Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Break-Up (A story)

Coward!” I screamed mentally and for a second, considered letting him get away with it. Yet, the brain works in marvelous ways. I remembered instead the Dr. Seuss’ book, Oh, the places you will go, in which the main character arrives at the gates of a town and doesn’t know if he should make a right, or a left, turn around and leave, or dare to go in. I felt like Dr. Seuss’ character. I felt the same way. I felt horrible and in pain.
“Richard, wait. You are not going to talk to me?” I finally grabbed the courage to say and he turned around fast like a bullet.
“You want to know what really happened? I just realized you had more to lose than me. So why even try to make something work, if you think it’ll fail,” he answered.
“That’s what I told you from the beginning! But you kept on insisting,” I snapped.
“I know. This whole thing is my fault. I should have given up long time ago,” Richard said in a whisper and played music with his fingers. Now he can’t stop, but keeps on going:
“We are too different, way too different. I don’t see how we can be compatible. Plus, your mother gets in the way and I don’t want to be the one who separates you two.”
I couldn’t believe he was saying that, “I’ve brought you a letter” I felt childish as soon as the words slipped out of my mouth. Was I not listening to what he just said?
“Give it to me,” he demanded.
“It’ll serve no purpose, now,” I looked up.
“Listen, I’m sorry,” He looked down and I found time to say:
“Don’t be. Stop being sorry and blaming yourself for making me fall in love with you. I don’t even know why I like you. There are many, many things I don’t like about you. But I guess I fell in love with you. I’ll recover. Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.” I thought to myself that if I was not even crying I must had said at least half the truth.
“Remember this, you are not only too good for me. You are too good for anybody,” He said and smiled. That was a tender, almost a loving smile.
“How old are you, now? You are 20, right? Maybe five years from now, we can make it work but now I know we can’t. I’m already graduating; you just started university and like I said, I don’t want to be the one who separates you from your mother. ”
My hands felt cold, so I placed them around my body. Tons of things crowded my head. That is a phenomenon the female brain can do and men don’t consider when they throw material at it for the hypothermus to absorb and process. At that inappropriate moment, ‘cause that’s how life is and what we do, I thought of Paola and Malena, the only two girlfriends Richard told me he considered girlfriends, and how he broke up with them because they were more in love with him than he was with them. At least, that’s what he said. I remembered how he always made love sound like a weakness that no one should allowed her or himself to be dragged into. I remembered a day, in which unlike today, he seemed willing to love and be loved. Then, he had confessed that his father left his mother before he learned to call him papá. His mother had been forced to support his older brother from her first marriage and him. She had cleaned houses and asked the welfare for help, when they moved to the States but they had barely gotten by. I remembered snaps of information and pieces of conversations that don’t seem to match whatsoever.
“People speak of poverty in other countries and omit poverty here, in the U.S., poverty in the Roman empire of our days,” he had said that day.
But now he stood in front of me, a 6’2 man poorer in spirit than he had been while growing up. I had to stop thinking and do something, because he stood right there, in front of me. He was handsome. Even when I was mad at him, I had to admit it. He was the handsomest man I had ever met. “Wow,” I said to myself, “he knows he can’t never love me. He probably never wanted to in the first place. He’s so wrong to think he’s the winner for not taking that risk.” I felt heartbroken. He hugged. We kissed. My body felt dumb, until he patronized me for one last time: “Don’t be sad. And whatever you do remember what I’ve told you: Don’t stay with the safe guy.” We both got in our cars and drove away. I saw him lighting up a cigarette and I turned on the radio. The radio was playing the Sheryl Crowe’s song, The first cut is the deepest, and I changed the station. I couldn’t cry that night, which surprised me.
After this encounter, I didn’t see him in four months. Then, the years passed. He graduated and we didn’t see each other again. Sometimes, inevitably, I remember him. The memory is tender, despite everything else. I do my best to forget the break-up.


Blogger JOSHUA S BLACK said...

Nothing lasts. Not in this life. In fact, even if you were successful in everything you tried, death will cruelly rip everything that you hold dear from your hands--and there's nothing that you and I can do about it.

Are you worried? Probably not. But maybe you don't think about the fact that the reason we all die is that we are sinners. And God is so good that He will judge every sin that everyone has done. How will you do?

God bless you.

4:16 PM  

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