Things had always been complicated for them. Their love was a constant battle, but she'd always convinced herself they were good together. He'd always convinced her that he would always be there for her no matter what. No matter how many times she'd harass him or he'd brush her off, they always seemed to just accept things the way they were. Every now and then, things would escalate and end in him slamming the door behind him, leaving her alone for hours, and returning with a timid apology between the two and murmured "I love you's" as they embraced and forgave one another.
She'd always been strong-willed and he'd always been tight-lipped. Six years of up and down had become their norm and threats of leaving and breaking up were things that occurred more often than they should've. She thought that today had started off as just another one of those moments.
She watched as he walked away slowly. She could tell he didn't really want to go; he was leaving for her benefit. Of course she didn't want him to leave, he had told her over and over that it had to be this way. The tears streaming down her face unnoticed splashed lightly against her collarbone and it quickly brought her reeling back to her present feelings of abandon, helplessness, panic - things she'd felt before, but things that still shook her nonetheless.
"W-wait!" she yelled.
He stopped but didn't turn around. She saw his fists clench, his arms rigid by his sides as if willing himself to keep his back to her.
"Please," she begged, almost a whisper.
He flinched slightly; if she hadn't been staring him down she would've missed it, but still, he remained facing away from her.
"Please don't go," she whispered, she pleaded with even more conviction than before. "I need you. I - I don't know how to do this alone. I don't know what... I just," she ran her hands over her puffy eyes and down her moist cheeks before finally breathing out, "please..."
His body slumped ever so slightly, as if he were going to give in. As if he would turn around, come running back to her and do any and everything she wanted and needed of him. After a few seconds, an air of triumph began to surround her, a feeling of accomplishment swelling inside her, and as if in the blink of an eye, suddenly she had strength that only moments before had been nonexistent. Her tears stopped spilling, her hands stopped trembling, her breaths came stronger and more evenly.
He's going to give in, she thought to herself. He's going to turn around and all this will have been a horrible nightmare, not real at all. He'll come back just like every time before.
"Don't go, we can figure this out. Things don't have to be this way. We can work on things, I can change, you can change" she said confidently, no hint of the former whiny, dependent, clingy girl from moments ago in her tone whatsoever. Words that she'd uttered too many times before becoming her mantra to convince him that her way was the right way.
He visibly pondered her proposition. His right foot turned a few degrees as if he was going to turn around. His right shoulder dropped and his head tilted ever so slightly to peek a glance back in her direction. She took hold of the moment, decided to continue her bargain and went on.
"I know I've made mistakes, we both have, but don't just give up. We owe it to ourselves to fix things - this is worth it. I know I could never find another person who can love me like you do."
As soon as the words were spoken, she saw his resolve harden in front of her as quickly as a bolt of lightning. Suddenly, her hopes of him turning around were granted. A smile began to creep over her lips, an elation filling her with a sense of pride that she'd won - she'd gotten her way; yet again she'd convinced him not to leave her. But seeing him come at her with his cold expression, eyes blazing with anger, her smile faltered and she found herself taking small steps backward, away from his approaching figure.
As soon as he was inches from her he spat his words in her face, "Not once did you say you wanted me to stay because you love me. Not once did you say that you wanted me to stay because you want me. You only want me to stay because you're afraid that no one else will be able to put up with all of your bullshit. You need" he mocked in her tone that she used earlier, "me to stay because you think you can continue to control me and I'll just sit back like I have for the past six years and let you. This," he motioned back and forth between them, "is over! Really and truly over - this is not just a threat this time. I can't do this anymore. I can't let you manipulate me anymore. I am leaving and nothing you can say or do is going to stop me."
With that, he turned and began pounding his heels into the hardwood, a hard, thick thwack following each step. She watched him, mouth hanging agape, fear rising inside her like a tidal wave, and for the first time ever, she felt as if she was truly never going to see him again.
This can't be happening, she thought. I've done everything wrong. I just don't know how to be what he needs. I'm so scared.
Her eyes widened as she searched within for her voice, for her resolve, for her strength.
"I-I'm pregnant!" she finally screamed at him as he was stepping through the door to leave.
Suddenly, the entire world grew very still.