Reason suggested that I wait until we were face to face because our moments of attempted [serious] communication can be understated by a comparison to torture. We don't work it out, we just wear each other down until we're tired and disarmed and I've cried and he's taken the lord's name half a dozen times in that raspy, far away tone.
And in the last text I sent, I "said that I needed time," which he accurately decoded, a little to my dismay. I didn't want to talk to him. Didn't want to read the little digital message about the sun and the good day he hoped I was having. Didn't want to think of his eyes or his smile or his wonder and intelligence. I wanted them gone...like in the cartoon when the wee man with the giant pencil turns it over and begins erasing. I wanted a faintness to descend on the things that would break my heart so that my mental departure would perhaps be less devastating.
In the minute before I desperately wanted him on the phone, I desperately never wanted to hear his voice again. So naturally I called and texted in a manner that only an established girlfriend can get away with. I hated him and loved him and hated and loved myself and hated and loved the warm spring air and hated the heavy-heartedness of night. But I decided that it needed to be now, the dreaded tete-a-tete, because I'm that impulsive. And when his returned call interrupted the voicemail I was leaving on his phone, I threw my trusty maze of madness out the window and gave clarity a go.
He confirmed some fears. I created some. I secured myself close to composure and his boots crunched earth beneath them. He walked and listened. I parked and talked. Then he talked and I listened. Making sure not to venture too far from the mold, he still spat an abbreviated hiss or two and I shed a few silent tears. I hope he understood that I understand a great deal, though I am also overwhelmed with the unfamiliarity of acronyms and objectives. I know that giving himself is hard under the kind of pressure put on him. I also know that "manning-up" is not my style.
He has to go before we can really even begin. He says, "I love you. I really do." and for the first time in weeks, I believe it [the words]. And he's sorry, so sorry that I'm feeling distraught and sorry that it "falls on his end."
[I'm sorry that I'm not stronger. I'm sorry I had to tell you that I'm scared it all might be too much.]
In a voice unexpectedly calm, I tell him, "we just need to figure out how to make it work." And before he again leaves behind the world where I exist and enters the other, he affirms that "we will."