And So It Goes

"Now, I have seen that sad surrender in my lover's eyes / And I can only stand apart and sympathize / For we are always what our situations hand us / It's either sadness or euphoria..." - Billy Joel

It was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do. We were never really married in the first place. It was the right thing to do. And yet why can't I let this go?

I open my eyes. Everything is blurry, from sleep or from the whiskey, I'm not sure. I blink back the stars, and sit my protesting body up on the couch. The den whirls around me. I shake my throbbing head to free from it. I take a quick glance at my watch. Great, three twenty in the morning and I can't sleep. Just great. I stare at the nearly empty bottle of Jack Daniels that is on the coffee table, and sink back into the comfort of the sofa.

It was the right thing to do. It's not like this was a real marriage. We both knew that from the beginning. It was just for that cult case. That was it. Nothing more, nothing less. It wasn't supposed to mean anything. I just wish thing weren't so different. It would've been wrong for us to stay married. It wasn't a real marriage. If we both know this, then why the hell am I feeling this way?

It's called denial. To be completely honest with myself, I didn't want the annulment. I knew it would've been wrong, but I didn't want it. It felt so good to have somebody again. I mean that. It was only for a few weeks or so, but it felt so good. I found I was finally content again after all those miserable lonely years. I found someone whom I could love again.

It's actually quite stupid if you think about it. The marriage wasn't real, therefore it shouldn't have made such an impact on our relationship. It's strange how our minds work like that. It was a false marriage for God's sake. How could the annulment of a false marriage separate us this much? I can't get this out of my mind.

Ever since I met you three years ago, I felt something. You weren't just another woman at the office. I guess I didn't really know it at first, but the more I think about it, I think I did. I couldn't act upon it, of course. The timing was never right. First year, you were just beginning to get over your divorce. Second year, Joe Celano came into the picture and screwed everything up. Now I actually had you, and this happened. Fate is playing me for a fool.

And fool I am.

The doorbell rings, and I snap out of my thoughts. It's three thirty in the morning. Who the hell could - Oh. Right.

I continue to sit there. I don't even move. I just keep staring at the whiskey bottle on the table. The doorbell rings again. I curse under my breath. I wait some more. I can tell you're getting apprehensive. Call me crazy but I can hear it in the doorbell. The same damn doorbell since forever. It rings another time.

Fine. I'm coming. I stand from the couch, and make my way clumsily around the house in the dark to the front door. I don't bother to turn on the light. Figure I'd fly to pieces. I reach it within a few strides, and I stare at it. Something pulls at my heart. It's so bad that it almost feels like something is physically wrenching at it. I crack my knuckles anxiously. I reach out to the doorknob, give it a quick twist, and open the door slowly.

"Hey." I whisper into the night.

"I'm sorry I woke you up." You say just as quietly.

Should I tell you that you didn't?

"Don't worry about it." I reply. What the hell is wrong with me?

I move out of the way and let you in, and close the door again. "Shouldn't you be home with your kids? It's three in the morning." What am I trying to do, make you feel guilty? Idiot. But I have nothing else to say at the moment. I take off your coat and set it on a chair.

"I made sure they're all right."

I walk to the kitchen, and you follow. Say something. Say something. Say something! My God, I have a million things to say, but I'm afraid to. I don't know why. I've always been able to talk to you. But now the words are gone. They've escaped me. We stand in the silent dark.

"I'm sorry." You say again. "I'm not really sure why I'm here."

Should I tell you it's okay? That it doesn't matter. And that I wish I could just take you in my arms, carry you upstairs, and make love to you for the rest of the night. But I won't be honest if I say that. I can't act like nothing's changed at all. Things are different despite the fact that I wish to hell they weren't. I always seem to get screwed over when it comes to relationships. I stare at you now, and all I can think is how much I would give to be able to tell you everything I'm thinking without consequences. I want you, Lynn. But I can't say it. I hold myself back.

"I'm not exactly sure as to why you're here either." I answer.

A look of hurt shot across your face. What the hell did I say that for?! I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Lynn. I'm sorry. Say it. I can't. Say it! It's too hard. I can't do it. Apologize before it's too late! What do I do? What do I do? Why did I have to say that?

It's my ludicrous way of dealing with women I love. I set myself apart. I do everything from a distance. It's not a good thing. And yet I can't get myself to not do it. I pull away when you reach out.

"I'm sorry." You say once more. "I shouldn't have come here. I'm sorry." Sorry again?

"Stop saying you're sorry." I reply. Oh my god, what am I doing?!

"What?"

"Stop saying you're sorry." I repeat clearly.

Shut up! Am I purposely doing this or am I just a complete jerk?! Both oppositions are bad. Stop talking! Lynn, I love you. Say it before it's too late! But I can't. This is it, I'm going to break your heart. I'm going to break your heart. And for some reason I can't stop myself. I'm doing it. I'm breaking your heart. I wish I could save you. I want to, but I'm already gone. I'm not here anymore. Don't do this. I love you, Lynn. I love you more than any woman I've ever loved. Ever. You're the only one who's ever been able to tolerate me, and yet I'm letting you go. Why am I doing this? Lynn, I love you. I love you.

"The more you say you're sorry, the more you diminish the worth of the words." I continue.

And now I'm sorry. I can't believe I'm doing this to you. Through my whole life I knew I'd let women go. Everyone does. But I never thought that you would one day be one of them. My heart's shattering into pieces, but I manage to keep a straight face. I can't believe I'm doing this. I love you, Lynn, but I have to let you go. And I don't even know why. I just know I have to.

"Rex, I don't understand." You say. Your eyes betray your feelings; it's a window to your soul.

"I waited for you for three years, Lynn." I reply. I say what I was thinking previously. "First year, you were trying to get over your divorce. Second year, Joe came into view and things were messy. Now, we've finally found each other, and I have to let you go."

Your eyes waver, but your voice is still. "You don't have to."

"I wish I didn't, Lynn, but I do."

"What happened to us? The hour before we're just as normal as we always were, and the hour after we're watching ourselves fall apart. Why are you doing this?"

Yeah, why AM I doing this? I love you. But the fact of the matter is is that I can't see us making through the harder times. Both of us can't take it. And I know it. I know you think I'm an idiot for presuming things like this, but I know for certain it's true. You have no idea how hard this is for me right now, but you have to trust me.

"It doesn't matter." I say.

"How could things have changed so drastically over a span of a few hours?"

"Lynn, it's -"

You kiss me on the lips. I suddenly forget myself, and reciprocate ardently, feeling myself crumble. I love you, Lynn. I love you. I want you. I need to know you'll be there so I can wake up every morning. I want you. I want -

"Lynn, I can't." I break away from you.

"This can't be it." You reply.

"Then why is it?" I answer.

We look at each other for a while. The silence kills me. It's the silence that sets my heart and mind racing.

"Good night, Rex." You say. You turn and walk toward the door. You take your coat, then stare at me. "I don't care what everybody else says, you're not what anyone thinks you to be. You're better." Pause, then, "I love you, Rex."

"I love you too, Lynn."

And you left, closing the door softly behind you.

Strange how we only said those words now when things were over. I love you, Lynn. I love you.