It's 7:21pm. I'm sitting passenger-side in Tara's car. We're in the turn lane to get out of Hockessin Delaware where the reliable booze store exists. We're headed back to the Pennsylvania side of the line where obtaining beer requires more forethought. That shitty song that goes "your sex is on fire" is playing on the radio. I hate that song. In my brain, a certain Jason Aldean track is playing. In my brain I'm 40 feet below the surface of a lake.
I have a beer in my hand and a bottle of whiskey at my feet. We're headed to Tara's folks house because they're out of town. I can't do it anymore.
I can't do it. It just doesn't feel right. I plow through half the whiskey, and now it's late. I tell her I'm leaving. (Where did that come from?) I'm leaving for good. Right now. On foot. I tell her I need to go right away. She pleads with me to stay. Just come to bed and sleep.
No. I can't do that. I'm leaving right now.
I firmly refuse. I can't do it. It's not fitting, and it's not meant to be. I'm walking out right now. I have to go.
I walk out into a rainy night. I'm drunk and it's pitch black outside. I have what I estimate to be a few hours of walking ahead of me. I immediately get lost in darkness, and when I find my way, I realize that I've made a wrong turn - right out of the driveway.
I find the road and I walk. I'm insane, but I feel relief. My firm decision will not be reversed. This needs to be done, and somehow momentum has found me. The timing was a unique brand of unpredictable, but the outcome is the same. It had to happen some time. It had to. I proceed along the side of the road, walking through a misty rain. I know I did the right thing.
I see headlights and I put out my thumb. No rides for scary night people. I put out my thumb again, and a car pulls over. I actually have a foot in the car and I'm swinging myself in before I realize that this is Tara's car. The conversation was light as we headed to my house.
It was about two years ago when we first hit it off. I still think she's good. I want her to be better off than she'd be with me. I want to be better off myself. It took a long time and a couple botched breakups, but now it's happening.
It was hard to process. I got out of the car. A stone cold expression obscured question marks and exclamation points spilling from my ears. I made it to the kitchen in my parents house. Alone. I made a strange growling sound as my chest tried to explode out of my eyes. I squinted and growled and flapped my hands. And that was it. Next chapter starts now.