It’s always ugly.
They both knew it was over.
But, he couldn’t just let it go like this. His ego shattered, time wasted, a part of his life – gone.
In her life, ultimately, it was as if he hadn’t existed. He needed something, a piece of her. Or better yet, to leave his mark.
So he made her cry. He said savage things, half-true, ugly accusations. He made blame rain down on her, drench her, cover her. He called up bittersweet memories, detonating horrific and cloying images in front of their eyes.
He conjured up anything he could to manipulate her into feeling regret – and perhaps guilt – that perhaps it really was her fault. That perhaps he really was the noble one, the one who would have wanted to keep trying when she didn’t.
An hour-long tirade, and he did everything he could to permanently embed himself into her memories.
She must be made to cry. If she cried, then she was feeling regret and guilt. If she felt regret, then he had succeeded. Then he could leave, having made his mark. And then, perhaps, he could perversely remain in her heart as a permanent burr, a tattoo.
I’ve won, he thought.
They said goodbye. She closed the door.
What he didn’t know was that her tears were not tears of regret.
They were tears of ablution, to purge herself of the guilt of not feeling very guilty or sorry at all.