by Kate Bolin

"well this is such a sad affair...I've opened up my heart...oh so many times...but now it's closed"

It's funny how beautiful people look when they're walking out the door.

I wasn't expecting it. How can you expect something like this? How can you expect a suitcase by the front door and the person you thought loved you, you thought would stay with you forever; a suitcase by the front door and there he is, there's your husband, standing there, his eyes looking down, his eyes sad, and you know it's over, it's all over. How can you expect that?

He said it was different. That staying with me was living a lie. He stood there, speaking in a quiet voice. A voice meant for babies and old people and when you were leaving your wife of twenty years.

"Everything's changed, Will," he said to me. "Except for you."

He had a suitcase next to him and his keys in his hand, letters to the children on the table next to him, and he was leaving me, he was going away, and there was nothing I could do.

"I just can't live like this anymore. You're still trying to be the girl you were twenty years ago, before Buffy came to Sunnydale, before everything happened." He looked at me with his eyes, his sad eyes, then shook his head. "I can't be who I am now and live with what you still want to be. I grew up. But you didn't."

He held out the papers, the papers that ruined everything, that destroyed everything, that turned all that I worked for, all that I kept together, into nothing. My entire life crumbled apart just from a few sheets of paper neatly organized in a folder.

And he turned to me, his brown eyes shining, his mouth trembling as he gave me a forced weak smile. And in that moment, he was more beautiful than I had ever seen. More beautiful than the night we first kissed, more beautiful than our wedding day, then our wedding night, when we gave ourselves to each other, more beautiful than the tears when our son was born, more beautiful than I had even seen him before.

He smiled that bitter smile, then walked out the door.

"And now, as you turn to try to force a if to compensate...then you break down and cry..."