The Night We Became Nothing

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

“Are you happy?” he asks, eyes focused on mine, searching for the truth my lips will never say.

I’m able to meet his gaze for only a few seconds before my cheeks burn, and I quickly start walking back towards home again.

“Water, gas, or nothing?” I ask him, smiling coyly while I hop onto the nearest small metal circle on the sidewalk, hoping for relief. Hoping for a distraction from the question I have never quite known how to answer.

He stands back, shaking his head, watching me, and exhaling into the cool night air.

“Becky…”

“Come on. Water? Gas? Or Nothing?” I exclaim, my breath fogging up the cool air of the night. Creating yet another barrier between us.

He looks at me, his silence saying more than his words ever could.

“Why does it matter?” I ask him. “It won’t change anything. No matter what I say, you are still leaving tomorrow. This night is all of the time we have left together, and all I want to know is water? Gas? Or nothing?”

He exhales and shakes his head.

“Nothing. Have a good night, okay?” he mutters to himself as he turns his back and begins to walk away from me. “Nothing.”

I stand in there in shock, confused as to how this person I have cared for so deeply could leave me in such a cold, heartless way. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, I am able to speak, and clumsily I blurt out,

“You can’t be serious? You are going to just walk away from me? This is how we say goodbye? After everything we have been through? Your last words to me are “nothing”?

He stops, turns back towards me, and our eyes meet for one last painful moment. A few seconds turn into an eternity. He finally breaks my gaze, looks down, and walks away.

I watch him go until he is nothing but a blur in the distance. I watch him go until he is nothing but a mirage brought on by my heartbreak. I watch him go until there is nothing left to watch. I watch him go until I finally utter the words myself,

“Nothing.”

I finally look down at the small metal circle on the sidewalk as hot tears sting my wind-burned cheeks.

Nothing.

I had hoped for so much more, but after all of this time, it really was nothing.

He was right.

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