She drew back from his outstretched hand. The rain fell in light drops on her hair, dripping gently onto her face, slowly soaking her clothes. His eyes were intense; filled with pain, hurt and love. Such deep love that she could never deserve. She could never earn the right to be loved by him or become worthy of him. She knew too much hurt from the past. The years of burden and grief she had carried had worn her down – had made her so afraid to care.
“It’s just…” She began, fruitlessly. She filled with a loose braid of hair. “I can’t.” She felt something shift inside her. The familiar pattern had begun once more. The barriers were slowly lowering, shutting down her emotions, giving her back control over her choices, over her life. Control to choose to be alone and untouched. Control that coldly shut down everything that made her the person she had once been. She was always accused of being cold. It was the price she had to pay for her so-called freedom. It was too limited but it was the only freedom she’d ever had. It was the only way to control her fate.
She stretched her back tall and let go of her hair, standing tall again.
“It isn’t the right time for me. I have to go away – you know that.”
His eyes misted full of tears that threatened to steal away his pretence at manhood. He feebly tried to reach for her again but even as he did she knew that she had already pushed too far. That this was his way of starting to let go. She had seen it before and she knew even then that she would again. In a different time in another place but still the same processes.
“It’s been fun. I won’t forget. We can keep in touch. There’s always Skype now.” The familiar words rolled off her tongue. Like a pre-recorded message: “This is Anya, I can’t get to the phone right now but I want you to know that we can still be friends, you can try me on my mobile, or Facebook me, or Skype me on….”
She stared at him, barely recognising the pathetic specimen that she had spent so many months with. “You’ll be fine. Go hang with the boys. Go back to football practice – they need you there.”
“You won’t even remember me tomorrow, will you?” He said, the bitterness in his voice already seeping through.
“I have to go.” She turned to leave. “Good luck.”