The sky had gone from grey to purple-black as we’d sat on the bench, but neither one of us had spoken yet. Sometimes there’s too many words, and sometimes there’s too few, and sometimes both are true at the same time. I wanted to tell her everything, but I didn’t know how to start. I watched the breath leave my mouth in clouds and tried not to cry.
“Do you know who it is?” I’d never heard her voice that flat, as if she’d had to turn herself into an automaton to speak without screaming.
“Well, uh, I do now.” I paused. “I didn’t at the time.”
“How could you not have known? Didn’t it matter at all? Or were you so desperate that you just leapt at the first one who happened by?” I would have been relieved to have heard anger in her voice, but the automaton still had control.
“No. Yes. It…it wasn’t like that.” How could I explain in a way that she would understand? That I’d known what I was doing, and why I shouldn’t, and still did it anyway? That something as simple as a glance meant that nothing else mattered? That even though it was a choice, it wasn’t?
Her questions hung in the air like a barrier between us. I had to tell her, I had to say something. But what could I say that would make a difference?
Eventually, she got up and walked away. There was nothing more to say.