I could hear the crunch of the gravel under his tires as he pulled up. The car was new to him but old, gleaming in the misty evening air, roaring as it ground to a noisy halt. It was ostentatious, like beacon in its brilliant orange coat, leaving something to be desired without a set of white racing stripes. Solid it seemed intimidating from where I sat but I knew it was less of a car just by its driver. The headlights clicked off leaving me cloaked once more in the shadows I'd come to adore so much. The door opened swinging widely as the dome light revealed him to me for the first time in almost nine months.
He hadn't changed. I don't know what I'd been expecting, or maybe even hoping, but he was the same as he'd ever been. His smirk, lopsided and frustrating was already in place and he sauntered up without losing it. He wore the jacket we'd found together, the boots too. I wondered as I assessed him if he figured that would get him something more than what he'd come there to get. He eyed the bag at my feet, I made no move toward it nor did I bother looking anywhere but at his face. Strangely enough I wasn't nervous now that he was here before me. I wasn't curious as I'd thought I'd be, and for the first time since the last time I saw him I could look at his face and not feel that pang I'd always felt.
He stopped at my feet, and I assumed he had opened his mouth to speak but my shaking head silenced him before he could start. With a smile full of pride and pity I leaned down and tapped the handles of the bag by my feet. It was filled to the brim with things he'd given me, things he'd left with me. Things I couldn't stand to see anymore. His eyes flickered to the bag, then back at me. He motioned for the bench, and after a half second debate I shifted to my right and watched as he sat.
He was too close for comfort, but the pang was gone. The feeling was gone. Nothing lingered within me for him as I listened to the rustle of leaves bouncing along a pathway in a breeze. I let my mind wander as we sat in silence. I remembered the times, happier times, better times, then eventually the hard times. I still wore the ring, every day I wore the ring. And even as I sat there on that bench beside me that ring was secure on my finger. I stared at it a moment, letting the memory of the day I got it wash over me. The day he slipped it on my finger and made promises he'd never keep. Naivety was the only excuse.
After a moment more, still smiling, I rose from the bench. I hadn't spoken a single word to him, hadn't bothered to let him speak to me. I knew listening was a big mistake and talking the biggest. Turning he was staring up at me opening his mouth once more to speak but I turned away, slipping the ring off my finger as I moved. I took a few steps toward the parking lot and stopped. Turning back I held out my hand and when he went to take mine I dropped the ring in his hand.
I turned away from him for the last time. I could hear my footsteps crunching the ground, crushing the gravel underfoot as I made my way across the parking lot, passed his gaudy car. I slipped into the front seat of an idling vehicle, and gave a nod to the driver. And without ever looking back I let a part of my life go.