"I'm... sorry, Jack.
I hope you won't think any less of me for doing this, but it's for your own good
"You mean your
own good, don't you, Kathy? You've always done this, done things for yourself, and explained them as being done for someone else - you're a real cold-hearted bitch
, you know that Kathy? a real cold-hearted bitch
, and I'm glad
you're leaving, you've been nothing but a hindrance
, a millstone around my-"My tirade was cut short by Kathy's tearful slamming of the door. I could hear her running
down the tile hallway of the apartment complex, running down the stairwell, down to the lobby... I walked slowly to the window, I couldn't help it. I half-expected it to be raining, or hailing, or snowing
; all the clichéd things that happen in the background of a big breakup, you know, like in the movies. Always it's overcast, rain pouring in sheets as the girl runs raggedly across the street, the guy sitting at his window, watching her run, watching her try to and eventually hail a cab, watching her disappear down the long road into the mist, finally putting his face in his hands and weeping...
Not for me, though; sunny as any summer's day, not a cloud in the sky
, as I watched her stride purposefully across the street to the bus stop and wait, impatiently, for the Number 3 bus to arrive, dabbing at her reddened, streaky eyes with a wad of tissue. I turned away from the window, not wanting her to catch me staring
, not wanting to meet her eyes, stumbling over to the kitchen, looking with a strange desperation for the half-bottle of Wild Turkey
I kept in the cabinet for emergencies. When I found it, it was almost empty, and I cursed myself
as I poured the last of it into a glass, gulping it down like a man dying of thirst
as I lurched towards my easy chair. I collapsed into it, the realization of what had just happened only now starting to sink in
Kathy was gone
. She wasn't coming back
, she wasn't going to 'stay friends'
, she wasn't
... I dully stared at my empty glass for a good minute, then slowly pulled myself to my feet and walked back over to the window. She was still there, a determined look on her face, looking more the woman I had known. The bus was just pulling into the stop. I saw Kathy glance up, half a moment
, at my window, before looking down and stepping onto the bus.
That was the last time I ever heard from Kathy. She'd been my best friend, my lover, my - all the clichés that people in love spout about their lovers, she'd been all of those for a long five years, and now she was gone, leaving to go overseas, leaving me.
I guess... I guess she was right, though, in retrospect. If it hadn't been for her leaving, I wouldn't have forced myself to improve, to get ahead in my job; I wouldn't have gone out, socialized with people outside of the office and the apartment, or even have met my wife, married, and had two wonderful kids. I can't help but wonder, though, how it might have been if things had gone differently, if Kathy and I hadn't so sharply drifted apart. For all our fights and our incompatibilities, would we have been a successful couple nonetheless
? But that's in the past, now, and I have the whole future to look forward to...