Her boyfriend of four years moves to LA. He becomes distant. He is, granted, overwhelmed by a new job, new coworkers, new city, new apartment, and new financial responsibilities.
His girlfriend is going through a really hard time, and she needs him. He doesn’t make the effort. He withdraws. They fight and at one point he asks her to compromise on a value she has held since the beginning of the relationship. She senses that something is happening with him, something he isn’t being honest with her about. He isn’t talking to her. He isn’t making her the priority anymore.
To her, her relationship with him came first. She considered them a team who made decisions together and talked about struggles and successes together.
Every night since they were together, they talked to each other, or at least touched base (unless of course one of them was out of the country or unable to for obvious reasons). But one night during the second week of him being gone in LA, he wasn’t reachable.
She was working a double. She was tired and stressed and wanted to touch base with her love. But he wasn’t around. She tried to think of the best, and not assume the worst. But something in the pit of her stomach ached so deep, she felt sick.
Something wasn’t right. No this wasn’t her being crazy. Well, maybe there was an element of crazy involved. But this was her knowing deep within her bones that something was terribly wrong.
The hours in the night wore on and she didn’t hear one word from him. His phone was on too, and the location app informed her that he was active and moving (because of course when one has the ability to check, they will; let’s not bullshit).
As she left work, she knew what she had to do beyond a shadow of a doubt. She had to fly to him. If he wasn’t going to talk to her, she was going to him. She had to. She didn’t want to spend one more minute with this deep sickening feeling.
So, without an ounce of sleep, she bought a ticket for 6am. She went to the store and cashed the check she just received from her last shift. This wasn’t the best financial choice, but here’s how she saw it: go without a few extra things this month, or get those things and spend the whole time melting into a puddle of exhausted gut-wrenching dread? She chose the former.
She tried sleeping a couple of hours, but sleep was so far out of reach. She packed a change of clothes, changed into something sexy (in case this was all a huge misunderstanding).
She arrived at the airport three hours early. The cold, hard seats cut into her skin. She hadn’t eaten for two days, but she wasn’t hungry in the least. Once again, a sickening feeling overcame her body, and she began to shake, tears rolling down her pale skin. People were staring. She was past the point of caring.
A three hour flight felt like a never ending mountain she was trying to summit.
Finally the plane landed in sunny LA. The air was thick, and the sky was blue. If it was any other time, she would be smiling, happy to be there. But the gut-wrenching feeling hadn’t subsided. It was growing and permeating deeper and deeper into her body, soon it would be all that she was.
She got a ride to his apartment.
She didn’t have a key. He still wasn’t answering. She didn’t know how long it would be before he came to the door, but she was determined to wait.
She flew a thousand miles to see him.
A stranger soon showed up and let her inside.
She took the elevator.
Her heart was beating hard inside her chest. She could feel it inside her throat.
She knocked. She heard some muffled noises.
He opened the door.
His face displayed horror and shock.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” he asked.
Her already throbbing heart beat faster still. Why would he talk to her like that?
“I came to see you because I missed you and I love you.”
He didn’t invite her in. He stepped outside of the apartment.
“We need to talk.”
The four words that no one wants to hear. The four words that carry so much weight it crushed her completely.
That bad feeling came back.
She burst through the door and ran with everything in her to the bedroom.
She didn’t care if she looked crazy. She just needed to see what he was keeping from her because it was obvious he wasn’t going to tell her.
He tried to grab her and run after her. But she was on fire. Nothing could stop the flames from spreading.
She saw a woman run into his bathroom. She was wearing a red towel or sheet.
She slammed the door shut.
The girl’s heart sank. She couldn’t believe her eyes. How could this be? Was this what she thought it was? How could it be anything else?
She beat the door.
“Come out, Bitch.”
The girl turned to the man she had trusted with her heart, with her life.
“How could you do this to me?”
“It just happened,” he answered.
A pain emerged. A pain she didn’t know she could feel.
It was a pain she had heard of. But one she never thought she would know.
Yet here she was.
Life has a way of punching you in the face.
The girl felt humiliated. Stunned. Shocked. And tormented all at the same time. She felt sad. She felt betrayed. How could this person be in her home?
The girl may have lived a thousand miles away, but she considered him her home.
And now the home was burning. It was engulfed in bright orange flames. It was collapsing right before her eyes.
Suddenly, in this strange and awkward moment, she felt homeless.
”When did you stop loving me?” she asked.
“I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now,” he replied.
“But you never told me! I had no clue.”
“This is for the best.”
The girl started taking her things, the clothes she had left there, even though she had no place to put them in her carryon.
She punched the bathroom door.
“Leave her out of this,” he yelled.
“You need to leave. Just leave. Fucking leave.”
“You are a coward,” she said.
“No I’m not. I’m doing the brave thing by letting you go.”
“That’s bullshit. You’re full of shit,” she said.
She gently held his face in her hands and looked into his eyes.
“I could have loved you forever. I wanted to. I already chose to. I was ready. I wanted you to be the father of my children. You were it for me.”
He didn’t cry. He didn’t flinch.
“You are doing this. This is your choice,” she said.
“If you let me walk out that door, you will never see me again,” she stated.
He didn’t say anything.
“Let me give you a hug,” he said reaching for her.
“Do not touch me. I am not yours anymore. You don’t get to touch me. You don’t get to take care of me.”
And with that, she walked away. She didn’t look back. She walked out onto the streets of LA with black streaks of mascara rolling down her cheeks.
She didn’t know where to go. She didn’t know this city.
All she knew was that her home was now gone. And she had lost her best friend.
So she sank to edge of the sidewalk. She let the shaking take hold. She let the tears come. She couldn’t stop. She desperately wanted to feel comforted, so she wrapped her arms around her small waist.
And she sat there for a long time and tried to pick up the pieces of a life forever gone.