He felt filthy. He felt dirty. He felt his worth fall all the way down to his feet. He couldn’t help himself. They had fought, he had run to the closest bar, picked up a girl out of habit, and done the thing he could never undo.
“Out of habit”
He couldn’t believe he had just thought that! It wasn’t his habit, not anymore…
As if the hangover and guilt weren’t enough his brain decided to replay yesterday’s events.
” I can’t do this. I’m involved” Oh, at least he TRIED to refuse.
“There’s a reason you were at that bar alone right? Indulge on the chance” she whispered, as she kissed his neck.
“We fought, but I.. I can’t cheat”
“Its not cheating if she doesn’t know” she said before….
His stomach couldn’t take more, and he had a split second to roll over the bed and throw up whatever alcohol was inside his system. If only guilt could go that way too.
Because it was cheating. He had cheated. He ran away at the slightest chance of trouble and he cheated.
He groaned, as he decided to go shower and catch a cup of coffee. After he managed to get out of bed, in and out of the shower, and dress himself, he decided to call her. He had to get things off his chest. Maybe it wasn’t cheating if she didn’t know, but that didn’t make the guilt any less. As if she read his mind, a text appeared on his phone –
“Hey, we need to talk”
He sighed as he sent the reply –
“Yes we do. Half an hour, Starbucks?”
I’ll tell her, he thought. I’ll tell her the truth and then we’ll see where we stand.
That was probably the worst decision of his life.
“I cheated on you last night” he whispered.
Her heart stopped. Here she was, apologizing for something that was hardly her fault. Apologizing for putting her work before him. Apologizing for saving 12 people in one night instead of giving him what he wants… And here he was, having the audacity to tell her he cheated.
She’d temporarily stopped listening to him, because now that she words were out, now that she knew, nothing mattered. She managed to hear a few words at the end.
“- and I’m sorry. I know it’s not an excuse, I know it was dirty. I want to bleach myself and get rid of the sins. But I can’t change what happened-”
She zoned out again. She didn’t give a rat’s ass about why he did it, and if he did it again, it wouldn’t be her problem.
Last night played in her mind as he kept going on about how sorry he was…
“I’m trying to save people’s lives! You should’ve known what you were getting into before you took this forward” She screamed.
“You’re right. Its my fault. It always is isn’t it? Its okay that you’re never home. Its also okay that I go to sleep with the sheets cold beside me, and wake up to the same” he said, submissively, before putting on his jacket and shoes.
“Well I’m sorry for that, you know I try, I try very hard! Wait, where are you going? ” she said, a little fear in her voice.
“I need some space to think. I can’t- just give me some space” he said, as he opened the door.
Suddenly the anger edged back in her voice ,”ITS ALL ABOUT PHYSICAL THINGS TO YOU, ISN’T IT?” But he hadn’t heard it, he was already out the door.
She had spent the last 12 hours thinking if it really was her fault. She thought maybe it wasn’t possible to keep two things she loved balanced. She imagines how he felt without her, all the time. She’d been thinking it was all her and she finally knew it wasn’t.
It isn’t my fault, she thought as a smile laced her lips.
” – so that’s all I wanted to- hey, why are you smiling? Does this mean we’re okay?” She threw her head back and laughed. “No sweetheart, we aren’t okay. We’re done. I’m done with you. I know you’re sorry and I know you love me…”
She leaned in closer to him, “.. but at the end, its all about the physical things for you isn’t it?” she said, caressing his cheek,
“Its all about the touches and the kisses” she finished as she kissed him, one last time, “It’s all about the physical, and that’s not enough for me”, she said before she got up, took her white coat and walked out, laughing.
He barely noticed all the people staring at him. His face was white with shock and stained with tears, as he saw the love of his life walk out of Starbucks, laughing and smiling.
She was the best thing that ever happened to him, and he let her go. He didn’t just let her go, he pushed her away. He let out a strangled sob as the weight of what just happened settled on his shoulders. He sat there, for God knows how long, and cried till his throat burned and his head hurt.
And the worst part, he thought as he buried his face in his hands to control his tears, was that she didn’t seem to have been affected by it at all.. Almost as if she’d expected and prepared for it.
What he didn’t know was that that confident stride and that smile out of Starbucks lasted about 5 minutes down the street. Then she let out the sob she’d been holding in, and cried as faces turned to look at her. She hurried down the street, as the tears made their way down her cheeks faster than her pace.
She couldn’t believe he’d cheated, but moreover she couldn’t believe she’d left him. That had taken more guts than any surgery she’d ever done, and as much as she was proud of herself, she couldn’t help but let out sobs as she realized the truth about the ‘ONE’… She had built an image of him in her head over the past few years, and when his actions faltered that image, she finally woke up.
She wasn’t in love with HIM, she was in love with the IDEA OF HIM, and that’s what hurt her the most.