Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

“I just wish that you would have wanted me to be there.”

“I did, I did want you to be there!” He yells, his hands burrowing through his long hair in frustration.

“You only asked me because I asked you to ask me.”

“What’s the difference, Sarah? I asked you to come! Isn’t that what you want?”

“No, I wanted you to ask me because you wanted to ask me, not because I asked you to ask me.”

“I don’t see the fucking difference. I asked you to come and you said no… What was I supposed to have done, fucking begged you to come, forced you to come, chained you with handcuffs and dragged you behind me? I asked and you said no.”

“You don’t understand, do you?” Sarah shakes her head sadly and starts to cry. She tucks her hair behind her ears and looks up at him. “I moved here for you and you don’t seem to understand what that means. I left my family for you. I left my friends for you. I left everything I’ve ever known and loved for you.”

“I understand!” He screams, a little loudly in the already bustling café. “I moved to America first, you know. I did the same things you did.” He realises that he’s steered the conversation in a dangerous direction. Competing with Sarah is never a good idea.

“You have done the exact same things?” She’s fuming, but quietly so. “You didn’t feel the absence of half of your family at our wedding. You haven’t had to figure our your visa by yourself while your partner spent a week on holiday with their best mates. You haven’t cried alone at night, wishing you could be home to see the birth of your nephew. You haven’t done the same things.”

“Sarah, god, that’s not what I meant. I was trying to relate.”

“Well you’re doing a shitty job of it.”

“I just meant, I can understand.” Again, he realises this is the wrong this to say. “So what do you want, how can we – how can I – do better next time?”

“That’s why I asked you here. I’m going home.”

He is silent.

“Home?” He finally asks.

“Yes. To Washington.”

“Because I didn’t ask you to drinks with my mates?”

“Because of everything.”

“Everything?”

“I’m not in love with you anymore. I’m not in love with Sydney anymore. I miss home and it’s not easy to be here anymore.”

“Do you hear yourself, Sarah? You’ve always told me that when things get hard, that’s when life starts getting good.”

“I said that the first time we had sex.” She laughs at the memory and the tagline that they’d always quote to each other, mimicking the mushy Pinterest boards and Facebook quotes their friends virtually exposed them to daily.

“Yeah, well it bloody well applies here, too!” He’s desperate, looking back to where it all went wrong, trying to pinpoint a moment that he could go back to, to fix it.

“Well it’s not the fun kind of hard, love. It’s the sad kind where, once it’s all over, you don’t feel better, you feel much, much worse. Like everything’s wrong and you’ve made a huge mistake.”

“That’s what I am? A huge, huge mistake?” His hands rest gently on the table as he asks the question. He leans toward her, his eyes wide, begging.

“Not a huge mistake, no. But I think moving here was a mistake.” Her eyes skirt the room, looking anywhere, everywhere, but at him.

“I have to go.” She breaks the silence that had been hanging over them for more than a minute. “My plane leaves soon.”

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