3 Replies to “5.2.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. I’m supposed to forgive him, right. I’m supposed to think it’s ok because he stayed by me and not her. That means something and he says that it does and he’s crying when he says it. I’d never seen him cry before and it felt real at the time, but looking at it now I’m not sure it isn’t just a trump card, played to win the game.

    It was just a one-time thing, he said. But I knew the lie in what he said. I’d sensed it first. A new distance between us, small as continents shifting but there, when he slept, and his hands reaching for me less and less. That was months back. I kept a note of it in a book, just in case, a black book hidden under my clothes. Small things at first. Like the toilet seat left up when he was so careful before – yet he was more particular about washing and he smelled so clean, like he’d smelled when we were new.

    Then he called one day, near the end of the day, from work, to say he’d be late. No, they’d get food in and I was not to wait. And he couldn’t say when he’d be back. Sorry. And Honey. And blown kisses. It was something big, he said, and he invented numbers and deadlines and difficulties. I could not hear the sound of his office behind him.

    Of course, I told myself it was not what I thought, could not be, even though it was clichéd and classic. I said he was different, and he wouldn’t, and I said that what we had was something more than could be trashed in that way. And I rebuilt the walls of my trust, removing the bricks of doubt, making it solid again.

    But he became careless. Like he thought me stupid or thought that I’d put up with anything. And silly he became, as silly as drunks can be – as silly as lovers, for they are fools, too. And he mentioned her name in conversation once, just dropped it in, like a pebble dropped into still water; and the way that he said it cut me deep, like a bread knife thrust to its full length.

    And I waited, knowing it’d be so obvious one day that he could not deny it and not knowing what would happen then. It’s over, he said. It was nothing. He’d tell her. That was it. He’d been wrong, he said, and it made no sense. And he loved me, he said. Through tears he said it, like his words could be washed clean and be as new as they were once, and I had to believe those tears because they’d never been played before.

    And I’m supposed to just think we are back to how we were. And he moves about the house on light feet and he smiles and he reaches for me same as he did when we did not have this ugly thing between us. And he does not feel the shudder in me when he touches my cheek or kisses my neck. And he says my name soft as whisper and all his sugar put into his saying it, sickly sweet to me now. And I am filled up with wasps and bloated blue-black flies and spiders that creep. And I measure his every breath and check his phone for her number and make calculation of all that he says and all that he does.

    And it’s just too hard, all of it, and I still don’t know what happens next.

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