She had no choice but to walk. She knew too much, there was no time to fritter. Despite her sadness it was worse to overlook the glaring truth.
She was too old, or he was too young, or life was messed up or on another page.
She yearned for him. But she knew better and she kept away.
He loved her but he could feel the abyss and it paralyzed him. A whisper lost in the night. He could hold her but never touch her.
He loved her in that chilly way he loved all the women in his life who momentarily made up for the neglect from parents he scarcely knew. A father dead too young, a mother consumed by trauma unable to concentrate on her son. He couldn’t understand this and when he could he forgave her, or so he said.
But it wasn’t even close to true.
In his eyes she saw the damp sadness of his permanent disease. The broken heart.
When he said, ‘I love you’ she felt her body shake with a coldness running around her signaling like a bugler and she was one to pay attention.
She knew about self-preservation. She watched him and saw herself. Equal disasters! They were matched in their wounds.
She focussed on his faults and turned the levers low as she backed into reality. She did not want anther scarring.
Rejection was never something he was going to learn to deal with, he was still dealing with the rejection from his parents, he had his own resentments.
‘So what if we aren’t “forever” how about now?’
‘No,’ she said, ‘No thanks.’
In response he withdrew.
She was sick from her decision. She took to sleeping, the white canopy bed in the room with wide open windows and the ticking fan, and there she lay and cried when she thought of him and wished him nothing but the best.
Let him go, she heard from her battle weary heart, Let go.