John and I were headed in different directions. Literally. After graduation he was headed to the East Coast, and I was headed West. We told ourselves and each other that we could make it work. That we would figure it out. Every time I said it, I wondered how many broken relationships had said that in the past. I believed it though, and I think he did too.
Graduation came and went and so did we. The first couple months of being apart were hard, but managable. We talked on the phone, we facetimed, and we texted.
We came home for Christmas and thought everything would be rainbows and butterflies for a few weeks. They were, at first. Seeing each other every day. Getting to have real, uninterrupted conversations face to face. It was great.
Then, he asked me to move to the East Coast. He asked me what was so important out west that was keeping me there.
“School,” I replied.
He told me that there were schools out east. That I didn’t really need to be in school out west.
But I did. I couldn’ explain it in a way that he would understand. In a way that would make him see how important it was that I be on my own for awhile.
If I could have explained it, maybe we wouldn’t have fought like we did. We have had arguments before, like all relationships do, but this one was different. I didn’t think there was any coming back from that one.
The holidays ended, and we went our opposite ways with so much tension between us, I think our home town was grateful we were leaving. We still loved each other of course, and we still said we were going to make it work. We still believed it…at least I did, and that was all the comfort that I had on my long flight back to school.
When I landed I called him, knowing that he was supposed to land an hour before I did. When he answered he sounded tired, like he had just run a marathon without getting any sleep the night before. We talked for a few minutes while I walked to my car. We hung up and I drove back to school.
I parked my car and walked to my dorm. I got to my room, keys in hand. Seeing it was partially open, I thought that my roommate must have gotten back a day early.
I opened the door, and hauled my luggage in. I flipped on the light and turned towards my bed.
“I told you we could make it work.” He said, “It is too important for you to be here. There is nothing out east that is worth losing you over.”
And I cried.