We split unofficially sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Family saw it in our faces and knew. We were going through the motions. Relieved to have the work of the holidays suddenly at hand, mouths to feed, conversation to make, any distraction from the question that'd been looming, becoming more desperate and inevitable.
What happened to us? It wasn't a question either of us were equipped to ask or answer. To ask that meant question meant asking all the others, each more loaded than the next. What had we even been before, and how, and why? What do we do now?
Against the new backdrop of this radiant, green city, it was apparent that whatever had bound us together so concretely before had been left to wither in our old town, a town crowded with the smells of dog piss and jasmine flowers, one with rents so high and rooms so small we had no choice but to live against one another at all hours of the day. That must have been the glue.
Because here we were in our new situation, as close to an ideal as one could hope for. No drought. No sales tax. The luxury of space. The permission to live as we most wanted had presented itself in the form of a 2BR whitewashed Victorian with garage, bay windows, and a view of the Sound interminably glimmering, and finally we were individuals, perhaps for the first time. 'Us' was no longer a matter of necessity, and merely an afterthought, as I took up residence on one side of the house, as far from the sound of the television as I could go.
By Christmas, I had moved all of my belongings into the guest bedroom. I closed the door behind me, slept there for three months. By March we each had a new address. It had been five years.