Empty Promises

I drove him to the airport during the early hours of the morning, our kids on the back seat strapped with their seatbelt soundly sleep all the way there. The one-hour ride was tense and mostly quiet, so many thoughts were going through my head… Only a couple of months ago I had dropped him off at that very same airport, at that very same spot, yet it seems different this time. It felt different. I knew that he had checked out a long time ago, still we kept our lives as if nothing was amiss. As if he was coming back, when we both knew that it was not the case. He didn’t say it out loud, but I knew it, it was written all over his face, he…He was not coming back.

I drove for an hour in the dark until is saw the airport lights. Inside I was crumbling. I was choking with the knowledge that this was it. Petrified with the fear of knowing that my life would never be the same. I was there silently grieving for the lost of the life that we had build together, knowing that it was ending felt soul crushing. I parked near the entrance, and we just sat there in silence, me looking at my hands, and wondering why they felt so empty, and he, he was just seating there, looking ahead.

I wanted to know what he was thinking. I wondered what was he feeling. Was he as terrified as I was? Was he sad that it was over? Or was he relieved that it this was finally over?

He just sat there. It must to have been only a minute or so, yet it felt like an eternity. He suddenly turned around, opened the door and got out of the car. I sat quietly on the driver side, my hands clutching the steering wheel as if holding for dear life, waiting in suspense for what I knew was going to happen, waiting for more empty promises, waiting for him to take his bags out of the trunk, and walk through those sliding doors, and vanish from my life. He came around, and opened the back door where our kids were sound asleep and kissed them goodbye, I looked through the mirror, and I saw his face as a flicker of pain passed, and then banished, it was fast enough for me to wonder if it actually happened.

I slowly opened my door, and trembling got out of the car to said goodbye. I stood there next to the car, he walked towards me, took my hand, pulled me close, and hold me tightly. He them gently kissed my forehead and said, “I love you, everything is going to be ok I promise”. I wanted to believe him. I desperately wanted to believe that my fears were only silly fears, that what I knew without him having to say it was not true. I wanted to believe that he was coming back, that he wasn’t leaving our family behind, that he did loved me, despite that deep down I knew it. I just knew it was over. As he turned his back, and started walking towards the sliding doors; I opened the car door got inside, took a deep breath and drove away, suppressing the desired of asking him to stay. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry so much for the love of a man who never truly loved me, or if he ever did “love me” that love had faded away at some point without me even being able to pin point the moment.

On the way back home I began to think. I began to wonder. How is it so easy for some to blatantly lie to someone’s face? To say those words that supposed to mean so much, knowing full well that, that when they are saying them, they don’t mean anything, that they are just empty, meaningless words. And then I got so angry because one should be a lot less generous with our “I love you’s”. “I love you’s” shouldn’t be given freely. They should have repercussions; they should come with expectations. Promises that are meant to be kept. One should only say “I love you”, when one is sure that the person who one says it to is important enough that one don’t want to ever caused them pain, so important that one’s happiness is directly link to their happiness.

As I made our way home with the sun lowly rising, marking a new day, the nearly empty road ahead I made a promise to myself.

Never will I utter those words to another person with out absolute certainty that they are real, because they are not only words. Next time I say “I love you” to someone, I’ll be promising my heart, I’ll be promising to be honest and loyal, I’ll be promising that there will not be empty promises.

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