Life sometimes is backwards
The bitter taste of the sesame seeds topping the bread made me flinch, and leave the once-bitten slice on the table. The cold autumn night had made me hungry, the long day falling behind, but not dimming in my head. The desire to write burned inside me, the memory of Laura traversing my thoughts with the knowledge that she had left me. “I love you,” she said, without turning around to see me one last time. “How can you love me and leave me?” I asked her, but she didn't answer me. She walked away, and left me defeated, ready to fall to the ground. Just before, when she had turned away for the last time, hiding her eyes away, she had repeated the words she said so many times tonight. “Just let me go,” and she repeated once more, “just let me go.” Should I have let her go, as I did? Or was any attempt worthless, no words could change it, no actions could unwind time and take her back? “Please, don't go,” I had begged her. “Please, stay, please, let's talk.”
“I have to go.” Those words echo in my mind, the way she spoke “have” in that phrase, the emphasis in it aspiring the h, the inevitability of the action. It had happened already, it was worthless to try to avoid something that had already happened and only waited for the correct instant of time to finally be. “Just let me go,” no, that was a pleading, it didn't have force at all, it was the begging of someone who has nothing and is trying to bargain his life. “We had all the talking we could have. It's not you, it's not me. But we don't fit together,” she had told me. “Just that, Michael, nothing else.” I had tried once more, I had told her that she was the most important woman of my life. I had said everything that came to my mind, while I watched the tears falling from her eyes; the feeling of helplessness, of impotence, of seeing what was to come, inevitable. It was no use telling her that I was ready to try anything. It was no use to tell her that marriages go through bad times—and ours wasn't even that bad. We never really fought; it was just a growing apart, a temporary thing, something that happens when you choose to live the rest of your life with someone. “Yes, I liked our marriage, all of it,” she had answered, when I asked her if she hadn't been happy for the last four years. My mind kept thinking of two people left in the sea, growing apart pushed by the waves, together one moment, then miles apart. “Yes, but it's not working,” she answered when I asked her, “don't you love me anymore?”
The first of my questions, she didn't reply to it. She only cried. “Where are you going?” I had asked. She didn't even say, “away,” she just cried. I think she cried all afternoon, making the packed bags that I saw by the door. It hurt less than the silence I heard upon entering our house. It was the last time I was entering our house; now there is no “us”, no “our”, no nothing. The bitterness of an end that didn't need to come. She couldn't tell me why, I can't tell why. “Why do you love me?” she once asked, soon after things between us got serious. “Because you are who you are,” I answered, and she was satisfied. That was then, when we didn't have to know why.
Maybe the problem is that, one day, we asked it.