I seem to have written a trilogy. The smallest trilogy in literary history, perhaps, and very likely the worst, but a trilogy nonetheless.
It started here and continued here and here it finishes. I can’t really figure out how I could add another chapter. But I never say never (except just now when I said it twice) so you never know (ok. three times).
She left again one cold July morning as the fog was lifting. I had awoken to find her sitting, cross-legged, on the wooden floor, sorting through the pile of her belongings. To her right she carefully packed what, I assumed, she most valued, back into the same canvas bag with which she had arrived, and to her left she tossed everything else, with a careless flick of her wrist. It was mostly the things that we had acquired together that she chose to shun. We both knew that it was time to move on.
Upon seeing me enter the room she motioned towards the scattered discards with little more than the raise of an eyebrow.
“You can keep that stuff, if you like,” she said.
She caught the tone of my voice and looked towards me seriously. “Please don’t say something sad,” she murmured, “say something funny, instead.”
As it had always been. Asking of me what was beyond me to give. Testing me. Calling my bluff. She hadn’t changed, nor had I. Perhaps that was the problem. But I could think of nothing funny to say, so I just stood there, quietly watching her complete the process; politely watching her leave me.
Eventually she stood, put the bag over her shoulder, and smiled. “Gotta go,” she said, “train to catch.”
Before she turned away I found the strength to ask of her, “Have you grown tired of me? Bored with me?” Sometimes the easiest thing is to assume the blame.
But she looked genuinely puzzled.
“No,” she replied, “what ever would make you think that? If I had waited that long then I would have had to waste the next ten years of my life trying to make you interesting again.” She smiled, one last time. “It’s best to go now, while we’re both still so fascinating.”
I can’t remember if we kissed. I don’t think so. That would not have been her way.
And then she opened the door and put one foot back out into the world.
“Will I ever see you again?” I asked.
She paused for just a second. The whole world paused for just a second. “Yes,” she assured me, “even if, come that day, you do not recognise me.”