this is happening.


she said she had to go get her master's degree in anthropology from some school on the east coast. which one? i don't know, columbia or cornell, some fancy pants place where old money talks with a stuffy accent. and what did that mean for them, exactly? well, let's not kid ourselves. there were only so many ways of putting it, of beating around the bush so to speak, and she had put up with him for so long that she felt she was entitled to an honest answer.

"i'm going to new york," she said. "it's over."

just like that. he didn't even put up a fight, didn't even say a word. he just smoked himself stupid and continued watching entourage. by then, they were both so unhappy, that she could've said just about anything, and he wouldn't have even flinched. i'm pregnant. i have cancer. dinner's ready. your mother's dead. did you get the mail? she needed a change, and he saw it coming. a serious relationship in his twenties, did he expect any different?

"aren't you going to say anything?" she asked. he hadn't said a word all night.
"what's there to say?"
"i don't know. that you're happy for me?"
"i'm happy for you."

he turned to face the wall, and he took more of the comforter with him. she sighed, and he could hear her as she put her hands to her forehead, something she did to express her frustration, which lately seemed to always be directed toward him. she got up to get a glass of water. he listened to her cold feet clap against the kitchen tiles. the sound of the refrigerator opening, closing, water pouring into a glass. then, slow gulps. he peeked over his shoulder to see if she was watching him. she wasn't.

the next morning, he went to work. he didn't say anything to anyone, at least for the first ten minutes. he checked his voicemail, his email, and then he got up to take a piss. the bathroom was empty, and he liked that. it made him feel like a rich person who had his own private bathroom at work. he could choose whichever urinal or stall he wanted. and then he could just stand there and look at himself in the mirror for as long as he wanted. he made some faces in the mirror, made his eyes real big, opened his mouth real wide, arched his eyebrows as high as he could. it was just something he did to help keep things in perspective.

"are you feeling alright?" his coworker asked him.
"yeah, i'm fine," he said.
"you just seem a little out of sorts today. i mean, more than usual. haha."
"yeah, well. kate's going to new york."
"oh. sorry."

he knew better than to bring up personal shit at the office. how unprofessional. and he wasn't even a big shot yet, so his petty little personal life didn't even matter. he couldn't wait to be his own boss, to wear a suit and tie. he'd go out to lunch with the other high power execs on the company's dime, and he'd raise his scotch. "my wife is leaving me," he'd say. and he'd say it with pride. because when you have power, status, and money, you'll most certainly find another. when you're a nobody bitch assistant, airing your little sob story and not being able to pull your shit together could just lead you back to your mother's guest room.

he stayed late at work that day. there was no reason to go home. all that would be there would be kate, some packed suitcases, and leftover meatloaf. all of his coworkers had gone home, and he went to watch the celtics/magic game in the lounge. he unbuttoned his shirt and stretched out across the sofa. there was a little black pillow he could rest his head on, and he tried not to think about how many asses and heads had touched the thing over the years.

his phone vibrated. a text from kate: where r u?

he didn't answer. instead, he finished the game. after that, he went out and got his favorite sandwich - a ham and gruyere baguette - from a nearby cafe. he took the bus into midtown and blew some money on a bunch of shirts. when the total came, $317.42, he knew he'd overspent, but he convinced himself that he deserved it. what else could he do alone? he thought about seeing a movie, but decided against it. there was nothing left to do but go home.

"i see you did a little shopping," kate said.
"yeah. a little."
"how much is a little?"
"$300 a little."
"jesus," she said.

he knew what he was doing. he was trying to guilt her into staying. he was trying to show her that he couldn't be trusted by himself. he was going to overspend and fall apart. if he knew where to buy hard drugs, he'd probably get into that as well.

"what are you trying to prove?" she asked.
"prove? what are you talking about?"
"it's not often you come home late with a bunch of new t-shirts."
"just felt like it. is that okay with you?"

she rolled her eyes and went into the other room. he lit another joint, and then he turned on the t.v. twenty minutes later, she came back into the room. her eyes were all puffy and red.

"can't you at least pretend you're a little sad that this is happening?"

by then, he was pretty lit, and her voice seemed like a far away echo. he thought for a long time about what he was going to say. she just stood there, looking more angry and confused by the second. his thoughts were coming to him very slowly, and he was afraid that no matter what he said, it was going to be the wrong thing. he didn't want to upset her because then she'd yell, and it would bring up all sorts of bad memories of growing up. all that he wanted was for her to sit there on his lap, and for things to be like the way they were when they had first started seeing each other.

he looked at her, and he tried his best to cry. he tried to think of all the saddest things he'd ever been through to help force the tears out, but for the life of him, he couldn't. he felt nothing. nothing at all.

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