The break up
"So then, this is it?"
"I guess," I choke on tears even though it is my decision. We sit on opposite sides of the couch. I look up and say, "I just can't bare to sit in this house and watch my life slip away. I'm twenty one Erik, not fifty. I'm not happy being stuck. With out my family. My friends. I actually feel like I'm dying. This house," pause, "it's just sucking the life out of me. I'm sorry. I just don't see this getting any better in any amount of time that will be good for me." I can see him tearing up but I can't stop. Things I'd been holding in for so long come pouring out. "I've been with you since I was eighteen. That's three years, two of them I sacrificed up here in the sticks. And when I say about getting a job, you scoff or you laugh and I just hate you for it."
He wipes his face with his shirt and it kills me to see him like that. But I'm not giving in and staying in a life that is suffocating me. "I'm going to stay here for a week. I'll sleep on the couch, pack up my stuff. You can tell me what I'm allowed to take and what I'm not but I am taking my dog." I snifel and triy my best to hold back more tears. "I'm going to give you some time alone. I'll be over at Lucy's." With that I get up and walk out the door. But instead of going to Lucy's I climb in his truck and cry my eyes out for an hour. After I have no more tears left, I get out and sander over to Lucy's where I have a sad cigarette and feel bad for myself and Joe. I hate to leave him but the lack of friends, being almost seven hours from my family, and him laughing at me getting a job, I feel stuck. Held back. I just can't do it anymore.
I sit at Lucy's kitchen table with her youngest son, Danny. I help him color in a kitty with a hat and try to keep my mind off Erik. At the end of the night, I can't even remember how many cigarettes I have smoked or how many times I excused myself to the truck. Eventually I see the lights go out in the house and thought it was a good time to go back in and sob myself asleep on the couch. I say good-bye and thank you to Lucy and her husband for letting me hang out for a few hours. I slip in the front door and the dogs greet me with wagging tails and I give them a pat. I see my body pillow on the couch and smile at his last minute thoughtfulness. Something he would never have shown before if we'd had a fight.
The next morning I wake up to a quiet house which is odd for a Saturday. Only one of the dogs is there, my dog. I get up and make my usual morning cappuccino but while I am getting the water from the fridge I noticed a note on the door.
"I went to my mothers. I'll be there for a few days. I marked some boxes that you can take. Take your pictures too."
I sigh. Without any more tears I can't cry, I just sob. After my drink is done, I sit on the couch. Unlike my usual wake up routine I do not turn the TV on. There is no music. I just sit there, again, feeling bad. Dolli, my Lab mix sits in front of me. I give her some pettings and it kind of makes me feel better. "You want to move Birdsboro?" I ask her. She looks up at me. "There will be people in and out of the house. You would have everyone petting you." When I say people would be petting her all the time she wags her tail. I sit around just petting my pup and waiting for the clock to hit four thirty so I can call my mother and tell her I did it and that I'm going to need her van this weekend. At about one Lucy comes over to see if I am okay and to give me some more smokes. "Yeah, I'm fine I guess. I think he's worse off."
"In my experience, the man usually is worse after a break up then the woman." She lights her cigarette and hands me the lighter. "I'll keep my eye on him for the next few months."
"Thanks Lucy. I know he went through a rough depression patch after his Nan died. I'd hate to see what he does after I leave voluntarily." We sit in silence for a while before I ask, "Would you mind helping me pack my stuff? I don't have much but I do have a bunch of photos and little, breakable things." She agrees then we stand and walk to the back room where we have some spare boxes and set them up. So that we won't be in complete silence I put on some music while Danny runs around with Dolli. We do a walkthrough of the house and pick my photos off the walls, wrap them in newspaper to keep the glass from breaking, and set them in the box best we can.
She leaves a bit after two thirty and I turn the music up loud and from country to ninety's music. At five I call my mom and try not to start crying again. "Hey Ma. I'm gunna need your van this weekend."
"I see," she says, not trying to pry to much. "Would you like me to come up on Friday night then we can leave Saturday or?"
"I think that'll be best. Am I getting Aimmie's spare room or am I going to clean out the basement? Either is good with me."
Knowing I don't want to talk about the break up she continues with the bull spit conversation. "I'm sure Aimmie would rather you clean out the basement.Good thing about that though is you can have your movie nights and you wouldn't wake us up." I agree and tell her not to clean it out. That I will, then we hang up so she can start dinner. I keep packing until I have to turn on the lights. Only then do I turn the TV on. I'm not even sure what I'm watching. All I can do is keep feeling sorry and wonder how in the hell people who were married for so many years just get divorced. After a few hours of looking at the TV I fall asleep.
When Friday rolls around I wake to see Erik walking around the house. I don't really know what to say so I just sit up. He notices and says, "Hey."
I comb my fingers though my short hair and greet him. "I'm leaving tomorrow." I wait for a reaction. "Just thought you would like to know."
"Thanks for the warning." With that he walks out the door. I have such an urge to run after him, give him a hug, tell him I'm sorry. But I don't. I let him go.
Remembering that my mom was coming up to take me away, I make some food and put clothes on before I begin packing them in garbage bags. She arrives and we pack a few things in the back. We don't talk much mostly because I'm a bit emotionally unavailable. But we do the small talk thing. "How's Gram?"
"Oh just fine. Says her hip still hurts from time to time but she's okay. What type of job are you going to be looking for when you get settled in?"
"I don't know. Probably one of the gas stations or maybe a pizza place." Crap like that. Eventually we get tired and go to sleep. Even though Erik isn't there I've still been sleeping on the couch so I give mom the bed.
Around seven in the morning I open the car door for Dolli and we hit the road. Six and a half hours later we arrive at mom's house in Birdsboro. My brother, Chris, isn't home. I ask where he is. "He stayed at a friends house since I wasn't here and Max had to workearly this morning." I nod to tell her I heard and begin to unpack as Dolli runs in the backyard.