They’re little moments but they tell the whole story.
If you pay close attention you see them everywhere. They don’t last longer than a few heartbeats. A sideways glance if she’s interested; a slight role of the eyes if she isn’t. He pulls his shoulders back when she enters and shifts his weight when they talk. Follow the movement of their eyes, where are their hands? Do they use both arms to hug? Watch for the details and everyone’s secrets unfold in front of you.
It’s the “huhs,” the shrugs, the “whatever you want to do, dear”s that make or break a relationship, determine its strength and define how well a couple communicates. And if a couple isn’t communicating, a couple isn’t succeeding.
As for me, I don’t remember the details. I know one thing. No one else registered the magnitude of that moment. To anyone watching it was just an exchange of personal belongings; a book for a t-shirt, a couple of socks and a DVD - but to anyone actually paying attention, it was the end of a relationship. A few ticks off the clock and we were done.
It wasn’t like I didn’t want it to happen. Just not like that. If I’d been looking to make a scene I’d have said, “Here’s the stuff you’ve been hounding me for.” Instead I looked her right in the eyes and pretended it didn’t bother me; convincing myself life would be better without her.
If anyone had been paying attention that day, I imagine they’d have seen right through me. At least, I’d have wanted them too. I was too proud to admit it was a painful day. That I would replay the moment again and again in the moments before bed. That it would be years before I felt the same way about another women. If I’d have paid attention to the little things that day, I might not have been so quick to let her go.