I couldn’t believe it.
Was this really happening to me?
I stared blankly at the ticket my ex had handed me. It was a one-way ticket back to California, a place I never expected going back to, at least not like this, and not without him.
He told me he had just started thinking about it, but the purchase date on the ticket said otherwise; he had purchased the ticket months ago. How long had he been planning this? Did he hate me and want me out of his life that much?
I wanted to stay strong, but the tears were already falling.
I had just gotten out of Chinese class when he texted me. I almost couldn’t believe it. Tonight was the first time in months he had asked me out to dinner. I was ecstatic.
The last two years of our relationship had grown increasingly stormy. He had suggested, or insisted, that we try dating other people:
“Tiffany, I know we have been together since high school. We’ve been each other’s sweethearts, but how would I know if you’re the one and I’m the one for you if we never explored and seen other people?
How would we know?”
It hurt, and it made no sense to me. How could he think that?
But I agreed anyways, because as much as I didn’t want to date other people, I didn’t want to lose him even more.
Tonight was the first time in months he had asked me out to dinner.
Maybe this was the night. The night when he would finally tell me that we no longer had to see other people.
Maybe this was the night. The night when he would tell me that after dating other people, he realized that we were meant to be.
Maybe this was the night. I was happy, happier than I had been in months. I wanted to cry.
Drip, drip. Drip drip.
Was it the sound of my tears, or was it the sound of my bleeding heart?
I couldn’t tell. I held the ticket he gave me in my hand, feeling the urge to tear it to shreds. Was this really happening? Why was this happening?
I cried, even long after he had left the restaurant. What was supposed to be a romantic confession had instead taken a turn for the worst. He bought me a one-way ticket for me back to the States, alone, without him. He tried to explain all his reasons, but I only heard one: that I was an inconvenience if he ever brought girls home.
The words stabbed me through the heart. It dug its way in, wrenching like a knife, into the very depths of my heart. I didn’t know what hurt more: the pain from my heart or the pain from my fingernails digging deep into the palms of my hand. Memories after memories flooded my mind, all to seemingly end at the exact same conclusion in front of me: the ticket that would mark the beginning of the end of our relationship.
I sat there sobbing, as the couples around me looked on, as if my heart hadn’t bled enough already.
I felt sick. I couldn’t breathe.