One second to the next, she finds breathing difficult. The flat’s become too small, too cluttered. His dirty clothes litter the floor, empty Coke cans stick to the tables.
She needs space. She needs time alone. How to breach the subject? She worries about hurting his feelings. Whatever is happening, it’s nothing to do with him.
It’s all about her, her, her.
She struggles with this notion. She would never leave him because she’s unhappy. She’s a selfless person, she puts everybody else’s needs above her own. Because that’s what makes you happy, right? Egomaniacs die alone. She doesn’t want to die alone. She ignores the urge to throw him out. It doesn’t work, his presence keeps constricting her. She needs to be alone almost as much as she needs oxygen. In a recurring nightmare, she finds herself underwater, never coming up for air.
After too many sleepless nights, she wonders: What if spending time apart is the way to resuscitate her love? Telling him to leave wouldn’t be selfish. She’d do it for him. She likes this line of argument.
He returns, she takes a deep breath. ‘Sit down, sweetie,’ she says.
Air rushes back into her lungs.