me back. I can’t stalk him or talk shit about him on Facebook. This is as final as it gets.
For fifteen years, other than the occasional slip, I never stopped being a chickenshit. Even at the end, I was a coward. I would only dip my toes when I should have jumped in.
He knew what I couldn’t say. He knew, but I wish I had told him.