The Never-Ending Breakup

We’ve seen each other two and a half times since we broke up eleven days ago for the third time since winter. We make these arrangements to meet on Facebook Messenger as if that’s somehow less personal, as if we’re really putting in an effort to try to be strangers. I no longer know the difference between self-preservation and destruction.

We’re at a park, a good, neutral location. It starts with small talk banter thick with ironic undertones. The puppy is great, he sends his best. No, I haven’t changed the tile in my bathroom yet, I’ve sort of had a fucking week. Thanks for asking. Nice haircut. That sort of thing.

So she gets right into it, brings up that time last Wednesday when it took me six hours to respond to a text she sent at two in the morning really screwed with her head because she knows I wake up at 5:30 on Wednesdays, and she doesn’t deserve that sort of disrespect.

I tell her about the nightmares I’ve been having, and how she planted the seeds in my mind that would allow me to think she’d ever cheat on me. I wouldn’t have doubts if it weren’t for her. You broke us, I say.

You’re right is what I actually say out loud. I tell her she’s right. She says she understands me, and that’s why we fight. We’re both right and we’re both very wrong and exhausted. This conversation has resolved nothing, but talking was never really the point. The fact that we aren’t meant for each other is the point, but we don’t say that. We say I’m sorry. We say I accept you. We say you are enough. We say our baggage won’t affect us. We say I love you.

She checks her phone and says she needs to walk the dog and asks if I will come with her. I check my phone:­ three Tinder matches and four hours until work. I say okay, I have a little time. She tells me it’s Thursday and that I have four hours.

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