Sara felt herself growing more and more conflicted in her relationship with Matt. She really, genuinely enjoyed spending time with him, but there were those moments.. few and far between, but still there. Moments when he was harsh. Moments when he was controlling. Moments when he'd mock her. She could not ignore them.
The day before she was supposed to move in with Matt, Sara began unpacking. She locked the doors, having retrieved he key from him, and did not answer his calls until late in the afternoon. When she did finally talk to him, she knew she'd have to tell him she wasn't moving in with him.
"How is packing going? You done yet?" he asked.
"I'm actually unpacking, Matt. I'm not moving."
"What?? Why? I don't understand.."
"I can't do it. I'm just not ready." she answered.
"But we've been over this, Sara. It's better this way. It just makes more sense."
"I know, Matt. But I'm just not ready. I'm sorry."
"Don't worry about it. It's okay. I'll get over it."
"What do you mean, 'really?'.. do I have a choice?"
"Well.. no. I guess not."
"I'd rather have a relationship with you while you're still living there, than not have one at all. I love you Sara. I don't ever want to let go of you."
"Thank you for understanding, Matt. I love you too."
Sara felt light as a feather after the conversation. She felt almost silly for being so cautious and fearful. What was she afraid of? She laughed to herself as she put some more books back on her shelf and felt nothing but optimism about their future together.. It was almost enough for her to change her mind again. But she resisted. Something held her back.
It was back to happy times for Matt and Sara. Everything was peaceful between them and she felt confident that the 'incidents' were now behind them, chalking it up to working out the kinks between them as any couple might early in their relationship.
So why did she feel herself growing distant from him? Days and weeks went by and the longer he was nice to her, the more freedom he seemed to give her, the less interested in him she was. She began to wonder what in the world was wrong with her!
Finally, she couldn't stand the weirdness the whole relationship had taken on and decided it was time to break up and move on. Sara could honestly say that she no longer was in love with Matt. Sure, she was very fond of him and they were great friends now.. but she just wasn't in love with him. She invited him to take a walk in Lithia park on a brisk fall afternoon.
"Matt, I'd like to talk to you."
"Oh?" he forced a smile and let out a nervous chuckle, "This isn't the 'let's be friends' talk, is it?"
How did he know? Am I that obvious? Sara felt a surge of anxiety and was so happy to be in a public place.. that old fear started to seep back in.
"Matt, I just feel like we've grown apart.."
"I knew it." his eyes rolled back in his head and he threw his arms up in the air.
"I'm sorry. I like you. I really really do. And things have been really good for so long now.. I hate to do this. But I just don't have feelings for you like that any more and I don't want to waste your time or mine."
"I have never felt that any of our time together has been wasted." he said flatly.
"I didn't say that I felt I was wasting time with you.. " Sara sighed in frustration. The words just did not seem to be coming out right. "I'm sorry, Matt. But, I'm moving to Chicago in a week."
"What?? a week? What are you talking about?"
"I got a call about a job a little over a week ago and I've decided to take it. I've given it a lot of thought and it's a really good opportunity for me. I'm moving."
"Okay.. fine. But why can't we stay together? I'm sure we could make it work."
"No, Matt. I don't want to make it work."
"I'll move with you! Sara. You can't do this. You can't just let go. I told you I'd never let go of you." Matt's words were pleading, but his voice was urgent and firm as he grabbed her arm and held her tight. Sara was getting nervous and debated running from him.
"Matt. No. It's over. I don't want to do this anymore. I'm moving in a week, and you're not coming."
"You're going to regret that decision, Sara." Matt said coldly as he turned and walked away, sending a shiver down her spine.