Cigarette smoke clouded the black and white room as Ben sat in his desk chair. He planted it toward the middle of the living room facing the front door. Liza had been in Miami with her girlfriends just for the weekend. So Ben thought. It was already Wednesday and there hadn’t even been a kissie face emoji sent to Ben’s phone from his girlfriend of two years. By the looks of instagram he had a slight feeling that Liza was well. But What about the two of them? Ben was about to find out that the love of his life would soon be the next one to break his heart.
As a key slammed into the lock, Ben sat there sliding off the leather chair, opening and closing the black velvet ring box he was going to surprise Liza with.
Liza busted open the front door and rushed to the back room.
Ben was still staring at the half-opened door, wondering if he had been invisible. He tried to come up with some reason why she could be mad at him but he couldn’t come up with anything. Maybe the fact that he was wearing a dirty white beater and the apartment looked like a tornado ran through it. But how would she know? They hadn’t face timed in almost a week. Running out of reasons, Ben rose up and peaked outside the door to see no suitcases or luggage that should have been there, given the fact that she just came back from a vacation. Odd. He thought. Gradually making his way into the back room he could hear Liza shuffling around and rummaging through drawers.
“Baby what’s going on?” He said softly, unsure he really wanted to know the answer.
She said nothing.
Ben walked closer to her and gently placed his hand on her back. He could smell the apple frutcis shampoo in her hair that she always used. He missed that smell so much. He missed her so much.
“Liza can we talk?” Ben tried again but she cut him off.
“Benjamin”, she sighed. “Leave me alone”.
He stood there frozen. Was she really leaving him? After two years of more ups than downs? After all the things they had seen and experienced together? But why? His eyes were glossy and drooped down almost as low as the corners of his lips. And then he snapped out of it.
“Liza! why are you putting your things into these bags? Where are you going? Where are the bags you took with you to Miami? You just gonna pick up and leave and not talk to me? like I’m no one? Did you find someone else? Did someone tell you something about me? I’m pretty sure it’s not true. Liza please just talk to me before you walk out of this apartment , our apartment. Tell me what I did. Tell me what I can do to make it right”. The words were spilling out of his mouth so fast, he hadn’t realized how many questions he just asked.
“Nothing. I’m leaving this town”. She said dryly as she paused with her back still facing him, looking at the room as if it were some disgusting habitat that she wanted no part of. “I need some time to explore”. Making absolutely no eye contact with Ben, she got up grabbed her bags and left the apartment. Ben followed close behind her and said nothing. So many things he wanted to say flew into his mind and crashed the part of his brain that made him speak.
Liza disappeared into the flickering hallway that led to the elevator. Never looking back.
Ben stood leaning out of the doorway holding the ring box with two fingers, aimlessly watching Liza fade away.