Eight years with Jamie began to feel like a relationship with a child’s talking doll, just a series of catchphrases repeated regardless of context or appropriateness. Priscilla thought she might have a clean getaway, but she couldn’t find her cat or her keys and the latch on her suitcase refused to snap. Jamie came home early, saw the pile of belongings.
“You’re leaving.” Jamie made it into a half question.
“Do I get to ask why?” Catchphrase. “Did I miss something?” Catchphrase.
Priscilla picked at a fingernail. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Little late for that.” Those green eyes looked flat, painted on.
“You weren’t supposed to see.”
“I think I’d have figured it out.” Jamie stood. “I don’t get it. Didn’t I give you everything? Everything you wanted?” Catchphrase. The catchphrase. An arm reached for Priscilla, “Cil—“
“No!” she withdrew. “Not everything! Of all the times you asked me that, did you ever bother to find out from me what I wanted? You gave me everything you thought I wanted.” Tears fell.
There was a pause. “That’s not the same thing, is it?” Jamie asked.
Jamie said, at last, the phrase Priscilla had waited to hear.