Summary: Reality is the path by which 'forever' becomes a temporary thing.
Author's Notes: For 5_prompts Table 31, this is "Go Our Separate Ways."
I remember how it was at the beginning, when we could laugh our way through awkward moments and just the scent of the shampoo clinging to your hair could take my breath away.
We were so innocent then, so quick to believe life's little imperfections would never touch us.
For a long time, it was all true. We spent months regretting every moment apart, and then years—solid years, the kind that seem destined to last—living in that apartment over 49th Street, finally together and seemingly suspended in a state of bliss. The outside world spun on through its routine while we stepped on and off the wheel each week, our true lives happening at the theater, at the café on Concord Avenue, and at home surrounded by the warmth of our well-worn sofa, our kitchen, our bed.
The little things—your college friends, my ever-larger collection of books—were never fully resolved, but they were still less than the sheer sum of us and the future we wanted. We didn't know then how much bigger our problems would become, or that everyone has a breaking point—even an enchanted couple like us.
When did I lose my hold on your heart? Was it that week in San Francisco where the two of us spent hours in silence, turned spectators of our own lives and purpose? Was it the long days at work that stretched through dinner and into the weekends, until we shared a key, a bed, a closet, and nothing more?
Was it the weekend you went to Seattle alone, and didn't answer your phone at one a.m.? (No, I never told you I'd called. I was so relieved when you came home and so ready to believe all my worries were for nothing).
Eight years into our happily-ever-after, you could barely look at me. Our habits wrote the final story: we always waited too long to say I love you, and too often rushed to voice the anger and unhappiness that could not later be unsaid.
I'd loved you so long by then, so well, that I could have told you everything you'd ever whispered in your sleep. But that wasn't love, you insisted—it was compulsion, it was record-keeping, it was a complete failure to understand the things that really mattered.
Then you walked out that door wearing the eyes of a stranger, already in recovery for something I'd only just realized was dead.
------ fin -----