Eliza realized that if her eyes had been open, it would have been obvious to her that something was going on with Rafe. She had noticed that he was spending more time with his phone, but she suspected it was Severine, which they did not speak about. Because she was known about, she was not a secret. But Sandrine…She had always seen Sandrine as his gorgeous ex, and when she finally started not to…this.
When she walked into their apartment, she had not expected it would be so quick to bring the affair up, but give a dog a bone! Right there on his abandoned phone, was an incoming text from Sandrine. Eliza looked at her watch. It was three o’clock in the morning in Paris.
Rafe had a drink in his hand, and sauntered over to her. She could tell he had been drinking too much which was not usually his style. He kissed her, and handed her his drink to sip.
Which she threw in his face.
“You motherfucker!” she screamed, while he wiped his face.
He grabbed her shoulders roughly.
“That stung, what the–”
Moving out of his hold, she picked up his phone.
“The least you could do is not leave your phone out for me to see Sandrine is calling from Paris! But it is late, maybe it is an emergency!”
Eliza thrust the phone at him as if she wanted him to take it, then threw it across the room.
Rafe’s body slackened, and he leaned against the wall.
“Liza,” he called her like he did when he knew he really messed up. “I know I should have told you…”
“You should have told me that you never stopped with Sandrine? How long has this been going on? How long have you both been lying to me? Is that the way to your faithfulness? To be one of of your French girls? Mais oui?”
“Eliza, stop it! You are acting hysterical! Stop it! You know there was nothing after we got together, this is recent.”
He straightened up, and walked over to her.
“Don’t touch me!”
Eliza moved back, and kept moving back.
He followed her as she moved back, until she was in a corner where she crumpled. It all just got to her, and she slumped down the wall until she was crouched in the corner. She heaved violently, but tears would not even come.
She was so done, there was nothing left inside of her. The edge of her engagement ring was like a tiny knife as she caressed it.
Rafe got down on his knees beside her, though she jerked when he tried to embrace her. It was complete exhaustion why she let him hold her, and she heaved all the more.
They were completely silent, Rafe held her until her breathing became regular again which was a long time.
“Let’s go to bed. We can talk about this later. I’ll get you ready you don’t have to do anything, I’ll bathe you. I’ll get you some wine…”
His voice was disembodied in her head, as she caressed that tiny knife that was her engagement ring to her now.
“Let’s end this, that is what I will say in the morning too.”
The gentle force with which she took off her engagement ring, felt like a wish being granted. She put the ring on the floor beside her and got up.
Rafe looked completely sober now, his face stern.
“I am done Rafe, done! I am done with you!”
She went to walk past him, and he grabbed her.
“I’m not done with you, I messed up I know I always do but I have never been done with you. You don’t love me anymore?”
Eliza heard that question like glass shattering.
She realized that this ring that she left on the floor had caused her so much duress, that was how she met Oscar from the demands of that damn ring. Of being engaged to Rafe.
“I will tell your parents and Fiona, if you want me to. I will do whatever you need me to do, to make this easier.”
“You don’t love me anymore?”
“I will pack some stuff now, and then I will have movers come get the rest.”
“You don’t love me anymore?”
Eliza walked into their bedroom, and starting moving her things out of it. They were her things, but they smelled like him because she lived with him. She was not sure she would ever forget how he smelled, she was not sure she would.
“You don’t love me anymore?” he asked her that haunting question again, standing by the door watching her pack.
“I won’t be much longer,” she said.
She continued with her immediate stuff, and then picked up her suitcase.
“I’m not done with you…”
He blocked her from walking out of the bedroom.
“If you want to beat me up and make me stay here I cannot stop you,” Eliza said, looking up at him somberly. His hands or words could not batter her anymore than she already was battered.
“You are acting like you do not know me, like you do not know I love you…”
“I know you love me Rafe, and I love you but it does mean much anymore. It doesn’t mean much of anything anymore.”
She knew her words about him hitting her, would freeze him. He had never hit her, or done anything to harm her physically. But she was so wounded from everything, she needed to retreat. She needed to stop relying on love as a crutch because it wasn’t…
She needed to stand by herself now…
Sooner than she had expected, she was sitting sunken in the back of a taxi, and running an itinerary of places she run to.
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