Carla realised it would be their last time together after dinner. The waitress had placed them on the same table they had used the previous weekend. She made sure to step ahead and sit in the same place as before, smoothly placing her hands under the table, her fingers searching. There was a small scratch under the table, made a week ago with a pocket knife she carried around sometimes. As he talked, she touched the slit in the wood and imagined her life without him. The texture was strangely smooth, and her finger moved back and forth, inconspicuous, as his words went on and on and on. He enjoyed listening to the sound of his own voice, and loved the feeling of someone waiting at the end of the day to hear it too. His first words to her had been, “Do you mind if I tell you something?”, and from thereon he hadn’t asked if she minded anymore. She couldn’t remember when was the last time they had a discussion on anything. It was kind of boring.
But who could blame him? She was guilty too. She had found solace in the sense of belonging to someone, and she was bad at conflict resolution. She had enjoyed the burst of affection the first few months after they met, feeling like a prized, rare gem. Now that the chase was over she had seen the interest crumbling down, as is natural. He liked to say that a lot. Natural. Logical. Obviously. He had obviously won her over, and she was his. Her nail started scraping, and she felt ashamed of the whole situation. She realised that she had been somehow okay with how things had progressed and then stagnated. The only problem was that she was gradually losing her mind.
She remembered reading somewhere that the language of pain was structured in such a way that it was repulsive to others, and it ended up isolating the chronically ill. It was a grim subject, and she kept it to herself, like so many things that made her go mad sometimes. One day, she said to herself, I will explode, and then what can I possible be after that? She knew that it was perfectly fine to be crazy, bored, sad and dead, as long as you don’t inconvenience anyone with it.
She had always had a hard time expressing how she felt in a way that could be understood. She took to walking around the time when her last boyfriend left her, and now the urge was stronger than ever. She built up the courage to speak up and end the whole thing once and for all. She told him that she no longer felt any affection for him, and that she was looking into beginning anew by herself. At first his eyes opened wide and asked why, but then closed as she explained flatly that she was just tired of the same things, and that she had asked herself if she had the strength to change and improve their relationship, and the sincere answer was no. And that was on her, she understood, and she was sorry for it. When he started to look completely desperate she felt her own will falter, but when he tried to reach her and her body jerked away, she knew she had done the right thing. She told him that she would send for some of her things, but that she had already taken the most important ones with her and that he could throw the rest if he wished. She then left him sitting alone, paid the bill and stepped out into the night. Her pace went faster and faster the more she walked, and her guilt and desperation fizzled with the city sounds.