Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"Sarah, I don't think we should see each other any more."

She jumped when I said that, like she didn't know I had just been standing there for 10 minutes trying to figure out exactly how to approach the issue. But I had, and she knew I had.

It was going to be a difficult issue, one that I knew could break her heart, leave her scarred for life, if I didn't approach it just the right way. It had happened to me before with women. If you didn't know exactly how to break this sort of news to them, anything could happen.

"Oh, Dave," she said, looking up from the paperwork on her desk she'd pretended to occupy herself with. "I didn't see you there. How long have you been...uh...standing there?"

"I know it's hard for you to accept," I continued.

"What is. What did you say a minute ago? I didn't hear you."

"Don't make this any more difficult than it needs to be."

"Don't make what any more difficult?"

"I don't think we should see each other anymore."

And then it happened, like it always happened. A stunned silence. The truth, when finally dropped on her lap like a living, breathing bomb had knocked the speech right out of her. Left her dazed and confused and dumbfounded.

"Dave," she said, when she was finally able to compose herself, "we haven't been seeing each other."

"I know, and that's my fault. It's work partly, I suppose, I've been super busy lately with, you know, all my work stuff. But even when I do have time on my hands, I just don't think to pick up the phone. You're just not on my mind quite the way you used to be. Maybe we've just grown apart. I don't know how these things happen, or why..."

"No," she said, continuing her denials, "what I mean is that we're not actually seeing each other. We're not dating. I don't even particularly like you, to be honest."

"And I don't like myself very much right now either, Sarah. I know I'm being selfish. I know I'm looking out for me here, and not thinking about what you must be going through, but sometimes you have to live for yourself. Sometimes you have to do what's right for you and not for everyone else around you. And this is what I need to do. For me, Sarah. For me."

There was a crazed look in her eyes. It looked a bit like terror, and I'm sure she was only thinking of how bleak and grey the coming days and weeks would be, threatened by the thought of spending her evenings alone in her bed. But she didn't show it anywhere but in her eyes, I'll give her credit for that.

"Uh, okay Dave," she said in a voice that was rock steady, showing none of the turmoil of emotion that must be bubbling underneath it is. "If you...uh...think that's what's best. Then. Okay."

"I'm glad you understand," I said. I reached out to take her hand, but she pulled it quickly away. I suppose any contact at this point would be torture for her at this point, knowing it would be the last time we made contact. "I'd like it if we could still be friends."

"Yeah, I'm not sure that would work out."

"But we have so many memories of good times together. I'd hate for us to lose that."

"Well, maybe they're just better off left as memories."

"Do you want to come back to my place after work tonight? One more romp in the sack for old times sake?"

"Uh, no. How about, if I ever see you again I'm calling security. Deal?"

God, why did they always say things like that? It totally ruins the moment.

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