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A Frigid Goodbye
It was a brisk December night, the coldest it had been in months. I listened to the wind whistle in the air as I looked out my bedroom window. Delicate white feathers of snow fell from the sky, all heading in the same direction. The snow stood out in the dark of the night, like a single white light in a black, empty room.
But I wasn’t there to watch the snow.
I was there to wait for him to show up.
He had phoned me earlier today, leaving a conspicuous voicemail of which I could not seem to get out of my head.
“Hey Maya. I’m still coming over tonight but I have to let you know that there’s something I need to talk to you about. It’s…been on my mind for a while now. Just letting you know that this won’t be one of our usual Saturday nights. Please don’t worry though. I’ll uh see you later.”
His shaky voice echoed in my mind on full volume. My stomach had one of those twisted knots that are tied so tight it’s impossible to undo. So much for him asking me not to worry.
How could he not know that I anticipated what was coming to me? He was probably afraid that I would go right back into the stage I was in before I went to a psychiatrist. Back when I would look the inner skin of my arms and see nothing but red marks of insecurity. The time before he made my life worth living.
I pushed my forehead against the window and squeezed my eyes shut. The coldness froze my blistering headache as I let a slow breath out.
I opened my eyes and saw a dark figure walking up the sidewalk to my front porch. The figure’s moment was slow and uncertain, not knowing whether to keep going or to turn around.
It was him.
I reached the door and opened it before he had a chance to ring the bell. His emerald eyes burned into mine as he stepped inside and closed the door. I backed up a bit as he wiped his shoes on the welcome mat.
His cheeks were blushed from the harsh winds and his snow dusted hair, as dark as the sky, was neatly disheveled. If I hadn’t already known what was going to occur next, I would’ve been aghast by his continued perfection.
He looked at the ground taking deep breaths, a definite sign that he was nervous.
I couldn’t wait any longer.
“Look, if you’re going to break up with me just say it already. Don’t make me wait any longer than you already have,” my voice said to him in the emptiness of the foyer. My tone reflected that I was on the verge of tears.
“I don’t understand. Things were going perfectly fine. Why would you want to do this to me? Why would you-“
“Just let me talk damn it!” he yelled angrily, his voice creating a spooked echo within the house.
I bent my head to the ground and bit my lip to keep the tears from spilling out. But the wooden floors began to blur before my eyes. I looked up to see his ashamed face looking towards my tormented one.
“Maya I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “I didn’t mean to…I…I didn’t want to yell at you. But just hear me out okay?”
I briefly nodded and braced myself for his words.
“Before we met, I saw you walk the halls every day with your head down, ashamed of yourself for no reason. Then when I caught you cutting yourself I knew I had to help you. Sure, the psychiatrist helped you a lot but once you and me started dating, it’s like you became a whole new person. I’m glad that you’re happy again but I feel like I’m the only reason that you’re happy.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“The thing is…when I asked you out I wanted to see if you were capable of having fun. Capable of enjoying your life. And it turned out you were. But you’re always so dependent on me to keep you happy. What’s going to happen in the future? Did you think we’re going to be together forever?”
My voice got quiet. “I thought you loved me. I thought…I thought you truly cared.”
“Maya I do. I’m just saying that-“
“You’re just saying that you can make me happy but I can’t do the same for you. You can’t take it anymore. You’re suffering because of me.” My voice was louder this time and a bit angry. I was surprised at the words coming out of my own mouth.
“You’re getting this all wrong. I have loved being with you, Maya.” he said gently, those beautiful eyes still looking into mine.
Liar. He’s such a liar. I’m so conceited, making him be with me all the time just so I could get out of my depression. It’s almost as if my depression has rubbed off on him. I knew what I had to do.
I took a deep breath and said, “Go.”
“What?” he asked in a perplexed manner.
“Go. Leave. Walk out that door and never come back because I know I’m making you unhappy. Go live the life you were meant to have. Please, just go.”
I took a shaky hand and slowly put it on the gold door handle. I opened the door and a crisp breeze hit my face with the power of freedom. I gently pushed him outside.
He stood on the snow covered cement porch with shame written all over his face.
I quickly shut the door but I still saw the image of him standing there.
I refused to look out the window so I walked into the kitchen and sat down on a solid wood chair. Tears ran down my face, creating a storm of self-pity.
I looked at the scars on my inner arms. The faded red lines haunted me with memories from the past. The time before I knew he even existed.
I reached for the scissors.