The waiter leaves the water on the table and we both turn to watch the condensation run down the glass. Another testament to your goodness, this is my favorite restaurant. My favorite dishes. My favorite city. The only favorite you have is me, and suddenly I’m not delivering anymore. I watch the condensation spilling off the glass in silence and you watch me, waiting for me to spill.
Your hand reaches out for mine across the table. Your fingertips barely touch my nail beds, resting like feathers on top of newly erupted grass. I glance into your eyes, your eyes radiating love and honesty. My eyes give you nothing. I’ve become an actress in my own life, unable to remember her motivation or her lines.
The last dish comes as I gratefully jolt my hand back from the table. I can smile at the waiter, but not at you. I hear you beginning to speak, but it’s all mumbles and colors flying in one ear and straight out the other. You don’t deserve this. All you ever did was try.
I tried too, until I didn’t. I don’t know when it happened, but suddenly I didn’t see you anymore. I didn’t see much of anything, really.
You pay while I stare at your neck, remembering warmer nights in the late fall haze that have smoldered down into a match trying hard to blow itself out. You keep cupping your hands around it, hoping it will hold on. Until one night, I purse my lips, guide your hands away, and blow it out myself.