Exit Interview (First Draft)
“But, I love you Kazim” Almana repeated.
“I love you too, but I just can’t do this with you anymore,” Kaz coolly replied.
She held her head back—nose in the air—to keep her tears from flowing. She wished she could bury her face in her hands, but decided pitiful was beneath her.
“Do what?” she asked, “You act like this is a chore or a game, we’re not playing Monopoly, this is my life—our lives.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say, Alma, I just don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. I’m not happy.”
Kaz expected their break up to be difficult and vowed to only give the whole process two hours before he mentioned that he had plans and had to leave, but he could tell she was going to try and keep him there as long as possible. They were only ten minutes in and he already saw tears. He wanted to cry with her for effect, and to make her feel better, but he’d never been that upset about anything except his father dying, and could never cry over a woman.
“And what about me? Alma asked. She couldn’t help raising her voice now and looking him in his eyes, which seemed cold and distant, as they usually did. “You think I’m happy with you all the time? They’re called trials and tribulations asshole. You don’t just give up.”
Alma’s intention was not to try and convince Kaz to stay with her. Most days she couldn’t stand to be around him and he made her miserable, but she had a strong attachment to the love they used to have when it was fresh five years ago, and by staying with him and fighting for him, she had convinced herself that she was the loyal one. And he was doing exactly what she had expected of him—leaving.
Kaz met her stare and tried to look compassionate and spare her feelings, but he had long ago stopped sympathizing with her. Often, she seamlessly managed to play the bully and the victim, but she had just given him an opening by calling him an asshole. It didn’t bother him one way or the other whether or not she called him names (except if it was in front of other people), but to drive his point home, he used it against her..
“You continuously disrespect me by calling me names, this is exactly the type of shit I’m always warning you about.”
“So, you’re leaving because I call you names?” She asked sarcastically.
Kaz almost laughed, he knew she would reduce everything they had been through, to something simple and try and make him feel silly about his decision. He waited a minute to compose himself, so he could speak to her with a straight face.
“You know that’s not all. We’ve been through all of this before, we have the same arguments time after time. “
Truth is, he couldn’t pinpoint exactly what went wrong in their relationship. It wasn’t any one big thing, it was a series of small disappointments that got them to a place where they were always on opposite sides of the fence. He was banking on the fact that she could feel things weren’t going well between them and wouldn’t ask for specifics from him and just let it all go. Individually everything she had ever done in their relationship could be considered minor offenses. But a million minor offenses is major.
Alma remained quiet for a minute or two as Kaz sat and watched her. He checked the time on his phone three times during their awkward silence and this was one thing that made her angry about him. He could never be in one place at a time.
Alma was well aware that they had spent the last two years drifting further and farther apart, but she wasn’t done yet. And if anybody was to leave, she wanted it to be her. He’s the one who cheated on her a year into their relationship, but she had her indiscretions as well, so she gave it one good argument to make him feel bad and to give her an opportunity to yell freely at the guilty man, and then she swept it under the rug. He got caught, she didn’t.
She wiped her tears with the back of her hand and sniffed the snot back in her nose. She needed to be clear-headed and rational about this and wanted him to take her seriously.
“You know what, Kaz?”
He immediately knew she was framing him for a set up with that question and her new found resolve.
“What?” He asked.
“Would you leave your job and explain to your co-workers and your supervisor that you were leaving because you were unhappy.”
He knew where she was taking this, but couldn’t find a way out.
“Probably not,” he answered, skeptically.
“Me either, so let’s do this properly and formally. It doesn’t make sense for me to get all emotional and sappy. I’m an adult, I’m 23, you’re 27, we can have a grown up conversation and a dignified ending to our five year relationship, right?”
Alma didn’t mean anything she was saying, but was tired of being the only one fighting for a relationship that neither of them needed or wanted to be in.
‘I came over here hoping that is what would happen, but you started crying and bringing the whole vibe of the conversation to a level I didn’t want to go, and—“
“Don’t be negative,” she interrupted him, “We’re moving on. I’d just like to ask you a few questions.”
“Oh God. You can ask anything you want. But I made plans, and I have to leave in about fifteen minutes.” Kaz knew what she was doing. Almana was a writer for a local magazine and when she was angry and tried to cover it up, she turned everything into business and went into reporter mode.
“You can’t just do this for me?” she lightly pleaded.
“I said you can ask, I’m not doing this forever though.”
“Forever is a long time, and we’ve been doing this long enough already” she said.
He was in no mood for her sarcasm, “Ask your questions, Alma.”
“Okay, well we’ll start with the most important one; what is your primary reason for leaving?” she asked.
Kaz was about to repeat himself and felt they were talking in circles around each other, at this point he was annoyed.
“I told you, I’m not—“
“Don’t say you’re not happy, that’s not an excuse. It’s just not good enough.”
Kaz agreed to answer her questions, knowing that this was another one of the things about her that irked him.
“I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m not fucking happy. This is not work, you’re not interviewing me. You can’t make me say anything else. I’m not doing this with you anymore.”
Not only did Kaz not like the way she questioned him, but he didn’t have an answer for her. He would have to name all of the little things about her that bothered him, with them all sounding trivial, even to himself and he didn’t see the point of wasting the time.
Alma pulled a notepad and a black ballpoint pen out of her purse.
“Okay, we’ll come back to it later, did anything trigger your decision to leave?”
She knew she was annoying him, and was enjoying herself a little bit, but for the most part, but she truly did want to hear his answers.
“Yes,” he answered, “A lot of things.”
She lost her cool, “Name them!” she yelled.
Kaz took that as his cue to leave, he had had enough.
“I’m not doing this Alma. I’m leaving. Everything always ends up the same way. I have to go,” Kaz stood up from the table.
“Yeah, you always end up leaving because you’re a coward and that’s what cowards do.”
“There you go calling me names again, but you want me to do everything you want me to do and I’m the coward?”
Calm, once again, she replied, “All I want is some answers or some type of closure.”
“You have all the answers, you don’t need me. Case closed. I tried Alma, I really did.”
“And so did I, so did I,” she said slowly.
“What went wrong?”
This definitely needs to be filled out, but I like their dialogue so far!