The breakup had been a long time coming. He was in another city, I was in another world. I'd known for months the relationship needed to be officially ended, as we were barely even calling each other at that point. I just simply didn't have the will or desire to do it myself. So, months later, with the help of his soon-to-be new girlfriend, he found his own reasons to call it quits.
We talked, he and I. He in his city, I on a bench outside my dorm, the campus as yet unpopulated for the summer, affording me the privacy needed for the dissolution of an almost two-year relationship.
During our talk, it turned out the random person who'd attempted to friend me on Facebook was a friend of his, who'd met his girlfriend-to-be, and assumed that the person listed in his profile as his current girlfriend would clearly be the same girl. Whoops. That's what you get for assuming.
"Oh, that's okay then," I said with a light tone and heavy sarcasm. "Really?" he asked hopefully, no doubt thinking this was headed to be the easiest break-up in the history of breakups. I laughed bitterly, "Of course it isn't."
He asked for us to remain friends, for him to be able to visit me and catch up companionably when he returned to campus in a few months. This, the same man who, a year earlier, had already been asking for my forgiveness in the same breath that he confessing cheating, was up to his usual tactics. I remained non-committal, amused by his nerve but utterly unconvinced seeing each other in the fall would be beneficial in any way. As the conversation drew to its awkward end, I asked the question that I'd been trying to ignore in the back of my mind during the entire call. Yay for masochism.
"Did you ever love me?" I asked softly.
"Well...... that's a complicated question", he hedged, gearing up to be diplomatic rather than honest. I laughed again, more bitterly than before, and cut him off; I'd heard more than enough. As the call ended, I thought of every time he'd told me he loved me and I wondered if anything in life was real. And there, at two in the morning, in the dark, on a bench in the middle of a deserted green, I cried.