Monday, February 11, 2002
When I wake we are all tangled up in each other and I have to fight back tears because I know this is a goodbye fuck-what else? I am going to pieces inside. The clock says it is close to five. I want to get up and just leave but I fall back asleep.
When I wake again it is daylight and she is gone. I hear her downstairs. I smell food cooking and it makes my stomach heave. This next part is what I dread.
I get up and get dressed.
When I go downstairs I see her cooking eggs. Where are Frank and Annie? This is Monday, isn’t it?
She turns around and smiles and says, Sit down this is almost ready.
She’s appropriated one of my flannel shirts, a yellow one with black plaid. The black matches her hair color so beautifully. Her cheeks have a beautiful warm flush and she is as hot with afterglow as I’ve ever seen her. It makes me hot again and I want her and it just breaks my heart. If this is the last time how does she think I can eat?
I’m not hungry, I say.
You gotta eat breakfast, she says and turns back to the food.
I am going insane. I am going to start screaming.
She puts her arm around my waist and kisses me on the mouth. Come on, eat, she says.
I don’t want anything, I say.
She laughs and puts her hand on my ass and says, Honey, where are your next morning manners, anyway?
I want her. People in hell want icewater. There’s a million things you can have and a million you cant and she is in the latter category.
She keeps kissing my neck and I say, Stop that. Stop that right now.
She looks at me funny.
Put away the damn food and come into the living room, I say. I want to talk to you.
I look at my watch and see that it’s still early and there’s plenty of time to get ready and get to school, no that I am going anywhere but home. To stay there today and the next day and the next. She sits on the sofa and I sit down heavily next to her.
I say, Since this is the last time we are going to see each other I would appreciate it if you would dispense with any coyness and bullshit because I am going to be very blunt before I leave.
Last time? Sweetie, what RU talking about?
Either she is being coy or she doesn’t get it or I am being a consummate asshole. A tiny, disturbing thought gets into my head but I push it aside.
You just don’t get it, do you, I say, shaking my head.
Get what? What’s there to get? Honey, what RU talking about?
Okay, I sigh heavily. Let’s drag this out some more. Why did you stick your tongue in my mouth yeaterday?
You didn’t seem to mind.
No, I didn’t. I’ve never had my brains fucked out like last night.
She puts her hand on my thigh. She starts to [giggle] quickly [stifled] and says, Wanna do it again? Right now?
Stop it, I say. Just stop. Why? Did you think I was freaking and going to end up in the hospital again?
That and because you’re really cute when you have a tantrum.
I just want to know why you’re dumping me.
She looks stunned as she says, Dumping you? Dumping you? I don’t believe you, Michael. I’m not dumping you, never will. It’s all in your head. You’re all fucked up and afraid and you get ideas in your head. Forget this. I’m not mad at you. Just forget it.
A gaping hole yawns in my assessment and I wonder if I have this figured right.
Have I ever refused you anything, Michael? She says. Have I ever said no to you? Do you think i’d take this from you if you didn’t mean everything to me? Stop and think a minute. Look at yourself.
I only want one thing from you, I say miserably. The rest I don’t care about. Now I don’t care about anything. I wish you’d never mailed me that money. I didn’t ask you for it. I wish you’d just let me starve and I’d be dead and out of this. But when you did I couldn’t not see you, and when you opened the door I knew I didn’t want anything else. Anything but you. IDC about money. Just you.
Michael, nobody thinks you’re after my money.
Forget that part then. I don’t give a shit if I die, I don’t care if I never see the inside of a classroom again or if I flunk out cause I don’t go back to class. Just fucking shoot me, okay?
I don’t believe this, she says. You’re not going to quit college after you fought so hard to get there…
No. Yes. I dunno. If I go to school it’ll only be because I have nowhere else to go, since I cant come back here.
You live here, Michael! It’s your home too. I told you i’m not breaking up with you.
Not breaking up. Not breaking up, I say, standing and glaring at her. No, let’s call it what it is.
I stand with my feet together and my arms stretched out and my head hanging down to my chest. I say, It’s a fucking CRUCIFIXION!
I am yelling now. I sit back down next to her and say, No, you’re not dumping me. You’re just killing me, that’s all. But you wont do it humanely and put a bullet in my head. You want to kill me slowly so I drown in my own blood.
I put my head in my hands. The awful truth is pressing itself on me urgently but I’ve gone so far I cant back down. I could be completely wrong and I am so ashamed of myself IDK what to do about it except to go right on with what I’m doing.
I say miserably, I just want you to love me like I need you to.
Honey, I love you. Don’t do this.
Here’s a perfect opportunity to stop but I cant.
I say, In a minute I’m walking out of here and never coming back. You do grasp that, don’t you?
What? What RU…you don’t want to see me again? She says, looking stricken.
She looks crushed and I feel like a monster and she looks like she is about to cry.
She sniffles, You don’t want to see me again? You’re not coming back?
I cant stop. But oh, I want to. If only I could it’s not too late it’s not too late it’s not…
You’re not coming back? She repeats.
Not on those terms, I say desperately, looking for a way out. If you’ve changed your mind tell me now.
Tell you what. Tell you what? I don’t even know…you’re giving me an ultimatum?
I’m just telling you, that’s all.
You…you don’t want to be with me anymore? She says, looking crushed. I’m not dumping you, Michael. You’re dumping me.
Too late now. I am fucked.
Have it your way, then, I say. Have a nice life, Sherry. I stand up and say, stammering and choking, Before I go, is there anything else you require of me?
Her face is white. She shakes her head. I turn around and walk out and do not look back. It’s history. She is gone.