Her Life Was Over

Just tell yourself they’re only stories. ― Pamela K. Kinney

“My life is over.”

The first words that came out of her mouth.

It’s been a week. She hasn’t spoken since. Nor ate. I managed to force her into drinking a bit of water. At least, she was still breathing.

She did cry a lot. A lot more than I expected. But she never blamed me, not once. Always herself. She kept saying that she failed us, that she failed me. Said she should have helped me more, carried some of the load.

You know that moment when everything you’ve been building falls apart? That week was full of these moments. And that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

“My life is over.”

I shook my head. “Stop saying that. It’s not. Actually, if you think about it, it’s easier this way”.

“How can you even say that?”

She looked at me with her big teary eyes. “You think it’s better to be apart?”

“Not better. Easier. For you.”

I took a deep breath.

“You’re over me.”
“I’m not. I’m just tired. I’ve been thinking a lot lately and I think I’m running out of energy.”
“Energy?” She asked.

“I used to take pleasure in the smallest things and now I just don’t. Everything is taking too much effort and I need to take a break.”
“A break?”

I nodded.
She stood there in silent and disbelief.

I came closer, tried to hold her hand. She took it away and grabbed the packet of cigarettes from her desk. She lit one. She knew I hated it.

“Don’t smoke…”
“You don’t take a break when you’re married.”

She was right.

“It’s not you…”
“I know, it’s you. You need the space. You need time. You need to think. You. You. You.”

She rolled her eyes.

“Selfish.”

She was pushing me and she knew it. It was her way of dealing with things. Driving me crazy enough to crack.

“Maybe I deserve to be selfish.”
“It proves my theory, though.”
“Which theory?”
“You stopped loving me.”
“I didn’t.”
“You’re done with me.”
“I have been through the most humiliating experience of my life and instead of getting the time to deal with it, I had to take care of you.”
“This thing affects the both of us and you know it. You’re not alone in this.”
“I felt pretty alone all week!”

She laughed.

“Whatever.”
“I’m broke, I’m jobless and I feel like the past twelve years of my life just went to fucking waste. So excuse me for being a little selfish and asking for a stupid timeout to get my shit back together so I can still have some sort of respect for myself and be the man you thought you married.”

I was obviously yelling at that point but I calmed down rather quickly.

She turned off the cigarette.

“For rich or poor, right?”
“Yeah sure.”
“How did you expect me to react?”
“Have my back maybe. I don’t know, comfort me next time.”
“Next time…”

She stared at the burning ashes. The room was quiet again. I looked at her. I knew she could sense my gaze.

Who was I kidding? I could never leave her. She was my source of air and I could never let her go. There was always something bringing us closer, despite everything else. She knew I couldn’t get away, even when I felt useless when I felt like a total failure. Going bankrupt makes you feel this way. She was probably thinking the same thing. Feeling bad for me, and a lot of pity.

“It’s amazing how quiet we can get.”

She turned to me.

“We both knew we’d eventually run out of thing to talk about.”

I shook my head.

“I didn’t.”

That look. That face. Those eyes staring at me. That intensity.

She sighed.

“Goodnight Jimmy.”

She walked towards the door.

“I love y…”
“Don’t. I don’t wanna hear it.” She turned to me. “Enjoy the couch.”

I smiled, defeated, as she left the room. I let myself fall on the sofa, thinking how many fights did this uncomfortable piece of furniture witness. And how many apologies.

“Jimmy…”
“Mmm?”
“I’m pregnant by the way.”

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