Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How It Happens


It will happen one night, seemingly unexpectedly.
Or maybe I'll see it coming, but pretend I don't. You'll text me and ask how my day was, I will respond over eagerly and tell you it was good, busy, but good, because I think that sounding busy means I sound important and self possessed, when really I wonder all day long when I'll hear from you again. You'll say yours was good too, and then ask if you can stop by for a minute.
My heart will hit the pit of my stomach because I will wonder if you're about to do what you are about to do, but I will say Sure, and throw a little smiling face emoticon at the end as if I am completely unaware. Later I'll wonder if that smiley face, that blind trust made you feel guilty for what you were coming over to do to me, but I will shake it off and tell myself you didn't care.
You'll show up at exactly the time you say you will.
I will brush my teeth, change my shirt and try to do something with my hair in the ten minutes I have to wait for you. And then pace around in front of the door for the remaining three. 
When I answer I'll smile and you'll force yourself to smile, and we'll exchange a hug but not a kiss because we both know why you're here.
And in the nicest words you can think of, you will break my heart.
You will tell me it doesn't feel right, or that you aren't in love anymore, or that you don't see this going anywhere. You'll blame the age difference, the past, my mistakes, your divorce.
You'll say you hope we stay friends, I will tell myself not to ask you to stay.
In twenty minutes or less, you will pull the loose thread in the fabric of our future and unravel the whole goddamned thing.
And I will pick up the pile of thread and scraps of promises, take them inside and box them up. Like someone who can't leave a dead animal in the middle of the road, and endures the stench in their car while they try to find a decent place to bury it.
Because it deserves that much, at least.

In all the dreams that wake me from my sleep, this is how it happens.

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