The last few beats of a relationship usually play out the same way. After the breaking point, a fight or secret sex or just the miscible mix of boredom and unhappiness pouring over, the spring recoils: the silent tension, the distrust, the feigned reconciliation, the make-up sex. The big(more) things stay the same, no one moves out right away, but you don't sit so close when you're watching TV, you don't brush your teeth together, you don't cup each others hips when you press by in the tiny apartment's hallway.
He might start wearing cologne to work, an unfamiliar smell that makes her suspicious. She'll start drinking more, laugh it off as being cheeky, spend more time with her friends. He won't object. He'll play video games at night and watch porn when she falls asleep early. She'll change the password on her phone, he'll start a second email account. She'll book a flight to see her parents without asking him to come, he'll run up his credit card buying shit online that he piles in his closet.
Eventually, one of us will bring up the solitude, the mutually assured loneliness, the weird silence, the lack of things to talk about. We'll agree that we don't orbit each other like we used to, reading each others' emotions, forgiving each others' flaws. And for a few moments it will get real. Memory will collide with reality, and we'll be shocked to see we aren't as unaffected as we thought we were. We'll be stuck in purgatory, tugged by loyalty and fear and the perfumed vapours of evaporated love and bitterness and doubt and maybe a little desire to hurt each other too.
Inevitably, we'll each give up but blame each other for quitting. We'll pack our things and both move on.(less)
A word of advice on how you spend your Friday. It's all deciding when it finishes...if it does at all. Most people decide enough is enough when it's not quite the end of the night. Others just keep on going through until morning. Others don't bother at all. All completely valid(more) but just stick to one goal and it'll be harder to disappoint yourself if everything doesn't go to plan.
If you keep saying you won't go out... but you do and wake up with your bank balance looking like you've taken out a mortgage on a penthouse flat in Greenwich...don't go out.
If you um and ah about going to the next club because you haven't had dinner yet... but you do and have shots of tequila before making a b-line for the toilet and ruining those shoes you got courtesy of payday...go home.
And if you decide to go all out, pumped up and ready to go...but then after thinking too much about it and pacing yourself you realise that it's 1 in the morning and you've paced so adequately that everyone else is dancing like no ones watching and you're sipping a half pint feeling self conscious...stop thinking.
Looking back at what I've written I further advise no one to take heed of my advise and just have a good time because notably all of my examples involve drinking. Because drinking is fun.
He had walked away from it all twenty years ago. He was Billy Mguido, the Latino kid with the killer arm and lots of potential. He was still Billy Mguido, but now he was a rich man who lived in a gated community and his once killer arm was(more) now a stump. His potential, too, was wasted. It's not like he had been one of those athletes who squandered a nice athletic scholarship on booze and pills. No he was always the straight man. His scholarship was gone because one of his wealthy teammates was throwing away his potential with booze and pills. They just happened to be on the same road the same night. His teammate was fine, he was just thrown out of the team and into a top notch rehab center. Billy was not so lucky. The school allowed him to stay, because he was a straight A student, and they had to fill a quota. But he would never throw a ball again, because the arm that everyone thought would get on to the Yankees was now lying in some landfill after being hacked off by a very expensive doctor. That's why it hurt when his son wanted to play Little League. But being the good man that he was, he let him. And he realized that his love of the game would never quite be over. So every Saturday, he watched from the sidelines, cheering on Carlos, because that's what his father did with him, a mere twenty years ago. (less)
Rian stood before Edward's desk, arms crossed and scowling. It had been three months - three! - since he had left out on a mission that took him through the desert, into a nest of terrorists hidden in ancient ruins, and managed to involve a hijacked passenger train. Three(more) months of this crap and he barely made a standard pay grade as a State Alchemist. On top of the indignation of his tiny paycheck, there was the fact that his commanding officer didn't even have the common courtesy to show up when his train arrived in the station earlier that same day. Rian Martin was in a MOOD, and there wasn't an XO in sight to take it out on.
"Staring at the empty desk won't make him suddenly appear," first lieutenant Jean Havoc said, leaning in the door. "And if you're trying to set it on fire, might I suggest an accelerant? I don't think your eyes alone will do the trick."
Rian swung his murderous gaze around and centered on Havoc. Jean was undeterred by the intensity of his expression, having been subjected to Edward's moods for far too many years. "Where is he?"
"Meeting, probably." Jean shrugged. "I don't do his itinerary, that's Hawkeye's job. You can go glare at her if you'd like."
Rian sighed, and glared back at Edward's empty desk. "He's an asshole," he muttered. "He knew I was coming back today."
"Countin' down the days," Jean acknowledged sagely. "But you know how tetchy the brass gets about the weirdest damn things. Did you hear about that passenger train that got hijacked last week? Colonel Neuhaus was going to have a coronary. Or at least, I think the boss hoped he was."
"We should be so lucky," Rian muttered. "When will he be back?"(less)