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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Drama · #1200315
Break-ups weren't supposed to be this easy...
Deora Ar Mo Chroí
[Tears of the Heart]


         So I walked up to her, she was sitting at a desk, writing up her papers for some English essay she had to finish up. I watched, memorizing her features for the last time, noticing the way she flicked back her long black hair when it fell into her eyes, and the absent-minded push of her glasses up the bridge of her nose. I watched her catch her lower lip between her teeth as she got stuck on a particular section of her writing, the way she tapped her pen restlessly on the notebook before blowing out a soft 'whoosh' of air, making a cute pout on lips I had kissed a million times over.

         Damn. This was going to be harder than I thought.

         But it had to be done. We both knew that things weren't going to work out between us, and it was going to be for the best. I braced myself for the tantrum and the possible screaming and called out to her.

         "Hey."

         She looked up, blinked large brown eyes behind the glasses as if unsure of who I was at first, before they lit up in recognition. She smiled...a semblance of a smile. It didn't quite reach the eyes though. It was as if she knew.

         "What's up?" she asked quietly. We were in the library after all. I couldn't have chosen a lousier spot to do this.

         "Ah..." I took a deep breath and tried to smile. I think it must have been a grimace. "I just wanted to tell you that...you know...we should break up."

         A heartbeat of a pause and then, "Okay."

         I blinked at the matter-of-fact response, not quite sure of what to do now. I was so prepared for the onslaught of questions and accusations that the finality of her response floored me. I was a bit pissed...but mostly bemused that she was so willing to say goodbye.

         "You're...you're not going to scream or anything?" She had to do something, right? I mean sure it's been a while since we made out or even really touched each other, and we both knew things were deteriorating faster than a sand dune in a hurricane, but come on...

         "Why should I scream?" She was writing again. Not looking at me. Making me even more upset. "We both knew it was ending."

         "Yeah, but..."

         But what exactly? My new girlfriend was waiting outside for me. I should be walking away, feeling pleased that things were going so well and yet...

         "I just thought you'd be more upset that's all," I muttered like a petulant child, realizing I was pouting a little. Was she really that eager to leave me too? Was there some guy I didn't know about? How long had she known I was cheating on her anyway? Why did she always have to be the rational one? The one who was able to calm me down whenever I got into my tirades about the injustices of life? Hell, she was always the one to remind me to keep my cool, 'cause she was smart like that and didn't raise her voice a lot.

         Why I loved her...

         She chuckled and tucked a strand of hair behind her ears. "Nah. It's cool." She looked up smiling, and my heart slammed hard within my chest. Jesus! Had she always looked this cute? Well, yeah...that was why I dated and was with her for almost a year, right?

         "I know you'll be happier with Megan...that's her name, right? Besides, we both knew it was over anyway. So go on and have fun, hmm? I've gotta finish this paper tonight."

         "Kathy..."

         "I'll be fine, Paul. Honest. See?"

         I should have noticed that her eyes were too bright. That the smile was too forced, but I was too caught up in my raging emotions of confusion and disbelief at how well things were going. Oddly enough, I felt defeated for some reason. Maybe it was that reverse psychology thing. If so, she was doing a damn fine job of making me feel like shit.

         "Ah...yeah, I guess." I smiled - tried to at least - and took a step away, perhaps thinking the space between us would help. "I'll see you around, okay?"

         "Sure."

         I walked away, threw a quick glance over my shoulder, perhaps hoping she was giving me a longing look of regret, but to my chagrin she was still writing...even faster and that really got me frustrated. Damn it. I bet she'd call up that friend of hers and laugh behind my back, saying what a loser I was to break up with her in the library of all places. It wasn't supposed to be like this. That wasn't the way break-ups happened. But then again, perhaps that was why I chose the setting, a quiet area where she would not have the chance to yell and scream at me.

         So why the hell wasn't I feeling any better about it? Why did I feel like I was the one short-changed? That I was the one walking away from something great? We met through a row of books at the school bookstore. She on the other end, browsing through a text book, me staring helplessly at how cute and yet dorky she looked with those big bottles she called glasses on her face. I initiated conversation by asking what classes she was taking; she blushed and stole my heart. Our relationship was great. Had been great. We were the best of friends, did everything together, met her parents, and she met mine. We whispered sweet nothings in the dark, the first time I took her...simply heaven.

         So when did things go down the drain? When did our sizzling romance fizzle to nothing but the short end of a fire cracker? Was it the day we entered our senior year? When school work overwhelmed us that we barely had time to see each other? Or perhaps it was the ill-fated field trip where I met and lusted after the vivacious redhead I called my girl now. When did our conversations become stilted? Cold? Empty? When could we barely look at each other without seeing our failures as a couple?

         Redhead finally suggested I break the string that was now drawn so taut it would have snapped anyway, and I've done it. Finally. To cut off all ties between us and to move on. Like it was supposed to be. Right?

         And yet, as if compelled by an unseen force, I looked through the large windows one last time – to perhaps validate that I had taken that step of finality - and saw it. It was in the way her hands trembled over the paper, the painful struggle to hold back the trail of tears that cascaded her cheeks and fell to her paper like silent rain. She did not cry out loud – could not cry out loud, but only bite her lower lip and suffer in the silence of a room that forced her to bear her sorrow for as much as she could.

         Kathy...

         I turned away feeling cold and empty, hands stuck in my pockets to control their trembling. I barely felt my new girl's presence or her voice of concern, until a soft cold breeze chilled the tears upon my cheeks – a bitter reminder of my inherent weakness.




Notes: The title is Irish Gaelic and gotten from Enya's CD - A Day Without Rain. The music is quite haunting and lovely - a must get.
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