This is going to be hard, you think to yourself, it's going to be too hard. You're sitting next to her on her front porch and she's looking at you, glossy eyed. Don't do this, you think to yourself, embrace it. You finish your smoke, she finishes hers, and you walk back inside.
She wonders what you had to tell her, she asks you why it was so important, and why you had to rush over as soon as she got off of work to tell her. You don't respond, not yet. You take a seat on the couch and look around the room. You know this is the last time you'll sit here. She thinks you're staying the night.
She puts a record* on [yes, an actual record] and starts to dance with herself even though the music that's playing isn't really dance music. You walk up to her and grab both of her hands and join in. Everything inside of you is aching. It feels like your ribs are snapping inward, piercing your organs, you let go of her hands. She asks you what's wrong and you tell her. It all comes out.
She collapses on the couch and doesn't understand. She thought you two were happy, she tells you this through tears. She said she had a feeling. She said she hasn't seen you smoke a cigarette that fast since, well, since the last time you broke up with somebody for no reason. She pleads with you to stay. You tell her you can't. You say a bunch of words and make a bunch of shitty, terrible, awful metaphors. You wax poetic and philosophic and end by saying you aren't ready [this is an excuse].
She kisses you hard. Real hard. Hard enough for you to feel what she's feeling. And she feels what you feel but you hope she doesn't. You hope she starts to think of you the way that you think of you [see: garbage, worthless, trash]. She finally stops crying and kisses you again. She just wants one last time. So you do. You give it to her. And you feel nothing**.
You follow her back out the front porch. You both light up cigarettes and she starts to cry again. It's a quiet sob, it's not loud or embarrassing but she feels embarrassed. She tells you this, she says that she told herself that she wouldn't let you, out of all people, make her cry with so much emotion. She said, you can not do that to her, but here I am, crying, because of you.
You say nothing. You can't say what you really want to say. You can't tell her that the only reason you are breaking up with her is because you are completely, wholly, one-hundred percent afraid of a healthy relationship. You can't tell her that the time you spent with her has been the happiest time of your life and that being happy is terrifying and scary because you are so used to living in your own shit that it's hard not to smell anything other than, well, shit.
You can't tell her that you still think of her the same way you did when you first met years ago. You can't tell her that because you are broken and torn and a messed up person that puts the blame*** on everyone else when things go wrong. You walk down the steps as she lights up another cigarette saying nothing. And you never will say anything. Not now, not in a few months, and not in a few years. You will live in regret.
*You found it odd that the record she chose to put on was one by American Football, mostly because the first track on that record is a song called "Never Meant". A song that has lyrics that go something like: "...you can't miss what you forget. So lets just pretend everything and anything between you and me was never meant." And, essentially, that's what you were telling her right when that lyric came up. It was poetic, really. You noticed this immediately and you wondered if she did too.
**That isn't true. You felt everything. When she started crying it felt like you had a knife in your stomach twisting left and right and left and right. It hurt a lot. More than you thought it would. You thought that this would be easy and clean but it wasn't. Break-ups are never easy or clean. They're always the worst. You should know this by now but you don't. I don't think you'll ever get it.
***You used to blame all your short-comings on past relationships. It was their fault that you don't know how to open up, you'd say. That wasn't true. It's your fault you can't open up. It's not anyone else's. You're still trying to work through this now, actually. Recently you had a conversation with two of your good friends and you tried to explain how terrifying it is to let someone in to you, to truly let someone see you for who you are and unfortunately they didn't get it. I don't think anyone ever will understand how broken and fucked up you are. You probably need to accept it before anyone else does. But what am I other than your internal monologue? [that was a joke].