I wish that I had said “fuck you” a little louder. Instead, I had said it under my breath, as he was about to leave, in a pathetic attempt to secure myself the small victory of having the last word.
He had taken a tentative step out of the open doorway, and stood with his back facing me as he rolled a cigarette. His lips were awkwardly curled around a filter, which obscured his speech as he balanced his phone between his shoulder and his ear, on the phone to his mum. The warped, wooden door frame created an outline for the picture that would stay with me for the next few months; he was really walking out on me.
“Yeah, she’s fine. Don’t worry about her… Stop, she’s fine, Mum,” he whispered.
I wasn’t fine. My heart twinged every time he told someone that I was.
I was awkwardly perched on a wooden chair in our kitchen. It had been freezing cold, and filled with damp, the whole time that we’d lived here, but somehow that had never really mattered. Now, the thought of cooking in here on my own made the whole place feel dirty and old.
I almost managed to feel smug as I watched him weigh up how to carry a camping rucksack, a cardboard box, and five, bursting Tesco bags for life across Leeds city centre. I knew that he had no money for a taxi; he’d be walking with them for an hour at the least. Just the day before, I would have dropped everything to help him.
As he turned around to look at me, I averted my eyes and opened our fridge, picking up a pot of yoghurt to read the label on the back of it. I was determined to not give in to those big, blue eyes that I knew would beg me for a lift to wherever he planned on going next. During our three years together, I had fallen into the routine of mothering him, and that certainly wasn’t going to continue into our breakup. Instead, I forced myself to revel in the joy of thinking of him red-faced and fed-up. I raised an eyebrow and stood with both hands on my hips; a cocky, overconfident todder that refused to do as they were told.
Quicker than I was ready for, a shot of wind ricocheted into the flat and the front door slammed in his face. I hadn’t had chance to process anything. I stared at the postbox, completely in shock, and willed him to reopen the door and say goodbye or, better yet, say that this whole thing was a huge joke.
After hardly any time at all, a storm had brewed in my stomach. I soared to the front door, and threw it open like lighting. A crack of thunder roared as the door smacked against our wall. The breeze from outside blew my hair back, and for a second, I swore that I was levitating; I was invinsible and ready for yet another blazing row.
He was gone.
I stood there for a while, baffled and unsuprised all at once. A small part of me was thankful that he had disappeared, because I was ready to hit something.
I let the last time that I saw him, framed by our warped, wooden door, soak into me before slowly ascending into frantic and breathless sob.
My throat felt like it was on fire.