Don Shea Don Shea, Writer & Editor
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     Perfectly. She did it perfectly. Beautifully. I have never in my life broken up with a woman like that.
     She waited till Sunday afternoon, so it would not ruin the weekend. "I'm not coming back," she said. She said it sweetly.
     Were there tears? Of course there were tears. We cared about each other. We cried quite a bit.
     It was the first real weekend of spring. She had cleaned and prepared the garden and flower pots on Saturday, but she did not plant for the season.
     There were no fights, no accusations. She said the happiest time of her life had been spent there with me at the beach. She didn't say so, but I knew one of the reasons she chose to tell me on this early weekend, before the season began, was so she would not have to reestablish social contacts with our seasonal friends only to break them off.
     She left a list of things that needed to be done to the house and garden. She was quick to pack, but she took her time saying goodbye to my cat, who she also loved.
     Her things were collected into five small bags. It was somehow heartbreaking to see her presence over five years reduced to that little pile.
     There wasn't really anything to discuss. We had those discussions a year ago, two years ago.

     She waited with me for my train. She wanted to be with me as long as possible that day because after that she could not be with me at all.
     I knew it was coming for some time. I wanted it, on some level. She knew this. Smart women know this, no matter how nice you try to be. She also knew, because she made it so easy for me to be with her, that I could not do it myself. So she generously did it for me.
     The next day I felt relieved. I felt expansive. Walking around, looking at women, I felt sexy.
     It was a perfect parting. Beautiful.

     How can you not love a woman who parts with you like that, exactly when the secret core of your being wants her to, who intuits your wishes and separates from you with love, sadness, good taste, efficiency, and generosity of spirit?
     A woman like that, how can you possibly let her go?



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