the end
This is a mistake. It's all you can think, every time you wrap for the day and wave goodbye at the stoop of your trailer, disappear inside. You don't ask where he goes. Where he's staying. If he rents or if he sublets or if he's just riding on a credit card at some hotel somewhere. You don't ask. You don't want to know because knowing means you'll say no, fuck it, just stay with me and you can't do that. Not for this project. He calls it macabre forced method acting and something about the title unsettles you. It makes your stomach turns in knots. He's waiting for you to speak (he's always waiting for you to speak) but you don't speak because if you did, he'd hear your voice break and then it would be over.

Everything turns dark and hollow after a time. You film a scene with him, a scene where you're both supposed to be hurt and aching, you say I don't think we can get back to that. and he says What and you say Some place good with tears in your eyes, perfect for the scene, you know this is exactly what your director wants and then they call cut. They spill over. You are in hysterics, sobbing in the middle of a set. The crew are frightened by your emotions, and they ought to be because they're real. You cry harder. He doesn't come to comfort you. You cry harder.

He says it in the middle of another uncomfortable argument, he says let's get married and his voice is hopeful, as if this is going to be the thing that solves all your problems. No. You know how wrong that is, you know that love isn't the solution, that commitment isn't the solution, that neither of them can sustain each other, or the two of you, anymore. Not now, not like this, not with his schedule, your schedule. Everything inside you is screaming yes, please, yes, let's go right now and do it, let's--- but your head knows better. You tell him no. Not like this. Not ever like this. You had imagined it so differently, you know he had too, and what hurts the most is that you know that you both had imagined it. You don't remember who proposed the break. You've blocked that out. You don't remember if you both agreed that it was pressing pause or if it was stop. It doesn't matter. It's over. It's done.

You throw yourself headfirst into work. You become. You are not yourself, not for months. Around Christmastime, you are hovering over your mother's sink, chopping vegetables, making pies. You are quiet and morose. You take the tip of your thumb off with the paring knife in your hand and at first, you feel nothing. Numbness washes over you, a kind of relief, for the first time you aren't thinking of him, of your heart, of how empty things are without him -- and then the pain sets in. You hiss, your eyes water, you run your hand under the faucet and the water is pink with your blood. It makes your stomach churn. It hurts. Everything hurts.