That's how far away from you I moved that day.
I still remember the tears in your eyes.
I was blinded by the job prospects - I'd never had much money you see, growing up as a kid. It was always something everyone else had, and I was fine with it. For the most part anyway; you know what it's like being a kid in secondary school. You try not to let it get to you, but it does, and it never gets better when you get older. As the old song used to say - High school never ends and all that.
I wish I hadn't let that happen to me.
They gave me my dream job, money I'd never even thought of, prospects I could never even have hoped for - what was I supposed to do? Stay there, and envy you for working in a job you loved, hating mine and souring the love we shared. No, I thought, better for us to share a long distance relationship than for me to despise you for something you couldn't control.
Winter was hard that year, you know what it's like. You kept texting me regularly, and I kept ignoring you. You had it so easy, I though. You didn't have to move to a new country, obey new laws. I'd already had two transgressions with the law - once for the jaywalking (I had no idea that was even a thing), and once for asking a policeman for directions (I didn't realise how paranoid America was - I thought this was the land of the free).
Spring came, and work finally picked up. By that I mean they gave me a long case - you know how obsessed over those. How I would get lost in the work and forget the outside world ever existed. You had a knack for dragging me back. I guess that didn't work so well when there was an ocean between us.
By the time I came to my senses it was autumn - the summer long gone and the frost creeping in each morning. I tried to call you but you didn't pick up - I guess I deserved that. No one deserves to be ghosted for three quarters of a year than have to run back to their partner.
When we next talked you told me of a devastating loss that had struck you. I should have been there - I promised to come over right away. But they gave me case after case, and before I knew it I was working yet another Christmas day.
I don't think I exchanged a single word to you on either of the two Christmases I had spent in America.
There is so much I would change if I could go back and do it all again.
Spring came before I knew it and I threw myself back into my work - I spent all of my summer indoors working cases until every night when I closed my eyes I saw a new dead body and all the ways that I had slipped up.
It's my fault; I understand that now. I couldn't expect you to wait for me.
I didn't expect you to get married that quickly though, or the next time that I went 'home' you were pregnant with someone else's children.
You always said you never wanted children.
And you looked happier than I had ever made you; but I think that was just me.
We ended up alone somehow; I don't think we were actually alone that night, but the world always faded away around you. There was a time I had hoped it would never stop doing that - now it was a reminder of a bittersweet past hat I had thrown away.
"I'm sorry I couldn't stay." I said. I don't know what I was trying to do.
I don't know whether you understood the intent of my words or not, but you shrugged, and gave me a smile. Not one of the old ones you used to give me though, no, they were reserved for you husband, and the unborn baby that you two were about to have.
"People change." I don't know if that was your way of forgiving me or damning me; either way it was a blow to my stomach that I'll never forget.
Someone else came up to you at that moment, and real life spun away again.
We never did have one of those moments again.
I'm sorry I couldn't stay.
No - I'm sorry I didn't stay. I guess I always had a choice, and you finally realised that you weren't mine.
I have to admit I did not expect this to get that personalpersonal, bbut here we are.