He couldn’t believe the ways she had changed, this woman that he used to know. He thought seeing her would be delightful for him. In his mind he liked to think that his leaving her years ago may have wrecked her. That she could barely survive a life without him. He fooled himself into thinking he had that power. He pictured her often, looking years past her age, with streaks of gray beginning to weave through her hair. Her eyes a little cold, distant and lonely. He would see the lines on her face where she stayed up nights worrying about him and wishing for him to return their love. When they met he would let her beg to have him back before he caved. She didn’t have to know that is the reason he wished to see her again. That he had been nothing without her. He thought it would be easier to take control of her this time. She wouldn’t fight so hard and be so independent because she wouldn’t want to risk losing him again. He waited in a corner booth for a fragment of the woman he once knew to slink through the door and look for him but she didn’t.
He was surprised when he saw the woman of his past float gracefully through the door with a heart stopping smile on her face. She looked as beautiful as ever. Perhaps a little taller. Could that be? Or was she just walking taller these days? Her eyes were not sad and lonely. They sparkled with life and luster as they always had. He heard her laugh as she spotted him and whisked over to the table. God, he had missed that laugh of an angel.
They made small talk for a few minutes and finally she asked. “Why did you need to see me? Is everything ok?” He couldn’t help but spill out, with pathetic honesty, how miserable he had been without her and how sorry he was for hurting her. She listened, unmoved, to his plea and sat quietly after he had finished. She fidgeted with her ring finger and it was the first time he noticed the diamond upon it. “Oh wow,” was all he could muster as his face flushed red with embarrassment. She finally began to speak. She told him that he had nearly broken her. How, at first, she yearned to have him back even though he had shattered her heart. She saw the element of hope that there might be a chance sweep back over his face. “I gave you years of my life and all the love in my heart, even after you left me it was yours for so long. But you will never have another day of me. I will never cry for you again. You don’t love me. You love the memory of me loving you and giving up all that I had to make you happy. You want someone to sacrifice for you again and let you control them. That person will never be me. Getting over you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Realizing that you meant everything to me, and I meant nothing to you. I’m finally happy. If you really care about me, then you will be happy for me and leave me alone forever, the way I have done for you.”
She stood from the table and leaned over to him, setting a soft kiss on his cheek. She whispered “goodbye” and walked out of the door, and his life, forever. As he watched her go, he knew that he didn’t deserve her. But she was wrong about one thing…he did truly care for her and because of that, he was happy for her and he knew that she would always be the one that got away.