He stroked my hair as I lay there on his chest. We both watched the television even though there was nothing on the screen.
“We need to talk, don’t we?” I asked.
“Do you definitely want to have this conversation now?”
I sat up and shuffled close to him so we were still embracing, but I could look into his eyes. I sniffled and wiped a tear from my face.
“I think we have to. You go first.”
“Ok.” He cleared his throat. “First off, I don’t blame you. You haven’t done anything. If you’d told me two months ago that you’d been cheating then I’d have had no trouble walking away from you. We’d have been over instantly. But, you haven’t done anything to hurt me. Also, I know how it feels to fight against something with all your strength, and to deny it so strongly, thinking it’ll eventfully go away only to realise that’s not how it works and you can’t change your true self.” His eyes welled up as he relived his 24th birthday, the day he drunkenly came out of the closet to his parents. He’d told me that story before, how he’d been so terrified of what they would think or say or do, but in the end they just hugged him and assured ‘worse things happen at sea’. His parents were lovely. I knew I’d miss them.
“I wouldn’t want you to change. You’ve accepted yourself for who you are, and I could never come between that.”
“Thank you.” He said. “I wouldn’t change the last two years.”
“Me neither. I don’t regret our relationship … I wish you weren’t gay.”
He wiped a tear from my cheek. “I wish you weren’t a girl … So what now?”
“We’ve reached the end, haven’t we?”
“I think so.” He said.
We hugged, and both of us were crying. We’d cried like this before – it was kind of our thing; the night we realised we were in love, the night when we finished university and he had to move back up to Scotland, and every single time we said goodbye at the train station. It was the most passionate relationship I’d ever had with anyone, and it was coming to an end after just two years.
We got up from the sofa. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and when I got to the bedroom he’d set down a glass of water on the bedside table. I get thirsty during the night. I pulled off my jeans and climbed into bed beside him. He hugged me tight, and I fell asleep in his arms for the last time.
In the morning he was still there. We had breakfast and chatted casually as if nothing had changed, then he walked me to the railway station. He helped me on with my case; just as the buzzer sounded to say the train was about to leave. I bent down and gave him a final kiss.
He said, “I love you.”
I said, “I love you too.”
Then he said “Goodbye.”
We were both crying. The doors closed and the train departed. Five hours later I went to bed on my own.
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Callousie Futthand lives in a quaint town in the North East of England. You can find out more about her writing at her website.
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