First published at Burningword.
You gaze at the clothes flipping in the washer, because you don’t know what else to do. They’re not even yours.
You told Brad you needed something more, something he couldn’t offer, something you couldn’t explain. You rubbed your damp palms over the lime green material of your dress and told him you wouldn’t forget. You didn’t mention the inoperable tumor.
You changed jobs and moved to the other side of the city, so there would be less chance of you running into each other. You didn’t tell your new employer you’d be there for less than a year.
You changed your cell phone number and closed your Facebook page. You knew Brad would try to find you.
You spin the diamond to match the cycle of the clothes. You don’t think about the future.
You handed Brad a valise with his stuff from your apartment when you met at the cafe, everything except the ring, that is. You told him you lost it. He was too shocked to be angry.
He asked why. You couldn’t tell him the truth.
You walked out of the coffee shop, leaving him sitting with his mouth open. You told him not to follow you. You needed some space.
People stared. You wanted to tell them you didn’t want to be a burden, like your mother had been at the end.