She looked right in his eyes, too astonished to hear the words that had just escaped his mouth. She had dreaded this moment for a long time now, particularly when things had begun to turn for the worst. A part of her blamed him for the hell their relation had become and hated him for it; and the other part of her longed for him desperately. She had played it all in her mind a thousand times, him saying it in a tone asserting finality and closing the door behind him for good. If she had seen dad go it would have been easy to accept the void that followed. Closed doors scared her and brought afresh the memory of that awful evening when dad had left them like that, the thud of the door behind him still echoing in her ears. She was fragile now, knowing another good bye can shatter her completely. There was nothing more painful than an unfinished relationship, whose memory always brought with it the thought of could-have-been’s. The could-have-beens were an agonizing chain of thoughts that would keep her awake night after night; she feared being lonely. She looked at him one more time, the man she loved. So this is how it ends, she thought as she watched his lips move, saying those dreaded words: it’s over. He turned to leave and for a split second, she leapt towards him to take him by his hand and pull him back to her, tell him that there never was an end for them, that they were meant to be, that it was going to be fine, that they just needed some time, some tolerance, some deep soul searching. Her hand stood in air as she thought it over. He could see she was thinking now, the girl who loved him mindlessly and selflessly was thinking today. His pride was hurt. She stood there watching him, their eyes locked and something hit like a realization. She didn’t need him anymore and he understood it. He had crossed the lines today, and this time, she meant it when she didn’t stop him. There was no place left for him in her life. He turned and walked those last few steps towards the door. She closed her eyes as the memory of that last door closing overcame her, she didn’t want to witness it this time. She didn’t want to end up picking pieces of herself again. Out of nowhere, a feeling alien to her overcame her and she opened her eyes; she had to see it this time, watch him leave, leave for good, and not just stay content with what she heard. And so, she watched him go, slam the door, and the length of the ordeal drained her. Silence fell and her eyes stayed glued to the door, she felt something loosening. A sense of relief flushed through her, a knot untying inside, something breaking, relieving her.
She was free at last.