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herself here – that she had kept him alive in her memory, encased in the golden incandescent bubble of immortality that, ever since his disappearance, had been her makeshift form of closure. But that wasn’t how life worked; she had known her father for twelve years, had been separated for twenty. It would take some time to learn to get used to his presence because she had gotten so used to coping with his absence.

“I think we should break up,” she said. Rob looked up at her from his laptop. “Okay,” he said with a nod. “It’s 2 a.m. right now but I’ll move out first thing in the morning.” He turned back to his work. “Wait, what?” The fight left her like air from a deflating balloon. He looked at her again, almost nonchalantly, and sighed. “Really, Amy? Fine, I’ll leave right now.”

His disappearance had forced her to learn to do all these things that she never thought she could do without him. Paying the bills and checking the car when it gave her trouble, fixing the sink faucet because it broke every other day, learning how to drive.

Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God.

With her mom sick, she didn’t have a choice. But how absolutely wonderful would it have been for him to be there and teach her himself.

The inside of Amy’s chest was quivering like jelly and her eyes were smarting. Would it stop happening if she stood very still?

Despite the fact that this was obviously irrevocable, if they were ever to meet, it would always gnaw at Amy – her inability to turn back time or foresee his disappearance. To instill him into her life like you’d go back and add a comma into a sentence you’d already written.

But Rob was pulling out clothes and walking around the room and doing all these things that she understood and didn’t at the same time, and her eyes kept following his shape.

But she promised herself that she’d do everything in her power, if he returned, to include him in the life she had left. She would try her best because he meant that much to her. She sighed and rubbed her shoulders. What was it about her life and mysteries?

Rob closed his laptop and stood up, putting it into his case. “Can you give me a bag?” he said as he walked into their room and opened their closet. “I don’t have one.”

She had to say something. “Rob?” Her voice cracked. “Rob? Rob, wait. I... “ He turned around questioningly as if he couldn’t possibly understand what was wrong. How could he be so cool about this? Would he throw an ‘I’ll pass’ behind his back as she tried to stop him?

And speaking of, how long was Rob going to take to ask her to marry him? Should she do it? Of course not. Why did this feel like she was a child brawling for candy? If he felt like the relationship wasn’t working, what was the point of dragging it? If he was waiting for the right time to end it, he wouldn’t have to anymore; she’d do it for him. Amy put down the coffee mug she had just begun to raise to her mouth and walked briskly out to the living room. 41

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Soliloquie Issue #3 - Freedom