So, you know. Nice try. Close, but no cigar. See you around. now. She leaves first thing Monday morning with a hold-all and a carrier bag. It’s sobering, really, to see how little she is taking with her, this woman who loves her things, her Basketball Santa Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt and her books and her prints and the little sculpture she bought in India: I look at the bag and think, Jesus, this is how much she doesn’t want to live with me. We hug at the front door, and she’s crying a little. I don’t really know what I’m doing, she says.
I can see that, I say, which is sort of a joke and sort of not. You don’t have to go now. You can stay until whenever. Thanks. But we’ve done the hard part now. I might as well, you know Well, stay for tonight, then. But she just Basketball Santa Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt and reaches for the door handle. It’s a clumsy exit. She hasn’t got a free hand, but she tries to open the door anyway and can’t, so I do it for her, but I’m in the way
I have to go through on to the landing to let her out, and she has to prop the Basketball Santa Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt open because I haven’t got a key, and I have to squeeze back past her to catch the door before it shuts behind her. And that’s it. I regret to say that this great feeling, part liberation and part nervous excitement, enters me somewhere around my toes and sweeps through me in a great wave.