Y looked like he was going to say something. We had been talking about my vacation plans and what we were going to do this weekend.
"I haven't fully formed the thoughts yet," he said, "but we've been going out for, what, four months now?"
And it's time to reassess.
And we did.
Or he did.
I'm familiar with the process. First, they say all the good things. I've been supportive during a difficult time. He really appreciates that. I felt my entire body start to shrivel, constrict, tighten. Then, once again I got to hear all the things that are wrong with me. I don't want kids (which is an oversimplification, really). I expect sexual exclusivity. I don't plan. I'm not career-oriented. I don't have goals.
Is this really the impression I give to people? I guess it is ...
"You can tell me what you think is wrong with me?"
"Well, I guess you think I'm perfect," he said with a laugh.
"No, but I think you're pretty great. Too bad I'm not."
I knew he wanted to end it, but he didn't seem to have the courage to say so. Neither did I.
I went to bed, but couldn't sleep.
He joined me a few hours later. We had sex.
As we lay there, I whispered, "Yuval, I love you."
"I love you, too," he replied, " ... in a way ... but ..."
"You don't need to say anything," I interrupted. And he was silent.
That's the moment I should have done it. That's when I should have said, "I don't think we should be together any longer." But I couldn't. I wasn't sure if my heart could take it. So instead, I stayed awake. Staring at the ceiling. All night.
This morning, I left him sleeping, breathing softly, without our usual before-I-leave-for-work cuddle. The sunrise painted the clouds bright red, and I thought of broken pottery and what my cousin once said: Never use an adhesive stronger than the material you're gluing back together. That way, if it rebreaks, it's along the same lines. New breaks are harder to fix.
Elmers. I always use Elmers. My heart will break along the same lines. I will pick up the pieces, and sitting on my wine-soaked sofa, I will glue them back together. And maybe have some bourbon while doing it.
This is how the story ends.