She sits cross-legged on the bed, crying softly. I sit on the edge of the bed, feet on the floor, arms to my side, making no move to comfort her. I'm the reason she's crying, after all.
It's been a difficult day for her, emotionally. I understand that. It's the anniversary of her husband's death, her emotionally and physically abusive husband, and this day must have brought more demons to the surface than usual, especially since she received a phone call before I arrived from one of her now near-adult children, a kid taken away from her long ago when she was declared an unfit mother.
So maybe it wasn't the best day for me to tell her I had no interest in continuing our relationship. Friends, sure, but nothing more than that. But she'd kind of forced my hand, as we spent the long afternoon visiting the gravesites of her husband, her father, assorted cousins and seemingly anyone she'd ever known, and she spent the time talking of all the mistakes she'd made, and how things would be better in the future, and how that future would include me.
"How could you say that?" she says at last, her voice raw and low from crying. "How could you say this today?"
"I wanted to be honest. You think there's a future for us, and...there's not."
"How do you know that? How do you know there couldn't be?"
"There are...reasons. Don't make me say them, not now. They'll just upset you more. I don't want to hurt you."
"You don't?" She whips around, her legs suddenly uncurled, and looks as though she might fling me off the bed. "The fuck you don't. Why the fuck else would you say this to me, today of all days?"
"Because all day long you've been talking about how things will somehow be better for you because of this magical entity of us together, and I've been trying to think of a nice way of saying there is us, there is no future. But there's no nice way to say it, so instead of letting you down easy, I went ahead and let you down rough. And I'm sorry. For everything."
"But I love you, Edward--"
"No, you don't. You love your idea of me, and you love that I'm there for you and I listen to you, and you want someone in your life so bad you've built this image of me in your mind, but it's not me. You can't love me, not really. You don't even know me."
"I know you better than you think."
She curls back up on the bed, no longer angry or sad, her voice full of resignation. "I knew you'd do this."