She held back a tear, watching him leave. She had wanted him to feel that she was not regretful. She couldn’t take back what she said. But now she’s not so sure what she wants. Or where she stands.
She vaguely remembered someone telling her that it was fine if men went after women sometimes after a breakup. It was natural. It doesn’t go against any moral law. Or does it? But then she also remembered someone telling her that when men say it’s over, it is over.
She spent the last week convincing herself that what happened was a bomb just waiting to explode. They always knew it was there, always knew there was something dangerous around them, but they neglected it. Suddenly, they were both taken by surprise by their actions, not considering at all each other’s feelings. And now it is over.
She wished she told him that it didn’t matter if he didn’t go with her that day she said she wanted to watch the sunrise with him. And it didn’t matter if he never got her the flowers she wanted him to give her on their anniversary. The forgotten flowers, neglected lunch dates, times when he promised he would see her but didn’t for some reason, him laughing when she said she thought cats were scary. They were actually unimportant things. Or weren’t they?
There were many things she wished she didn’t say. And things she wished she did say.
He never understood her reasons for leaving him. He thought everything was OK, that he was making her happy. But apparently he wasn’t. And now, he thought, it’s over. He felt ashamed after hearing those things from her. But it made him feel worse when he realized that all of those were true.
He never thought that forgetting to give her flowers would cause this much trouble. Right, it wasn’t just the flowers after all. She said there were too many things left unsaid. And that was the problem. He never realized this before, how unfair.
If only he did, they would still be together. But no, he couldn’t even look at her in the eye after what happened. It took all his effort to even continue walking away and not looking back to beg her for another chance.
He wouldn’t talk to her again. He couldn’t—even if he wanted to. Women, they say, never joke about these things. But he still hoped that she would change her mind.
There were many things he wished he didn’t do. And things he wished he did do.
(original post date: July 12, 2006)