What might I have said that could’ve changed the outcome? The problem was that I’d already said and done way too many things to warrant losing you. I am not pitying myself. I know I could not hope to do better than you for the simple fact that you knew what you were getting with me and you stayed. Until you didn’t, which was only because I pushed you away with my constant self-loathing. Who wants to be with someone who doesn’t respect himself?

I had the one slim chance last week when you were packing. I caught a glimmer in the way you paused and looked at me for a second or two. Like maybe you were thinking there was something to me after all. But you kept packing and left without a word. You just slid the key onto the counter and left. Probably all I deserved, if I am honest.

I always had this dream that you and I would live in my grandparents farm house someday. I thought that with us being out there alone I might be able to reconcile whatever issues I had with the new life we could lead. Naïve, I know, and also an example of me underestimating the depth of our problems. The fact that I am sitting in the living room, quiet as only an old farmhouse can be, really stings. I know that I’ll be alone here and that I will probably never find a partner again.

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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