Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

“It’s sad isn’t it? I mean, you made a mistake and you’re sorry so it feels like it shouldn’t be over but, oddly, it is.” Paul said this looking off someplace over my head. He sounded detached, more like a scientist explaining the pesky nature of his experiment rather than a man breaking up with the girlfriend who desperately didn’t want him to.

I gaped at him, struck mute by confusion. I couldn’t absorb what he was giving me. From my point of view everything had been fine, happy even. We’d met, he was amazingly funny, smart and a total flirt. He’d actually warned me away from him, told me he’d break my heart if I fell in love with him but when, for the first time in my life, I listened to a man and distanced myself from him, he’d been doubly charming until I fell madly in love with him. He’d said he loved me too, had said it in public even, in front of people. He was the one who said we shouldn’t see anyone else, who planted dreams in my head, who’d given me an engagement ring and the promise of his love, always.

That man and this man, were completely different. This man seemed to not care if he ever saw me again.

“I hope you know I really loved you,” he said, still not looking at me.

“I loved you too,” I said, controlling a whimper, twisting my ring around my finger. Loved? I LOVE him. How could he go from promises and adoration to this?

“I hear the plane engine starting,” he said with that crooked smile that used to make me melt but now made me want to slap him so hard he’d scream like a woman.

“What plane? You’re going someplace?” I reached out, my fingers clutching at his shirt.

“No sillygirl, the plane scene at the end of Casablanca.”

“You mean the one where she leaves in tears and he goes back to his bar to drown his sorrows in other women?”

“Actually, he went off to fight the war with Claude Rains.”

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