Sunday, July 26, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

She was not good at ending things.

The night before she boarded the bus, she told him she was only going home for Thanksgiving. She did not tell him that she had quit her job, arranged to keep her meager belongings in her friend's basement until she could send for them, or that her ticket was one way. She let him make love to her, let him kiss her, whisper how much he would miss her until she returned. She knew that it was an ending but she could not tell him. She lied to herself a little in those moments where he held her, kissing her, touching her body. She thought that maybe she would return. Maybe, she thought, things would appear different when they were apart. Maybe loneliness would make the pain that she felt with him bearable. Without purpose at home might create purpose when with him. But as she boarded the bus, without him there, waving goodbye to her friend, she knew that she would not return.

The first few weeks were bearable. Those warm moments when you've returned gave her enough high to ignore the pangs she felt when laying alone at night. She visited those friends abandoned by her sudden passion and then move far from home. The days were fine enough but the nights were sleepless with the ghost of his hands on her body, his disembodied voice telling her that he loved her, that she was his great passion. She would lay there in the dark, listening to the wood sounds of rural Maine, reliving those moments with him like a movie clip flashing on the bare walls of her brother's room. She felt crippled when she awoke in the morning. Unable to pull herself from the bed, unable to face another day knowing it was over. She would lay there and play through conversations she would have with him. How easy it would be to call him, ask him to send her the money to come back. She invented the script that her return would invoke.

But the reality was that he did not call her. He did not beg for her to come back. And in the watery daylight of the late Maine fall, she remembered why she had left. Reality found itself hung on the bleak branches outside the kitchen window, on the dirt road that ran by the house. Being alone was better than feeling insecure, unsure, and unwanted. Her pride wasn't much to look at but it was enough to keep her from begging him to bring her back. She had plans now, in the daylight with her coffee on the table. Her ending with him meant new things for her. But really she had never ended things, and that might be what lead to those flashing memories late in the cold night.

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