It was not the “last day” that I had expected, not bad, just not what I expected. She was ailing (as I had broken her) so we laid around all day watching football and sleeping. She wore her Brett Favre T-shirt that she had bought for the expressed purpose of irritating the shit out of me. She was quite successful. I apologized too many times that morning so she told me to shut the hell up and not to mention it again. There were only a few hours left, I knew it was wrong to waste them on apologies.
The last few hours were so very bittersweet. It was a mix between making fun of each other and lying in bed talking about how badly we did not this to end. I told her the truth about Cincinnati; I did not want to go back. As if I haven’t let it on nearly enough...
…I fucking hate it here.
I wanted to stay with her so badly it literally hurt, but there was something else as well. I did not want to return to the daily grind and have to fight the everyday urge to kill a 12 pack by 9:00 every night. I didn’t want to go back to my mounting credit card debt. I didn’t want to go back to my dwindling social life. There was a lot I did not want to return to. The little “vacation” had done wonders for my mindset, but it was speeding toward its end.
What to say….
The time was fast approaching and it was not getting any easier to say goodbye. I went to the store on the corner to get cab fare and $9 cigarettes. I stood outside down the street from her house, smoking and contemplating how badly the return flight was going to suck. I went into the store, paid and left. The walk back to her place was not more than two minutes but it took me ten. My head was a mess and I did not know what to make of the situation I had put myself in.
We stayed in her bed until it was time to go. She held me and reminded me that everything was ok, she wasn’t going anywhere and I had a real chance to change shit in my life. I did and still do believe her. She told me that I would be a good teacher, a dream I had long since given up on. She saw my desire to do good in this world that had been buried by years of abuse from others and myself. I had not idea what to think at that moment, I was so completely overwhelmed by the whole weekend that I couldn’t process what was happening.
I packed my bag and said goodbye to her roommate, before walking out the door. She sat close to me on the stoop while I smoked and tried not to blow it in her face. I was trying very hard to keep from breaking down and I could see in her eyes that she was trying to do the same. My heart held her so tightly while my head prepared for the inevitable.
It was time.
I held her hand as we walked down to the corner. She started to cry when we stopped walking. So did I. I didn’t know what to say but my mouth did not stop moving. She told me to be quiet and just stand there. I could feel my insides tearing themselves apart as I raised my hand to hail a cab. I kissed her and told her that I loved her, her warm tears coating my cheek.
The horns started to honk and the cabbie looked at me, he understood our predicament but it was time to go. I threw my bag in the van and kissed her one last time. She broke down as the cab pulled away; I had my hand out the window waving like a dumbass for the next 3 blocks. Watching her disappear in the back window of that cab broke my heart. To see her so sad killed me. Having to go home crushed me.
Going back to being alone…..destroyed me.
I put my head in my hands and tried to keep my tears from the cabbie.
What have I done?
I went there and I fell in love, in a weekend, but it felt more real than the three long and painful years I spent with Meg. Three days replaced three years and I lifted my head up to dry my eyes. I turned on Siamese Dream as we left Manhattan, letting Billy Corgan sing my pain for me.
We pulled up to JFK, I tipped the cabbie and left. I sat there on the sidewalk watching the people pass by, speeding off into the night.
I just sat there smoking and staring off into space, completely frozen in that moment.