love, Personal

The Moment

We were in his car, a brand new Mercedes Benz SUV. He changed lanes, and someone honked wildly at us.  He seemed bewildered; he didn’t know why this person was so angry. I said, “You cut him off.” He said, “Oops.” He hadn’t looked. And in that moment, I saw my future.

I saw more Saturdays like this. Brunch dates and hand-holding and awkward kisses and clumsy sex that was never rough in the right way. Me, realizing that he refused to acknowledge when he was wrong. Me, planning our every outing because he never seemed to notice what I liked to do. Him, inviting me to Sunday dinners at his mother’s house. Me, driving us everywhere because I didn’t trust him not to get us killed. Him, telling our mutual friends that I was his perfect girl. A  year, then two, of this routine. A diamond ring, pretty, but nothing like the kind of ring I’d ever wear. Me, saying yes, because he was a good guy. A lavish wedding, because he could afford it. And me, frustrated and bored, finding my way back to my old friend. An affair, brief and painful and illuminating. Me, realizing I’d been lying to myself. Me, hurting him when I walked away.

I saw this all play out like a movie montage, scene after scene, quick flashes of what my life would be like if I didn’t end this now. I looked down at the angry driver, then over at him, as he fiddled with his side mirrors. My stomach dropped.  When we finally reached our destination, he helped me out of the car and grasped at my hand. I let it slip past his outstretched fingers.

“We have to go,” I said. “We’re going to be late.”