Chapter 19

Just ten more minutes. I’ll give it ten more, in case she appears. And if ten minutes happens to pass without her appearing, what’s another ten? It would be worth it for a chance to talk to her. And so it goes on.

I always thought that if things ended, they would end with our respect for one another intact, and a fondness, a soft spot when we thought of one another. I didn’t think it would end like this, with poisonous words not even spoken in anger, but with calculated intent.

Not a man. Must grow up. Adolescent, narcissistic, pathetic and childlike. Lacking joy and happiness and light. A black cloud of misery, guilt, resentment, anger and shame encompassing everything I touch.

These are the things she says, among many others. There was a time when she wanted to know things – the things I shared that ultimately ruined us. When she came to me, soft-voiced and gentle in the early hours and asked me to tell her what was going on, and instead of telling her no, instead of just keeping it to myself, I opened my fool mouth.

I should have known better. She just wanted to know that I was hers, and she was mine, and fuck everyone else. Safe in our bubble.

Of course, bubbles burst. It’s not possible to maintain the kind of suspended animation we existed in when it was us and only us. Reality has a way of seeping in.

Ten more minutes have passed. There’s no sign of her. Of course, it’s Saturday night, and deep down I wasn’t expecting her to be around. She messaged me today to correct what I wrote in the previous chapter. To confirm that I am, in fact, definitely a selfish cunt. A selfish, selfish cunt, to be precise. And to throw a few fuck you’s my way. Not out of anger. To speak the truth.

I never had a chance to get to know her properly. Now, I have to let her go. This woman I am in love with. The first thing on my mind each morning, and the last thing each night. Because she’s right. I couldn’t provide the things I wanted to give her. The happiness. The safety, security and sunshine. Maybe early on, for a while. Before we got into the excessive detail of my life, and the lack of detail of hers. The reality we’re in.

Reality has once again taken over, and it’s pretty much the only place to be. The only show in town. Bubbles are only ever temporary.


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