Last Dance

We are dancing and I am crying.

There’s a scene that plays repeatedly inside my head. It’s one of a handful of evening we shared while he knew our fate and I still didn’t.

I am sitting on the couch doing a crossword. He is up and about the apartment doing something with his new electronics. They have slowly replaced me. One by one, they have slowly replaced us: the flat screen, the surround sound, the DVR, the wireless, the ipod speakers, the MacBook. We each do our own thing; we are independent. I am finally assimilated with this isolated routine. So much so that I have myself convinced we are almost happy.

Music comes out of the ipod speakers. I don’t even look up until I feel him standing over me. His arm is outstretched and reaching for my hand with the words “Want to dance?” This moment is so surprising, it’s uncomfortable.

We are dancing.

“I just downloaded this CD,” he informs me. I notice the song for the first time. It’s _You Were Always on My Mind_. Two phrases keep repeating, sticking out: maybe I didn’t and I should have.

We are dancing and I am crying. Because I feel like I should be, and yet in spite of the fact that I am not. This is romance, this is love. And yet it’s not, and I know it.

This scene--our dancing, my tears--would look like a love scene to an observer, someone who perhaps stopped to gaze at us through the open window. I myself nearly believed it was. I now know this scene that is always there repeating, is not a love scene, but an apology. It’s a silent apology for what he was about to do. An apology for what he had already done.

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