Friday, July 14, 2006

When Love Dies

When we are young we seldom realize that, for as many loves we create, just as many will die. We do not reflect on all those things that must come to an end. I am no exception. A single phrase I mentioned to a friend the other day suddenly brought back a long lost memory. It stemmed from a robbery at a sandwich shop I was working at when I was about twenty-five. However, it’s actually not the robbery that I wanted to speak of, but of something more important that happened afterward.

I walked home that night after the robbery and, when I came into the apartment, my girlfriend said a detective had called. I think she was a bit concerned that I had somehow caused some trouble somewhere. That was not the case of course, and it was simply that I was the store manager that night and, besides the one hostage, I was the one who had dealt with the gunman. The call was from the police detective who had questioned me after the robbery and he was just following up on a question. When I got off the phone I went into the room where my girlfriend was sitting on the couch and the conversation went like this:

Girlfriend: “What happened?”

Me: “I got robbed at the store tonight.”

Girlfriend: “Oh.”

And that was it. She turned back to the television and never asked me another thing about that night. It was clear that she was not interested or concerned. I suppose I could have asked her if she wanted to know more, but I didn’t say anything. After a while, I just stared at the floor - and reflected. As is usual for me it seems, during robberies or facing the perils of love, I was not outwardly upset, but I think most people reading this would understand what I must have felt like inside.

It is hard to face the dawning realization that the person you hold so dear, does not really care too much about you any more. There is an awful taste, when love dies, that seems to suddenly swell up inside of you – or maybe it’s just the salt in all those tears that you keep inside and refuse to cry. Either way, I still stuck around with her for a couple of months afterwards, trying to convince myself that I was wrong. You have to understand – robberies happen all the time, but Love doesn't.

Nonetheless, I had been correct on the night of the robbery and I should have realized it then. Eventually, I packed up and quietly went my own way.

- Just a peasant

Photo from the galleries of Wade Heninger