I stuffed my hands into my pockets as I stepped down to the sidewalk. Winced, and didn’t look back. Tried to count steps as I headed home, and not think. But I couldn’t escape my own mind. So I saw again the half-smiling sympathy, the odd look she gave me at the door. I’d done it again. Nothing for it but to walk away. And keep walking, again.
Sometimes, I would pretend that the girl watched from her window, wishing I would call, or come by once more. I know better, but it helps, a little. I have to stop myself from actually checking. Like Schrodinger’s cat, I guess. As long as I don’t check, she could be pining.
Sorry. No need to dwell on my sob story. Except for romance, my life was really good. I had a solid job that I liked most days, with a boss and co-workers who understood me and got along. It paid enough to save a bit, and even left me space for my hobbies. If that wasn’t good fortune, I don’t know what is.
It didn’t help, nights when I went home from another break. I would tell myself it should every time, but it never worked. Deep down I knew I was my own worst enemy, but knowing that hadn’t made it change. At least it had only been the first date, this time. I wouldn’t have to avoid questions from well-meaning friends about what happened. It was still a long trip home.