“I’m so sorry,” Deborah said. She looked down at her hands, folded in her lap.
“Of course you are, Debby” I replied. I looked away so she didn’t seem me rolling my eyes. “You’re always sorry. It doesn’t keep it from happening time and again.” I stood abruptly and grabbed my jacket from the back of the chair.
“I can be different,” Deborah said. Her voice was flat, like even she didn’t really believe it. “I don’t want you to go.”
“Not the first time you’ve said that, either,” I said. “And I’m idiot enough that I keep not going, even though I know full well it’s what I should do. For both our sakes.” I turned away before the tears started. I was sick of seeing them.
“If you walk through that door, don’t ever come back!” she shrieked, throwing herself violently from her seat.
This was a new twist. Nonetheless, I kept my back turned and turned the knob. “Goodbye, Debby. I really do wish you well.”
There was a sudden pain in my back and a thump on the ground. Startled, I spun and looked down. She’d thrown her tumbler at me. The last dribbles of whiskey dripped down my jacket.
I risked a look at her face. There were tears. There was fear. There was anger. But this time, I could put it aside.
I walked through the door and never looked back again.