it starts with her saying it’s all her; it’s not you.
it starts with her saying she just needs some “space.”
she will say she still loves you and always will.
she will hold your hand and beg your forgiveness.
she will let go of your hand and cry.
she will let you sleep with her one last time.
she will say she wishes it didn’t have to be this way.
she will have whispered conversation on the phone,
then pretend it was a wrong number.
she will forget to come home on the same frozen winter night as the furnace breaks down and you will check the time every 20 anguished minutes — shivering and praying
that she’s dead in a ditch because it beats the alternative — until 4 a.m. when she will spill through the front door insisting she owes you no explanation for where she’s been (nowhere) or who she’s been with (no one). later she will say she got so tired
she just fell asleep on the couch of a generous friend. this friend will have no name,
and will hang up whenever you answer the phone.
she will stop using your shared kitchen appliances and start eating out all the time.
she will stop borrowing your sweaters and demand that you return her tennis racquet.
her suddenly immaculate bathroom will be declared off-limits to you once and for all.
she will stop changing clothes in front of you.
she will no longer watch TV in her underwear.
she will let you sleep with her one more last time.
she will be careless with your books, neglect your cats,
spill coffee on your best dress shirt.
all because she is trying to make you hate her.
she believes it is easier that way.
she will suggest you start seeing other people
and suddenly it will be ridiculously obvious that for her, that ship has already sailed.
she will encourage you to make new friends, get out more, party!
but god help you if you want to go out dancing in the same place as her.
she will stop leaving you post-it notes all over the apartment.
she will stop asking “how was your day, honey?”
… she will stop calling you honey.
she will stop bringing you bagels & lattes on sunday mornings.
she will start listening to music she used to despise.
she will bring home new age CDs labeled relaxation for lovers and water harmony
and karmic lust and tell you to keep your zen-challenged mitts off them.
she will break your favourite mug.
she will break the zipper on your supposedly indestructible MEC parka.
she will break all the rules of civilized leaving…
she will break your heart.