It was time to say “Goodbye.” For the third or fourth time today. These two did not want to part. Holding each other tight, Mark and Monica locked their lips in a passionate kiss. Just like every other time when their lips met, it was just the two of them. Nothing else around them mattered.
Mark lifted his girlfriend’s head and looked straight into her eyes.
“I love you,” he whispered.
“I love YOU,” Monica replied and burrowed her face into his chest.
“I will see you soon,” Mark said, trying to comfort her as he was getting ready to go through security.
Monica forced a smile, waved, and turned around. Somehow, she felt that it was their last encounter.
As she slowly walked out of the airport, tears rolled down her cheeks. There was nothing that she wanted more than to turn around, run into Mark’s arms, and stay that way forever. However, she knew she had to be strong. They would either meet again or not. Monica hoped her boyfriend watched her walk away, wishing he could stay even for a day longer.
Neither one of them caved in. Monica walked out of the airport and onto a bus that took her to her empty apartment. And Mark went through security, onto a plane, and then to his life miles away, without Monica.
While the emotional part of Monica’s brain was still upset about parting with Mark, the rational part of her promised that the separation was only temporary, and the two lovebirds would reunite soon. After all, Monica was to move out of state to be with Mark within a few months.
The movers were scheduled for the morning of October 3rd. They would arrive at 7.30am, carry most of Monica’s belongings downstairs, load it onto a truck, and then ship it off to Texas. Monica herself was to return her apartment keys to her landlord that afternoon and meet with a few of her friends for a final soiree, before flying out the following day to be with her beloved Mark forever.
Going to bed on the 2nd, Monica was excited. Even though she loved her apartment and her life, she was eager to open a new chapter of her life. It was time for her fairytale. With a smile on her face, she fell asleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night with the most clarity she had ever had.
“I cannot go,” she said to herself as she sat up in bed.
“You cannot go,” she repeated, staring at the wall.
For the next couple of hours, Monica laid awake, trying to analyze her thoughts. The only thing she knew was that she should not be leaving her life.
“Hey, is everything alright?” Mark asked, surprised by such an early phone call from Monica.
“I cannot leave,” Monica said into the receiver.
“What? Where are you?” Mark prodded, confused.
“I’m at my apartment. Everything is fine. I just cannot move to Texas,” Monica spat out, throwing aside the comforter, and stepping out of bed.
“What? Why?” Mark’s voice now sounded bewildered.
“It’s just not something I want to do,” she said, pouring herself a glass of water.
“Why?” he started sounding like a broken record.
Monica told her long-distance boyfriend about how she woke up in the middle of the night simply KNOWING what she was to do. Or more accurately, what she was NOT to do.
Mark blamed it on cold feet, trying to convince her she was just behaving irrationally. She was just acting “crazy.” She was just being a typical woman – letting her emotions get the best of her. Leaving him to bring her back to status quo. Those were the things he would say whenever Monica spoke her mind against him. After that, he would start yelling, cursing, and slinging mud at Monica. Been there, done that.
They have been in a similar situation a million times before. Somehow, always coming out the other end. Stronger. Or so they liked to tell themselves.
When screams did not magically fix things, Mark decided to apologize and work through things. Like he always would. Monica knew the drill. She would get emotional, he would get angry, she would put up a wall, he would apologize. Then, he would lie, and Monica would believe it. And even if she would not, she would choose to lie to herself. One day things would change, and he would mean what he said. He would finally be the man she knew he could be.
This time around, Monica knew better and was determined to stick to her guns. She also knew that she could not just tell Mark that things were over between them. That never worked. He would keep calling her until she answered and gave in. He was such a smooth talker. Monica needed a clean slate, and Mark could not find out about it until it was all said and done.
“I promise, I will do anything. You moving down here is something I take very seriously. We will make it work. The rest of the world better watch out when you and I reunite,” Mark tried to assure Monica that things would be different that time around and she had no reason to worry.
“You are right. This is a big change for me. There is a lot on the line here. Once I leave, there is no coming back,” Monica said weakly.
“Do not worry. Enjoy today and I will see you tomorrow. You can do it!” he said encouragingly.
Monica smiled as if in case he could see her.
They ended their conversation on a positive note, only a few minutes before the doorbell rang.
The movers arrived precisely at 7.30am and got straight to work while Monica kept an eye on everything being handled appropriately. They were good workers and so she decided on giving them a hefty tip, even if she herself carried some of the boxes downstairs.
“You do not have to do that,” the tall guy said to Monica as she passed him a box.
“I know. But I do not mind. I hate standing there all useless and all,” she responded and went back to the apartment for another box.
The short guy waited downstairs and loaded the delivered boxes onto the truck. It was a well-oiled assembly line.
Once the work was over, it was time to fill out all the paperwork.
“Please make sure we have the right delivery address,” the tall, slim man said, pointing onto a piece of paper in front of him.
Monica looked at Mark’s address again and shook her head.
“No? Where is the error?” the man asked.
“I am not moving,” Monica replied.
The guy who just spent a better part of the hour walking up and down the stairs with all sorts of boxes looked stunned.
“Well, I mean, I am, but not to Texas,” she said and smiled from ear to ear.
“Alright…” he replied, unsure of what else to say.
Monica provided him with the address for a local storage place, tipped both movers handsomely, and breathed a sigh of relief. There was no turning back now.
After returning her apartment keys to her landlord, Monica made her way to her friend’s place, but not before calling the storage place and requesting a unit.
“Please come by tomorrow the latest to take care of the paperwork,” the guy on the phone said.
Monica agreed to the conditions, disconnected the call, dropped the phone onto the ground, and jumped on top of it.
And then another jump.
Every time her feet landed on the ground, she felt a bit lighter.
She was finally out of Marc’s reach.
Monica did not know where she would live in the long run, but she knew one of her friends would let her crash with them for a while as she figured things out.
A new life was supposed to start on October 4th and so it did. Just not the one previously planned.