I wanted to sit in the hallway for as long as it took me to process what had happened and what continued to happen.

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I needed space. It felt like I needed more space than was acceptable to you. More space than you were comfortable in giving me.

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I kept asking for everything to stop. To hold on. To sit. Wait.

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You didn’t want to wait. You wanted me to, “either move towards me or we have to get divorced.” You kept saying those words to me. All I wanted was for everyone to stop moving. I wanted the pieces to stay where they were. Pause. I didn’t want to feel rushed, I didn’t want to feel emergent, I wanted to have time to hold my thoughts and feelings and examine them.

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Even if you didn’t want to acknowledge it, we were in a hallway, I was watching what you would do. They weren’t tests. I simply sat and observed your actions and weighed them against who I thought you were. I waited to be surprised. I wanted to be swept off my feet. Instead, it was more of the same, ignored, passed over, dismissed.

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You wanted to rush to the next thing.

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We did.

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And at the same moment, I’m still in the hallway, I’m still weighing my emotions and actions. Just now, seven months out, do I feel like I’m getting a handle on what happened and how. Somehow 14 years wasn’t worth waiting 7 months for. 7 months and 1 day was too much time to wait, but just the right amount of time to end it.

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I close my eyes and think about how we are creatures who are made up of matter and we take up space. In November, I expanded my arms, demanding more space, I needed more space to take up. I’d been alone and small far too long. I tried to expand my space and weigh my emotions and ask you to sit and wait… You stood outside my growing circle of space and screamed at me to make it smaller, again. I wasn’t allowed to stand in the center of my circle of safety and process. If I refused to come out of the space my matter took up you’d leave. So I let you leave, while I stood in my space, and weighed what had happened.