This is for the best.
It didn't feel like the best. It felt like my heart was shriveling up. Tears threatened, but I held them back.
You wanted this.
That's right, I did want this. I chose to do this. It was something that needed to be done. It should have been done a long time ago. For some reason though I just couldn't end it. The good times were good, but the bad times . . . . . I just can't deal with the bad times anymore. It was more harm than it was good.
I looked up to see the same soft brown eyes she'd come to know for the past two years. His face hasn't changed at all. He still had that strong jaw line that gave his face that angular edge. He still had that same nose that was slightly crooked, but hardly noticeable when you first look at him. He still had that same brown hair that matches his eyes perfectly. He still had the same lips that were now curved into a slight smile.
I looked back down at my hands. This wasn't going to be easy.
You knew it wasn't going to be easy.
I did know.
"Lyn, what's wrong."
I took a deep breathe, "We need to talk."
The slight smile completely dropped from his face. I winced when my own words hit me. He knew what was coming now.
"About what?" he said. His tone was emotionless and he said the words with caution.
I looked up into his eyes. They had gone hard and uninviting.
Hurry up and get it over with.
"I . . . I don't think this is working anymore."
"What do you mean?"
I looked away for a moment; no longer sure I could do this.
You have to do this. It needs to be done.
"Brice, I . . . I don't . . . I don't think . . . we are working out," I said turning back to him.
For a few moments he didn't reply. He just watched me.
"I don't understand," he said reaching for my hand.
I sighed. Maybe he doesn't get it. He had never been the brightest star in the sky.
"I mean I don't think we should be together anymore," I said moving my hand away and turning to look out the window of his apartment.
It was done. I said it. The tears threatened to fall, but I wouldn't let them. No crying. I promised myself I wouldn't cry. There was nothing I could do about the heartache though. It felt like something was squeezing my heart, making it hard to breathe. For a minute I just concentrated on breathing. When I felt like I was under control I turned to look at my boyfriend of three years.
To my surprise he was smiling.
"Lyn, don't do this again," he said shaking his head. "How many times have we been through this? Every time we have a bad fight you want to break up."
I just sat there a little confused by his reaction. To be honest I was expecting him to get mad, or at least upset.
"Look, I'm sorry. Yesterday was a bad day for me. I kind of took my anger out on you."
Yesterday wasn't the first time he had taken his anger out on me and I knew it wasn't going to be the last. This wasn't the type of relationship I wanted anymore. In the beginning it was perfect, but for a while now it has been horrible. If I had known things would turn out like this in the long run I might have never gotten together with him. We've been together since the freshman year of college. It hadn't been one of those love-at-first-sight things. We only talked if we had to, and we only had one class together. Then we were assigned partners for a project and we kind of just hit it off. That first year was great. I don't think we fought at all. If we did they weren't like the fights we have now. This isn't the first time I decided that we break up either. This is the first time I'm serious about it though. In the past I had said it as suggestions. I didn't really want to break up, but for some reason I kept putting it out there. It was different now. I was serious in my decision to go separate ways.
"Brice this isn't like those other times," I said.
"It's not? Seems like it is."
"Well it's not," I stopped and stared at him to make him see that I was serious. "I really don't think we should be together anymore."
He stared at me gauging my look. The smile fell from his face.
"You're . . . serious," he said looking kind of bewildered.
I almost felt like smiling at his expression. I guess he never thought I would get serious about it. Last night after the football game had been my limit. He pushed it too far. I couldn't fully forgive him for that.
My heart was still breaking for him though.
For a while neither of us said anything. The silence felt strained. Brice was the one to break it.
"You're really serious about this?"
I nodded, watching him.
"If this is about yesterday-"
"It's not just because of yesterday," I said standing up. "It's because of everything that has happened in the past year. Every argument we've had . . ." I let the sentence fade out.
"I said I was sorry," he said coming to his feet. He was more than a head taller than me. I didn't back down though.
"Sorry doesn't make it okay."
"It made it okay before," he said taking a step closer.
". . .Well it's not okay anymore."
"Lyn, we can work this out like we always do. We –"
"That's just it, Brice," I said clenching my shaking hand. "We never worked it out. We would fight then we just wouldn't talk to each other for a few days. You would apologize and say you won't do it again but the whole thing would start over again less than a week later." I stopped to gather myself. "I love you, Brice, but I can't do this anymore."
This time I didn't wait for him to reply. I couldn't wait for things to get better. Waiting won't change anything. I had had to make things change. There was a lot of thing I needed to change in my life. This was the beginning. This was my first step to the many changes to come.
He called after me as I left. I didn't answer though. Partly because my throat had close up and partly because I knew if I answered him we would just end up back together. I loved him, but we aren't good for each other anymore. It was time to move on, and no matter how much that killed a part of my heart, I had to move on. They say it is better to have loved and lost then to not have loved at all. For the first time in my life I am able to completely agree with that statement. Even though my relationship with Brice didn't last, I'm glad I had it. I'm glad I was given the chance to love him. There is nothing in the world I would trade it for.
My hands were shaking as I gripped the steering wheel of my car. The tears came again and this time I didn't hold them back. I let them make their wet, salty path down my face as I tried to hold back a sob. This was one of the hardest things I had to do and I know that it's not completely over. For days to come he would try to convince me that we could work it out. I won't change my mind. This may not be the complete end of things, but for now it was done.