Without You

Contributor: ES Cooper

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She could hear him muttering under his breath. Complaining about her clothes on the floor, the cups she left out, and whatever else he could think of.
"If I drive you so crazy, why don't you just leave?" She suggested as she rolled over in the bed.
"It's that easy for you, then?" He asked; his voice clearly pained.
"I'm not saying it's easy, but all you ever do is piss and moan about what I do wrong. What are we doing then?"
"Those are just annoyances," he dismissed her. "I love you in spite of them."
"You sound miserable."
She felt the weight of him as he sat down on the bed with her. "I can't leave. Not yet."
"So, we just have an expiration date then? How romantic."
She fell asleep to the sound of him sighing and murmuring to himself.
She awoke to the sound of dishes slamming in the kitchen. It sounded like he was breaking every dish they owned.
"I will clean it eventually!" she yelled at him. She heard the sound of glass breaking. She rubbed her temples. He always had such a temper.
"Okay, break them then. I didn't want to clean them any-freaking-way." She yelled. Still he didn't reply just more slamming cabinets and clanking dishes. She sighed. It was getting to the point that she couldn't really remember the times when they didn't fight. She knew at one point they had been happy, but it seemed so distant now. Now they were just stuck at an impasse. And every day they resented each other a little more.
He didn't want to end it though, and she could admit to herself that she didn't really either. She couldn't remember much about what her life had been like before him. It was scary to think of her life without him, but as the slamming in the kitchen continued, she realized that it was becoming scary to think of her life with him.
The next time she woke up she could hear him crying. It was almost too quiet to hear, but she could hear it. She sat up to see his head in his hands and her picture in his lap.
"What is wrong?" she asked him.
"It's over. I know that it's over." He sobbed.
She wrapped her arms around him, "But I still love you."
"It's too hard."
"We can get through this. We can get through anything remember? It's just a phase. I'll do better." She found herself pleading with him.
"Not this," he whispered. He lowered his hands and touched her picture. She realized then that all of her stuff was gone. Nothing that belonged to her was anywhere to be found.
And then she saw boxes and suitcases by the door.
"You're kicking me out?!" she screamed at him.
"I'm so sorry."
She felt the tears welling up in her eyes, but she couldn't fight it anymore. Maybe it really was over. She stood up and walked to the door. She wasn't sure how long she stood in the doorway before she said, "I guess this is goodbye?"
When he didn't say anything she turned and walked out the door with nothing but the clothes on her back. She supposed if she was gonna start a life without him, she was going to start it from scratch. Her heart felt heavy, though.
He traced the outline of her face in the picture frame. He tore his eyes from the picture then and looked at the urn beside him. He wanted her to be free, but he hadn't been able to let her go until today.

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