Then she delivered the coup de grace in her typical way, softly but firmly. She did not want to see him anymore. The way she put it was: it would be better, she felt, if they did not meet for a while.
He was disoriented or foolish enough to ask if she knew what this meant for him, only to evoke the response that she surmised it would be unpleasant for him. Unpleasant! Didn’t she know that it would devastate him? But the phrasing itself told him that it was all over; nothing at all was left. He ended the call.
The agony started and continued. The only person he could share it with had abandoned him. He was left to grovel in his grief all by himself.
He did not know how to deal with it, for it was a new experience for him. He had had relationships, and some did not last. This was the first time a relationship had grown and flourished, the other person had known him closely for a long time, and then decided it wasn’t worth continuing it. It was a rejection that could not be more complete.
Perhaps, it was just hubris, he said to himself, a sense of wounded pride that he had to now overcome. But, he quickly realized, that wasn’t what was hurting him the most. Rather it was wrecking of something good they had built together, over a long period. It was now in pieces.
Was it then a function of time? What had started and unfolded for a while as a good thing, had eventually soured in her mind? Something had imperceptibly sprouted in the relationship that had smothered the magic of the relationship? He recalled that in their last talk she had mentioned, in her typical self-effacing way, that it was a loss for her too.
A loss? A loss, he thought sadly, that she seemed quite willing to accept. No negotiation, no effort to change something on either part, no readiness to make an effort to retrieve or preserve what was good in the relationship.
Maybe she thought it was irretrievable. It could not be salvaged as something that could be pleasing to us both. It would be a poor facsimile of what we had wanted our relationship to be.
Within, he felt a strong unreasonable urge to share one last word with her. To tell her what she meant to him, to express the enormity of his loss. He knew that would be futile. It would be just as futile to ask for a resumption that she had already decided was futile. There was really nothing left to say.
It was sad that after crossing virtually oceans of indifference and unfamiliarity, they had built a relationship and exchanged thousands of words, but now there was not a word they could say meaningfully to one another. Not a word. Not a single word.