IN ANOTHER LIFE

The bathroom door slams.

I dropped down on the bed, resolve and strength draining out of me. For a moment the room was quiet and then I started to laugh. I think I might have laughed a little too loud because the bathroom door flew open and there stood Karl, refusing to cross whatever invisible line that separated the bathroom and our bedroom. "What's so funny?" he asked, annoyance still evident in his tone.

"I don’t know why we were fighting," I said in between laughs, "do you?"

He looked away and with a scowl said, "No!"

"I just thought it was funny-" I stifled my laughter and let the silence reign between us. However brief the silence we shared was, sadly, was also the closest thing we ever had to peace these past few months. And just as suddenly, I felt the tears coming, "I'm tired," I told Karl as I sighed and finally let the tears fall.

Seeing my tears, Karl rushed over to sit beside me, "Let's sleep," he said, wiping away my tears.

I shook my head no, "No Karl," the tears unstoppable now. "I'm tired."

"I don’t understand," he says, searching for the answer in my glistening eyes. "Are we fighting again?"

I kept quiet, building up the courage to say what I had to say and do what I needed to do. But before I could say anything else Karl started to speak again, "Are we breaking up?" He grabs my shoulders and starts to shake me, "Ynah. Ynah please. Talk to me."

I look him in the eyes, unable to find the right words but finally saying, "I'm tired Karl. I'm tired of making it work, of living through the endless fights, the chaos.. We've been over this for the past few months and yet every time we hit the same wall." I wipe the tears from my eyes, frantic to do something with my hands lest I hold onto him and change my mind. "We're just going through the motions Karl. You know as well as I do that when we moved in together it wasn’t because we wanted to but because we felt that after years of being together that was the next logical step for us to take." I stopped to catch my breath.

"That's not true!" he protested.

"Do you love me?" I ask him. He turned his head to look away from me. I felt my heart being thrown out of the window. I placed my hand on his knee, "Karl.."

He stood up. "This can't be happening. This is not happening. We can't let this happen. We CAN make this work Ynah. WE can't let this happen to us. Not now. We just got engaged. I just put a ring - on your finger.." he said the last three words slowly as realization swept over him, I wasn’t wearing the ring.

"Do you love me Karl?" I asked again.

He turned his back on me and hesitated before saying, "I do."

I walked over to where he was standing, "Enough to want to marry me?" I see his eyes brim with tears. "Motions Karl." I tried to smile through our tears, "We don’t have to go over them just because people expect us to do so.." I placed the ring in his hands and smiled. He looked at me with those questioning eyes and I just nodded, scared that words would break the sanctity of what we have just come to understand.

Finally, he nods too, walks over to his car keys and out of the apartment. As the door closes on me, my knees finally gave in and I sat there sprawled on the floor. Crying.

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