The usual sort of uncomfortable silence followed Rowena's "Oh, Alex."
His mind, having sung through "Row, Row, Row You Boat," inserting her name, "Ro," for "Row" and "Maryland," for "Merrily," now looked to other things than a rehashing of old relationship problems -- problems that, for him, had never fully been resolved. And, of course, they could never fully be resolved, for him, because she had broken off the relationship and not he.
He had been in other relationships in which he had been the one to break things off, and he always felt that the situation, all of it, had been resolved. Utterly. This is the way things are with relationships.
It is a matter of an unstable economic interaction: Two people in an ongoing relationship exchange feelings, etc. in a fulfilling manner. However, when one of the people breaks the relationship, there is a debt felt by the person who is the recipient of the breaking. The dumping. This debt, recognized or not, is impossible for the person doing the dumping to repay.
A debt that cannot ever be paid can only be forgiven.
But he was not satisfied with this notion of forgiveness. No matter how much he tried to convince himself otherwise, he could not see forgiveness as anything less than telling the other person -- Rowena, in this case -- that what she had done was okay, and that he was perfectly fine with her dumping him.
Hell no. He wanted to hurt her. Still.
And he knew that he would never be able to do so such that her debt to him would be paid in full.
He had paid the bill, and she was standing. She was reaching down to her salad and grabbing a dainty handful of spinach leaves which she popped, birdlike, into her mouth.
How he hated her.