A Change of City

I can see the desperation in her eyes, her lips remaining sealed. Her expression reveals everything, but she would never admit it. She would never admit when she was hurt, when I was hurting her. I’ll always respect that.

Minutes drag by as I watch her hold in tears. “Is there someone else?” Her sweet anger makes me smile on the inside, and I’m careful not to show it on my face.

“There is always someone else,” I explain, unsure how she would perceive that. She rolls her eyes away from me, to the door. The last thing I want is for her to run away, for those chocolate eyes to leave me.

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

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

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

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

“You want to fuck around,” she spits, crimson anger rising up her cheeks. The tears in her eyes are about to overflow and I feel an unexpected pang of guilt. In this moment I want to hold her and tell her I have changed my mind, but I can’t. A change of mind is easy to explain, a change of heart not so much.

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

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

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

“It won’t be hard,” I reply, softly. I notice that she shakes her head with a little sigh.

I’ll never see that girl again, and I will regret that for the rest of my life.

– Inspired by The 1975, A Change of Heart

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