2 years ago
I watch her as she dresses in front of the full length mirror that hangs from our bedroom door. She slips first one smooth, shapely long leg into the silky black dress, then the other. She pulls it up, giving a slight wiggle of the hips as the thin material catches, and then fastens it across her creamy, unblemished shoulder.
“You look beautiful”, I say calmly but on the inside I am screaming. “Let’s work this out can’t we?” I want to say, “There’s still something good here and with a little effort, we can make it work. I love you so much and the thought of being without you is tearing me apart, you are my heart and soul and I simply can’t live without you!”
She looks at my reflection in the mirror and smiles coolly but politely. “Thank you”, she replies while deep inside her heart breaks. “Don’t you understand what your indifference is doing to me?” she wants to shout. “This was supposed to be forever, it’s not supposed to end this way. You said until death do us part and I believed you. I am lost without you. Please open up to me, I’m not your enemy, I’m your lover and I adore you!”
I continue watching her as she cocks her head slightly to the side to put on her earrings and admire the graceful curve of her neck. That gorgeous shapely neck, the trigger of so many passionate encounters together. After a moment, she turns to look at me, “All done”, she says with a smile but I notice it stops just short of her eyes, they remain cool and distant and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on.
That look cuts me deeper than any blade ever could and I stand up quickly to hide the pain. “Better head out”, I say with airiness that I don’t really feel. I quickly walk past her towards the stairs and hear her come out of the room behind me, I hear the soft swish of her dress brushing against her body and steel myself against the emotions that threaten to surface.
Placing my hand on the banister, I begin to make my way down the stairs and it suddenly occurs to me how those condemned to die must feel.
As we continue down, I look over at the pictures that line the wall to the bottom hallway. Some are of our holidays, others just of us being us, but each is permanently engraved in my heart like a stamp. There’s us at Victoria Falls, she is smiling and I am standing behind her, we are blissfully happy and life can’t get any more perfect, further down is a picture of our last camping trip, she is stunning against the backdrop of the mountains and again I feel my heart start to race.
“Enough!” I tell myself, “Stop doing this to yourself”. I have almost convinced myself that I’m ok when I see another picture that causes me once again to falter. It is a picture of our first ever date. The frame that surrounds it is silver with little intricately woven roses all around it and I remember how she insisted on me buying it. “After all”, she had said with that mischievous smile that I had come to know so well, “You only do this once”.
In the picture we are looking into each other’s eyes, oblivious to those around us, eternalized in that moment of perfection. “Did we really look like that?” I wonder to myself and try once more to understand what, where, when and why it all went wrong.
“Stop!” my mind screams at me and for a second my legs almost obey. “Stop and turn to her”, it says with a seething frustration. “Look into her eyes like you did on that first day and tell her the truth. Tell her how meaningless your life was until she came into it; tell her how you only feel half alive when she’s not beside you and how much you miss the sound of her laughter”.
I want to so badly that it’s like a physical ache but I just can’t, I somehow reconcile myself with “this isn’t my fault”, and “she’s the one being unreasonable”. And instead, I continue to the bottom of the stairs, cross the living room and stand waiting by the door to help her with her coat.
She studies my strong back and broad shoulders from beneath her lashes as she makes her way down the remaining stairs. “He is so handsome with his dark brown hair and rugged good looks” she thinks and she feels the familiar tingle run through her body as she thinks of my strong arms holding her.
“Tell him”, something inside of her begs. “Tell him how even after all these years he still causes your heart to skip a beat when he walks into the room. Tell him how alone you feel when he is not there. Tell him how it’s always just been him, that there could never be another and that he has, and always will have your heart and all that’s good inside of you”.
Instead, she walks to the door, turns and allows me to help her with her coat. I turn and open the door and the gust of wind that hits us feels as cold as a grave. “After you”, I say with a small wintery smile and step back to allow her through.
She starts to step past me, knowing in her heart that this may be the last time that we perform this empty ritual when she feels something soft and warm touch her arm. She looks down to see my hand resting there and looks back up in surprise. There is a look of pain and deep sadness on my face that she has never seen before and my heart aches to take it away.
“Let’s not go”, I say and she hears the urgency in my voice. “Let’s just stay in. To hell with the rest of the world, let’s make tonight about just the two of us like it should be”. She looks into my eyes, searching, and sees how desperately I mean it and all of the things that she had been holding back flood to the surface.
“I’d really like that”, she says not trying to hide the tears that course down her cheeks.
“I do love you, you know, I just never seem to know how to say it”, I tell her, never taking my eyes off of hers. And gently I take her hand in mine and re-close the door in front of us.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is, I’m sorry. Sorry I haven’t updated as much as I’d liked. Sorry I kept you all (my readers) waiting. And sorry for not giving you (my blog) a second thought.
It’s not always easy to say sorry, and the longer we leave things, the harder it generally gets. And at the same time, even if we get to say sorry, talk is often cheap. It’s going to take a lot more than a few kind words now to prove my worth, let’s see if I’m really up to it.
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