“You made me feel like I mattered. Nearly everyone else made me feel like I was just another planet in their orbit. You made me feel like the sun. How could I avoid making you the center of my universe?” he asked her as he felt the tears beginning to form in the pit of his eye.
She said nothing. She looked at him as though she wanted to say something but she couldn’t force her mouth to open.
He waited for her to speak as he stood in front of the door with his giant, green duffel for what seemed like an eternity. He wanted nothing more than to put it down and rush over to hold her. He wanted to tell her that whatever it was, they could get through it. His grip loosened on the strap as she continued to look at him. Then he saw her eyes move to the floor in front of her.
As the first tear broke free from his eye and moved down his cheek, he finally tightened his grip and slung the green duffel over his shoulder. He placed his hand on the doorknob and turned it to open the door. Before he walked out, he turned to her and said, “If I knew what it was I did, I would fix it. I do love you.”
It wasn’t until the door clicked shut behind him that her numbness broke. She felt as though her world had just crashed down around her. Her sobbing began as soon as she figured he was clear from the range of being able to hear it. As she cried, she wondered what she had done. She wondered how she could have let the greatest man she had ever known walk out of her life.
She thought about how kind he was, even as he was leaving her. As he walked out of the door, he gently made sure the door was latched shut. He did not slam it, or leave it half-open. He turned and slowly pulled the door shut behind him until he head the click. He was always doing little things like that, showing an awareness of other people’s feelings she hadn’t ever encountered in a man. She hated that he was gone. She hated herself for pushing him away.
He wanted to be angry, as he walked down the street with most of his belongings on his back. He wanted to hate her for making him feel again, only to leave him feeling like this. He had no idea where he was going, or what he should do now; he only knew that he could never hate the woman who made him feel as though he mattered.
He walked along the road toward a tourist district. There were a couple of hotels that he figured would not be too expensive, but would be clean enough for him to actually consider staying the night in. He figured he would go there for the night. He could call his friends and family to make other arrangements from the room on where to stay until he could get a place of his own. As he got closer to the attractions, he saw couples walking hand-in-hand, smiling and laughing with that sparkle in their eyes that only people in love could show.
Dusk was setting in, and the streets began to empty. He was getting cold. He passed by two hotels already because they looked a little run-down for his tastes. He saw a perfectly good travel hotel about a half-mile up the road on the other side. He walked to the end of the block to cross the street, and waited for the walk signal.
While he waited, the clouds opened up. When the walk sign appeared, he stepped off the curb into the street. As the rain pelted him, he wondered if the day could get any worse, when he heard the screeching of the tires.
The impact was not too severe, but enough to send him to the wet asphalt. His huge, green duffel hit the ground first, absorbing his fall and preventing him from smacking his head on the roadway. Fortunately, the car’s momentum had already been slowed when the tires managed to gain some traction shortly before he was struck.
He looked at the blinding headlights of the small car as he mentally checked himself to make sure he was okay. He was a little sore where the car had hit, but everything seemed to be alright. He heard the driver’s door swing open and the click-clack of high heels rapidly approach.
“I’m okay!” he shouted to the driver. “Be careful in those shoes, it’s wet out here!”
“Oh my Goddess, I’m so sorry! I just was-Oh wha-!”
He watched through the headlights as the driver’s heel slipped from under her and sent her crashing to the ground.
He got to his feet and now stood over the driver who had just hit him with her car. Her long, dark hair covered her face as she tried to sit up on the wet asphalt.
“Seven days…” he joked to himself before saying out loud, “Miss, are you okay?”
She burst out laughing from the irony of the situation, which he figured was a good sign. He grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet, holding onto it to ensure she didn’t slip again.
He led her to the car and placed her hand on the hood so she could steady herself. He then went back to where she had fallen to pick up the expensive looking bag that she dropped.
As he was getting her bag for her, she brushed the hair from in front of her eyes, and attempted to straighten herself up.
“It doesn’t look like anything fell out. Here is your bag, Miss,” he said, holding the bag out in front of him.
As she grabbed the bag from his hand, he looked up to her face.
“Anna?” he asked rhetorically as he stood before the only other woman he ever loved.