Trees, black with cold rain;
A year the house is silent -
He has not returned.
by Jack Rowan
He left me because I was complete within myself. He left me because I couldn't give him what he wanted. He left me because I didn't need him. He left me because, when he cried, I didn't. He left me because I was cold and unfeeling. He left me because he needed more.
Those were the words he said as he slammed his belongings into duffels. Three years of life crammed into 2 duffels. I watched him slam. I listened to him scream at me as if I was deaf. I leaned against the doorframe, calmly took in his words and let him spew the blackness that had grown in his heart.
I had known it was coming. We had lain side by side in our bed, not touching, not speaking, not loving, for weeks. Once we had been on fire for each other, nothing was more important than our love, nothing as all consuming as the heat that radiated between us. Fires eventually do burn out. Eventually, the words slowed and the feelings changed.
Never one to let my feelings interfere with others, I just stood and watched him go. He strode down the front steps, bags in each hand. Finally, just before he slid into his car, he stopped and looked at me one last time.
"Say something, damn you. I don't want to do this. I don't want it to be this way. Say something." He was crying again. I watched the tears course down his cheeks.
I could have said that I knew about his liaisons, that I knew his youth would eventually cause this. I could have broken down and begged him to stay, just one more day, one more hour....but I had never interfered with his life and that was what he needed now..........his life. Not ours. I had seen it in his anxious excitement, his playful giggles. He needed to live now.
His tears always moved me. The way his voice would break as the tears seemed to burn in his throat. He had never known.
So, I spoke..............to the boy who had always held my heart. "Goodbye. Live your life. Remember me in those times between dark and dawn when you feel a bit lonely. Take my love with you and be safe."
He stared at me for a few more minutes. I could see the hesitancy in his eyes. But, in the end, he slipped behind the wheel and was gone.
I was complete within myself. I gave only what I wanted. I didn't need him. I didn't cry. I was cold and unfeeling. He needed more than that.
It's odd how people only see what they want to see. Youth is so brash. Everything is an emergency. Everything is NOW!
He was so incomplete. What I gave, he took for granted. I needed him so that I could breathe. I cried but only my heart felt it. I was cold from the already growing knowledge that he was gone and I would feel it now until the day I died. He didn't know what he needed and what I needed had just driven away.
The trees are black with cold rain. The house stands silent. The love and laughter long quiet. It's been a year to the day since he left and as I watch the now clouded amber liquid swirl in my glass, the firelight glinting off the crystal, I know this is right. Now he is free and soon, I will be complete.
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