After making love for the last time on the last day, we were sitting on the bed, naked, our legs intertwined, our arms around each other. My left cheek was on his left shoulder. My breath was slowing. My hair was on my face. My eyes were closed.
As the orgasmic euphoria wore off, I realized that he was going to leave me. He was going to pull himself from my arms. He was going to put on his clothes. He was going to bring me mine. He was going to hug me and kiss me and say goodbye to me. And the next day he was going to get in his car and drive back home. To his children. To his wife. To his life, which he had decided to go on living apart from me.
I had just given him all of me, and now he was leaving me.
My breath caught in my throat with the pain of this realization. My shoulders shook, and I began to sob. And with every sob, I gave even more of myself away to him. More of my inner life that no one had before seen was his. I hated him for this, and I loved him for this. I hated myself for giving it to him, and I loved myself for giving it to him.
Neither of us spoke. There was no need. He tried to pull away, but I said, “No,” and clung more tightly to him. I watched my tears get tangled in his chest hairs.
When the worst of it was over, he lay back, and I settled in beside him, my left arm draped over his stomach. I rested my right cheek on his chest and timed my breaths with his.
He said, “Usually, when my daughters cry, when they hurt themselves or feel scared, I tell them, ‘Oh, it’s not as bad as all that.'”
I looked up at him.
He continued, “But this really is as bad as all that.”
I agreed that it really was.
And then he really did leave.