“In the long term, the girl who can’t take care of herself isn’t who you want to end up with,” Henry says. “But for a while – I don’t know. It’s pretty fun. The lows are lower, but the highs are really fucking high.”
Hannah keeps watching the cars. She sort of detests him.
He is talking more slowly when he says, “I know I only met you once before today, but you seem like you have your act together. You don’t seem like you need rescuing.”
Is the depressing part that he’s only half right – it’s not that she doesn’t need rescuing but that nobody else will be able to do it? She has always somehow known that she is the one who will have to rescue herself. Or maybe what’s depressing is that this knowledge seems like it should make life easier, and instead it makes it harder.
“You realise that’s a good thing, don’t you?” Henry says. He pauses and then says, “You shouldn’t think you won’t get married, because you’re exactly the kind of girl a guy marries.”
I began to cry as soon as I’d hung up. I was sitting at my desk, and the door to my office was open, but I didn’t care. I was crying partly because Suzy got him and I didn’t, but more than for the loss of Henry, I was crying for my own wrongness, a wrongness of which there now was incontrovertible proof.
My intuition, my gut instinct – whatever you want to call it, it had been wrong. Henry and I weren’t each other’s fates. We weren’t going to spend the rest of our lives eating dinner off orange plates, I wasn’t ever going to actually rub his head while he rested it in my lap, we’d never travel together to a foreign country. None of it. It was over.
Or maybe it wouldn’t work out with him and Suzy and he’d want me later, in a few years, or he’d want me much later, he’d come find me when I was sixty-eight and he was seventy, but by then, who cared? I wanted him while we were still the people we were now.