A Change of City

I could see the desperation in her eyes but her lips remained sealed. Her expression revealed everything, but she would never admit it. She would never admit when she was hurt, when I was hurting her.

Minutes dragged by as I watched her hold in tears. “Is there someone else?” Her sweet anger made me smile internally, and I was careful not to show it on my face.

“There is always someone else,” I explained, unsure how she would perceive that. She rolled her eyes away from me, to the door. The last thing I wanted was for her to run away.  I didn’t know that was the last time she would look at me with those startling chocolate eyes.

“I mean there are so many people in the world,” I said, trying to be both honest and kind. I feared that my smile was perceived as cruel, when I meant it to be caring.

“In the city, I think that’s what you mean to say,” she cut me off. I always hated it when she interrupted me. She must have known this was coming. Her acknowledging that I was moving to the city suggested that the thought had crossed her mind many times already.

I was unsure how to settle her, so I decided to continue being honest. She would be grateful for the truth one day, “You’re right,” I said, “There are so many people in the city. So many beautiful and wild, interesting people.”

The thought sat with her for a while and she continued to burn a hole in the door with her concentrated glare.

“You want to fuck around,” she spat, crimson anger rising up her cheeks. The tears in her eyes were about to overflow and I felt an unexpected pang of guilt. In that moment I wanted to hold her and tell her I had changed my mind, but I couldn’t. A change of mind is easy to explain, a change of heart not so much.

She was wrong though, I didn’t want to fuck around. How could she possibly understand? After nearly four years, how could I tell her? “I just can’t be attached.” There, I said it. I waited for her reaction, partly intrigued by how she would respond. This conversation was a test of her internal and external emotions.

“That’s the same thing,” she mumbled. I must really have upset her, because she wasn’t screaming and running riot. “You want the option to fuck around.”

I watched her stand up, and pull her jacket down to straighten it. She smoothed the front and then walked past me to the door. “I hope you find someone who is like me,” she said, not turning around, her fingers resting on the door handle.

“It won’t be hard,” I replied, softly. I noticed that she shook her head with a little sigh.

I never saw that girl again. I would regret that for the rest of my life.

– Inspired by The 1975, A Change of Heart