Losing Faith

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Losing Faith

The morning after I'd successfully navigated my ex-girlfriend, Faith's, sexual mine field, I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I couldn't wait to tell my current girlfriend, Autumn, all about it.  On second thought, however, I decided that it probably would be better not to tell her.  She already disliked Faith enough without my adding any more fuel to that particular fire.  Our relationship had been smokey enough lately.

When I went out to the living room, where Faith had been sleeping, I found her fully dressed with the bedding and clothes I'd lent her neatly folded on the end of the couch.

"Good morning," Faith said.  She sounded cheerful, but I could see she was quite sad.  "I made oatmeal for breakfast.  That's all I could find, unless you wanted to eat Cap'n Crunch without milk."

I didn't tell her, but I often did.  "No, oatmeal is great.  Thanks for making it." 

"It was the least I could do.  I really appreciate what you did for me and... I guess I didn't seem all that grateful last night."

"No, you seemed grateful," I said, "just not very respectful." 

Faith shrugged.  "What can I say?  I've always been too greedy for my own good.  Listen, I just want you to know that I spoke with my cousin, and he's going to pick me up at Union Station around 10.  So, I'll be leaving with you this morning, just like you asked.  I hope you don't mind if I bum some train fare off of you."

"No problem," I told her, and gave her one of my extra CTA passes.  Then, we sat down to breakfast. 

Oatmeal is a hard cereal to swallow when you're choking down words and feelings at the same time.  Neither of us spoke very much.  Faith's face was a cheerful mask, cracked with sorrow, and I'm sure that mine wasn't much better.  The bitterness of all the years of  anger, and hurt I felt made it nearly impossible to eat.  Somehow, though, I choked it all down, and got through the most difficult breakfast of my life.  

After breakfast, we got suited up against the cold morning and headed to the bus stop.  As the bus cruised along Lake Shore Drive,  and I saw the sunlight glinting on Lake Michigan through its window, I began to feel better.  I reminded myself that I was living a