That last night in Florence I kept one eye open. I laid there in bed while she did her usual inventory. I could feel her unpacking everything just to touch it. Then I could see her carefully folding everything back. She would sit at the desk as she did at every hotel ripping up boarding passes and receipts. Then she would throw out old empties and ravage the toiletries in the bathroom. She would struggle with her ailing phone and charge up her iPad. All loose ends were tied. She'd said all she wanted. I'd come to terms with the loss. I wasn't using her charger. She wasn't using my laptop. She'd returned my copy of Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast". I'd asked if she needed money for a taxi in Milan knowing I didn't have it to give. The creepiest part was her talking through me about her arranging so I could have breakfast and be able to stay in the room until 12pm. Now she was reaching. I didn't feel entitled and my invitation hadn't been rescinded. I didn't need her permission to do as I'd planned all along. 

I never slept.

I felt like she was wrapping things up to comfort me. To rouse me in the night and kick me out. To plan some unnecessary attack. That is how I truly felt. Thankfully, around 6am she tip toed around closing her plastic baggies and tying her shoes. She'd left just enough tissue for me to wipe my ass once. I tried to grunt and roll as if I was deep in sleep. I was now wide awake and could not rest until she was gone. I could not bring myself to sleep until I knew her train had departed the station. I needed to see her physically walk down the street and make the proper turns to get to her train. I'd created a four hour window for myself to sleep, shower, eat and leave. I wanted to linger so that if she missed her train there was time for her to catch another one. 

I never wanted to see her again. 

Trust me it wasn't about the last few days, that final argument - it was all about me. I just couldn't stand to see her face. I imagined the grueling task of getting home and trying to figure out the purpose of everything. I had asked to be left alone for at least 48 hours. I wanted the darker guest room. I wanted to isolate myself. For me I'd failed a mission. I'd quit something yet again. I'd left before my time. I was missing things. I'd be back to normal and stress. If my mother wasn't prepared to give her what she wanted I would sell my soul to wipe the slate. I didn't even want to speak to her. I'd funnel the money as she asked through her dad. If anyone asked me why I was home earlier than planned I'd say I'd ran out of money. If my mother couldn't sell my stuff to help me out before now she'd play an active roll in me getting rid of it in her face. I'd make her responsible for it. I hate eBay. I hate debt. I would just stay in that room and figure out what was next. 


I really expected for her to just leave. No fan fare. No waking me. I just wanted to lay there and hear the door shut. Instead, she came to my bedside and spoke. I continued to lay there lifeless, hands at my sides and face in the pillows. Then she stretched over me and gave me a shoulder/back hug. It was the oddest fucking thing and my eyes shot open in the well of those pillows. I don't know what exactly she said but she didn't apologize. She just startled me and left. I gave her a good ten minutes to go downstairs, sign whatever, get her breakfast and go. I waited for the sound of wheels to hit the street. I stood in the window hoping to see her back. I didn't know what she was wearing. I just wanted to see that suitcase rolling away. I never saw her. The confirmation no longer mattered. For me she was at least half way gone.

I only slept for a few hours.

I took a long shower. I cleared the mini-bar. I put my suitcase near the door. I went downstairs and ate facing the dining room. I then went back upstairs and laid across the bed. I penned some notes. I charged my phone. I made sure everything was settled downstairs. When I left the keys they explained that the lady hadn't left a forwarding address. I gave them a post office box I no longer had. I figured whatever was left behind was meant to stay. I didn't want them sending me any article of hers. I didn't want to be responsible for the room. I didn't care to acknowledge I was given permission to stay like some prostitute. 

So I left.

I didn't stick around. I wanted to stay in the lobby or the lounge using the wi-fi and collecting myself. I had a bottle of water, stole some fruit and there really was no one to talk to at 6am eastern/standard time. I chose to go to the train station and just be there. I think I had an hour and a half wait. There was no air conditioning. There was no wi-fi. I rationed my water so I wouldn't have to use the restroom. I just sat there people watching and deprogramming for the long ride back to Paris and the excursion home. I would contact her when everything was over. I would only do so after my 48 hour holding period. Then I would pay her and have her send me my stuff from Nantes. Anyone asked where she was I would say I don't know. Anyone asked where I was going the answer would be the same. 

I didn't know.

Of course while traveling I had zero access to communicate. I'd planned on sleeping in the streets of Paris until the airport was open. I planned on washing up and changing clothes in a public restroom. My last Euros would afford me a RER train ticket and a decent French breakfast. Maybe I would eat lunch on one of my planes if my card didn't decline. Once in New York I'd change my pounds for USD to get an AirTrain ticket and head to Penn Station. I wouldn't be able to call home with no phone service. I wouldn't be able to eat McDonald's or have Jamba Juice. All my US chargers were in Nantes so I had no way to charge anything. I'd have Ayn Rand, Hemingway and the French magazine I'd stole at Roissy for entertainment. I'd sit next to someone I didn't know and lose a day riding a real train. The conversations in English and all the noises of Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds would keep me up. I'd have to hope someone would come get me. I'd be twenty pounds lighter, two shades darker, starved out, smelly and sleep deprived. The train would pull off and I'd be left at the Main St. station where there would be no lights or a pay phone. I'd rest on a bench with my messenger tied at my waist and my suitcase between my legs. I wouldn't even be able to call a cab at that hour and if I did I had no money and no house keys. Someone would eventually pull up in my Grandma's van, not help me with my bags and I'd walk down the hall and take refuge in the back room. I still wouldn't be able to charge anything. I'd be delirious. It would be hot as hell because no one used the air conditioning. So I'd open the windows and the mosquitos would bite me. Too late to take a shower. Kitchen is closed. Everyone else is sleep. In the morning I'd be roused by the smell of salt pork and salmon scrambled eggs and interrogated. 

I wouldn't have anything to say. Not a single thing. 

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