"What's wrong?" she asked. "You haven't been yourself all day. In fact, you've been a little off all week."
"Nothing's wrong," he said in reply.
"Would you tell me if there was? I mean, would you be completely honest no matter how it might make me feel?" she asked hoping to keep him engaged.
"Of course I would."
The awkward silence persisted.
They looked like any other young couple in the park, him with an arm lazily draped over her shoulder, walking along the river in the waning minutes of daylight.
The river walk was a fairly stereotypical and derided place for couples to visit, but they never cared. This was where they met three years prior. Where they shared their first kiss. Where they ran when they had a bad day at work or with family. Where he first draped his coat around her to stifle her weather-induced shiver. Where they had their first fight. Where they made up afterward.
"Are you sure you're okay?" she pushed. "I've never seen you like this."
"Yeah, I'm cool. Just thinking."
"Nothing. I mean, I'll tell you soon."
"Okayyy," she said, not sure where else the conversation could go. "Since we're on the topic, I've been thinking about us."
"Oh?" he contributed half-heartedly, his right hand moving reflexively for his pants pocket.
"I love you," she said.
"And I love..."
"Please let me finish," she interrupted. "I need to say this. Things just haven't been the same between us in a long time. You've been very insular and I've felt left out as a result."
She felt a weight rise off her shoulders both as a result of the words that came pouring from her mouth from both her heart and brain and because his arm suddenly came free from around her.
They stopped in mid stride and he turned to face her, paying full attention to her for, by her estimation, the first time in days or weeks or even months.
"Are you breaking up with me?" he asked.
"Yeah, I am. You've been working so much lately and I feel like we've been drifting apart and it was a struggle just to get you out here tonight and... are you even listening to me?"
"What? Yeah, I'm listening. I just..."
"Do you have anything you want to say?"
"No. Not anymore. You, uh, seem to have said it all," he lied, as his fingers fidgeted nervously with the ring in his pocket.