Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 39

very quietly, under her breath, and we both laughed some more, and she added, “Let me hug you then,” as I was still laughing. She did, and when I pulled back, she flicked her hair out of her eyes in that way and leaned forward, quickly kissing me on the cheek. Really the kiss had caught me on the jaw.

In the living room, three years later, she turned and looked at me suddenly, catching me staring at her. Her eyes watered slightly. “What's wrong?” she asked. She sounded as if she already knew.

“Nothing,” I said, retreating. I sat back in silence. I couldn't do it. We ate lunch, stilted. We went back to finish the movie we started. I was roiling on the inside. Finally I took the remote and pressed mute.

“I wanted to talk to you.”

“About what?” She was staring at the muted TV, her voice strained.

“About our relationship and where we see it going.”

She turned to look at me, but said nothing, her eyes large and devastating.

“I just . . . I just don't see it going any further.”

“Further?” she echoed. She was frozen.

I swallowed. “It's like . . . You're great, and I'm happy with you, but I just don't see this lasting. I can't keep going if I don't see this lasting.”

She sat up straighter. “What do you mean you don't see this lasting?”

I rubbed my face. I wanted to disappear. “I just . . . I think we both want to get married, but I just don't see that happening with us. When I think about the person I want to marry, I imagined myself feeling different.”

“Feeling how different? What did I do?” Her eyes were filling with tears, but they weren't falling.

“You didn't do anything. You're awesome and I love you as a person. I value you so much. It's like I can't imagine my life without you, but I don't necessarily see us being together as a couple.”

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