General Fiction posted December 3, 2020

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Ta-da! Another break up story!

There is no beginning without a

by Shenelle Coplien

"There is no beginning without an ending."

She fingers through the pages of Bukowski like she is on a mission to tell me she knows more about heartbreak than I do.

"Why are you in such a hurry," I laugh, steering the wheel of the vehicle we have entrapped our lives in.

She smirks," No hurry." She finds the page of her choice, pulling her knees up close, her head onto the window and making herself a home.

"Are you going to read me another one of those poems?"

"And we are in bed together laughing, and we don't care about anything," she reads," that's us! That's totally us!"

I smile at her, nod my head, and keep my eyes on the road.

We had been driving for days and there has yet to be a second of regret. These desert roads were full of mystery, just like us. As the sun would pull down our faces, we would fill our coffee cups and keep on our way.

"As long as we are driving, it'll always feel like we are together," she often reminded me.

But destinations always meant there was an ending.

She would perch herself up for hours with her books. Telling me stories, reading them, writing them. I could listen to her for days, even if that made me a fool. I became her fool a long time ago. Those large blue eyes, they would snag their claws in me all day long.

"I know you are in love with me, I wish you would just tell me," she beams.

"I can't give you everything that you want."

For me the road has always been lonely and long. I isolated myself in my own despair. No companion, no cares.

Then there was her. She was supposed to be a temporary fix, leave her before dawn and never look back. Now I'm only looking forward to it.

There she sits, smiling and gazing, taunting me with her forever engaging personality.

She'll lean in and kiss my cheeks," Do you like it when it's just us?"

I loved it, I loved her, but I couldn't tell her that. I couldn't let my dreams and goals be interrupted by strands of her purple hair.

When the sunset approached, we pulled off to the side and sat on the desert floor, waiting. She'd lay her head into my lap and I would run my hands down her body.

She'll joke about keeping her around," I wish you would just tell me. I know you wouldn't take any others with if you didn't love them."

I tickle her. Change the subject. Make her laugh. Make her come closer to me. She's straddling me, kissing me and she's already forgotten I didn't give her an answer.

As we drove through the night, she'd use my jacket as a blanket, curled into her seat. I'd glance over and smile throughout the drive, knowing that each mile meant we were closer to an unwanted end.

My eyes would eventually grow tired and I'd pull into a vacant lot, push my seat back and take one last glance as I fall asleep.

She whispers," We don't need to sleep in the same bed to be in love."

"Get some sleep, tomorrow is our last day."

When dawn approaches, the sprinkles from the sky wash away the desert dirt from our vehicle. We continue East and I can see sorrow has already found her.

"No books today?" I ask.

"I can only read for my mood. I didn't bring any sad books."

She pushed her face into the window, watching the trees pass her one by one.

I reach my hand over and grab hers," I'm gonna miss you."

She jerks her hand away," Nobody misses things they don't love."

She was right. She was always right. I didn't have anything to say back. It was a cowardly move, I've given her everything but the truth.

"What happens if I tell you? Does anything change? We can't stay, you can't stay. I have to keep going and you can't keep coming."

"Your heart will change. Then you'll change. Then we can have everything."

I did not want to change. I was too old for change and she was too young for stability. She'll leave her world just to watch me grow old. Her beauty and passion would be wasted on someone who would never appreciate it.

"People don't change," I reminded her.

"No they don't, they just fall in love. Then the world looks different."

"Honey, I've been in this world much longer than you. Nothing will look different for me."

" You have changed - that's why I know," she persists.

I shake my head. The road was made for endless conversations like these. Morning and night, we could make up the future with little to no real action ever needed. I could promise her everything and she would never expect anything.

Some would say that is love. Two people guaranteeing everything only to hope the other loves them enough when they never follow through - when things become too easy and too stationary.

She flopped in her chair with distaste and regret for what would be the end of this trip. When I invited her weeks ago, I told her we were headed to our ending. She knew what that meant, but in her soul, days of curious joyfulness would defeat a lifetime of heart sickness. However, she is never ready for the truth. She is never ready for reality, for as long as we stayed next to each other, she felt completed. Leaving her was easy, but leaving her knowing she may very well wake up every morning with my name on the tip of her tongue - for a lifetime - was a heavy burden for my own selfish reasons.

As we near the horizon, the ending I created, the place where hearts break and lessons are learned, I'm becoming nervous on how easy this will be.

"When things end, new things also begin," I say. She doesn't respond. She stares out the window, full of disgust and sadness. I reach my hand over to hers, squeeze her fingers and stare at the back of her head.

"You won't ever go a day without thinking about me," she whispers. She puts her lips to the window and breathes heavily enough to form a fog. She takes her index finger and spells her name into the condensation.

"This will fade away. But I won't" She turns her head back to me and winks.

I sigh for a second. I think her gaze and quick corkiness might mean we have a chance to come out of this not completely shredded in hurt.
"I know you'll find him out there. I know it's not me. It would be too easy for it to be me. You were made to be challenged, made to be chased, made to be earned."

I put the car in park. We are in the middle of nowhere and the satire could not be more dry.

"Do you need help with your bags?" I ask. She grabs her books from under her seat. She holds them close to her chest, opens the door car and steps out.

"You can keep them. I don't need anything from you anymore," she smiles.

"No?" I question.

She steps out of the car and shuts it behind her, leans into the window and says, "If I make this easy, then I know you'll always regret it."

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