4:02 a.m.

She might as well have looked me straight in the eyes and said word for word, “This is how little I care about you” before she left me in that cold Albany parking lot on that gray evening in March and got into her car and drove forever out of my life. But she didn’t. She let me wait for her for a month before vaguely telling me over the phone that she was out, done, giving up on me for no apparent reason, and only after my emotionally confused state desperately yanked the truth out of her.

I remember so clearly her saying at one point, “It shouldn’t be this difficult.” As if relationships were supposed to be easy and require no self sacrifices or work. By no means was ours hard, no, at least not for her. I poured the lifeblood of my soul into her and lived to please her, only you see, I never could. Every now and then I’d catch a moment, but nothing more. I was never, ever enough. And despite months of a growing feeling of dejectedness, the thought of the relationship being “difficult” never once crossed my mind.

You see, this is the part I’ve been struggling to write. It’ll be almost a year now since I last saw the girl I loved in that haunting parking lot in that oppressive gray city I’ll never go back to. But last night I awoke from another nightmare about her. And this time it brought more than a shaking sweat and a dizzying anxiety. This one brought revelation.

In the dream, I exhausted myself trying to please her, to meet her needs, to make her happy, to make myself feel wanted. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how many times I reworked, revamped or reinvented the ways, she kept slipping away, packing her things, putting her clothes back on, driving away.

Sometimes she’d look back as I begged her not to go and she would return, only slightly, if not her feet certainly her mind already halfway out the door. She would say nothing, but her silence said it all. It was one last chance to rework, revamp, reinvent myself to be a person she would want and desire. There I would try again a new technique, over and over, until I realized ever too late that she was already gone.

disciple | impractical daydreamer | creative writer | photographer

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