“I need to tell you something.” He kept staring at the comforter; he didn’t even raise his eyes when he said it.
I sat down next to him, thighs touching through our jeans. “What’s up?” I asked, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. He turned his head at the last moment and I caught his lips. And he kissed me, hard, but only for a moment. Quick and passionate.
I’d forgotten to breathe when he pulled away. He looked into my eyes as I tried to catch my breath. “Celeste…” he said, my name like a sigh.
He stood up, pushing himself up off of my bed. And the sentence, the one that broke me, came out of his mouth: “We have to break up.”
I blinked, not comprehending. “What? Why?”
“I’m moving,” he said, not meeting my eyes. “On Friday.”
“Friday? What? When were you going to tell me this?”
He shoved one hand in his pocket and shrugged, but I could tell it was forced. “Now. I told you now.”
I think the fact that he hadn’t told me hurt me more at that moment than him saying we had to break up. Because I could fix a break up, because we could get back together, but this? Out of my power. And he’d waited until the last moment.
“Where?” I felt like a reporter, ‘Who? What? When? Where? Why?’
“Seattle,” he replied, leaning on my bed post.
“Well,” I said, “We can handle long-distance. Seattle’s only a few hours away.”
He shook his head. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, Celeste. And I don’t think we should. I think it would be better to do this now because neither of us have cars and it’s not like your mom would drive you to see me.”
“Are you serious?” I asked and I wanted to yell, but I could feel the tears starting behind my eyes. I could feel that catch in my throat, that bitter taste in my mouth, and I knew I was going to cry. “Alex, we’ve been together for a year. A year. Are you really going to do this?”
He shrugged. “I still want to be friends. You’re my best friend.”
Something snapped inside of me when he said that, like I could be his friend after going out with him for so long. Like he hadn’t just broken my heart a moment ago. “Get out, Alex,” I said.
The worst part? He listened.