“You must leave in the morning but we can say goodbye tonight” was my wife’s way of closing the door on our marriage: her voice was flat and calm: she was always calm. She had been my safe space, haven and refuge since we were ten years old but I suffered from a sense of adventure which found me one afternoon in the arms of another woman: we might call her a diversion.
Filled with remorse I told my wife two days later after she asked me “Where has Derek gone?” that being my name. Her face hardly moved but her motions developed a closure about them once I told her, so we had the last meal, the last cup of tea, the last cuddle and final goodbye. She asked for no explanation, conduct was what it was, she felt, and mine no longer merited cherishing.
That night we slept one last time in the bed we had bought together, surrounded by the treasures accumulated during our marriage. We kissed and circled each other with our arms as we always did and her soft warmth, my blessed space, reminded me this was my lost haven.
I knew better than to plead but still I emptied my soul into the pillow beside her as she slept nestling against me, immersed in the silence of our bedchamber. The truth of what we do to ourselves often becomes apparent in hindsight: our journey becomes our destination and in mine was a finality that would be my life.
In the morning, we drank tea as we always did and I packed a case watched by her without comment. In her eyes was sadness but she never attempted to mend a broken vase.
“I will love you always” I said as I walked towards the door. “I know” she said. They were her final words.