End the charade

End the charade

“Are you ever honest with yourself?” she asks, just before placing the first spoonful of fish, from the bouillabaisse he cooked for their dinner, into her mouth.


It’s been less than a week since they last sat down to enjoy anything together. She didn’t expect it to happen this soon between them, after the death of their relationship.


His eyes widen, a look of surprise fades his smile. “Of course,” he says, “I’m also honest with everyone in my life.”


The French soup tastes more orange than fish, she thinks, and then suddenly contemplates the point of this, of sitting together, meal-sharing, after their journey has ended.


She finds it hard to hide her feelings, something she’s always struggled with. “That’s not true, and we both know it. Have you been for help yet? What did your doctor say?” She knows her voice sounds on edge, but chooses to do nothing to rein it in. Perhaps she does not want anything reined in, wants him to feel her edginess.


“I couldn’t get an appointment; should be able to get one next week.”


“Didn’t you say the same thing last week? Are you really going for help?”




“Yes? To which question, to both? Why can’t you just be honest and tell the truth? Why are you so afraid of everything?”


“I don’t know what makes you think I’m not telling the truth. What would be the point in that?”


“Sure you want to go down that road again? Okay then, it must be one of two things – either you’re a complete fraud or absolutely delusional, beyond delusional.”


“How can you say that? I’ve been myself with you, this is —”


“As I usually think the best of everyone, I’m going with delusional. Never mind deluding others, the biggest travesty is deluding yourself.”


“What exactly do you think I’m delusional over?”


“Seriously? Your pretence at being everything you’re not. Everything you’ve ever said has turned out to be the exact opposite. Perhaps you should stop filling brains with empty words…”


“Everything we’ve experienced together is who I am and who I want to be.”


“Finally! Who you want to be? Then it’s not who you are. Wow! You say you’re not good enough for me. What a cop out. Only a coward that’s insecure would ever think this.”


“I was never jealous; without a shadow of a doubt, I trusted you.”


“It’s nothing to do with being jealous or trusting me… The only thing you know is how to put yourself first. You wouldn’t dream of taking a risk because that would mean truly living. You’d rather play it safe to avoid any hurt or upsetting your insignificant existence.”


“I’ve always taken calculated risks, and —”


“You get by because of your work – it’s all you know. You’re afraid of everything else so would rather take the easy option, every time. You cannot be anything different. You can’t face anything, can’t face up to a thing. Just keep running away, it’s all you do.”


“I don’t run away. I’ve admitted to you that I’m too —”


“But all of this you know – I don’t need to tell you this. Nor do you need some shrink to tell you how to live. Because you failed once at life, the biggest mistakes – your children’s lives and your ex-wife’s; living a life without passion – and now you believe you will always fail. And because you believe this it will happen and you’d rather walk away before the inevitable happens before you completely ruin another’s world. Because that is all you’re cable of.”


“You’re being staggeringly severe.”


“Am I? It may be raw and honest, sure.”


“It’s unfair that you —”


“I don’t think you ever took me seriously until I insisted on showing up on your doorstep… And then the feelings of panic overwhelmed you, didn’t they? And the most profound part of all is that no one’s ever got close to you, really know you, until me and it scares you to death because you’re so empty inside and you have absolutely nothing to offer another being. This you realised after the breakdown of your marriage, and never dreamed to meet someone that would open your eyes to everything. And you…” she trails off as if transported to a far off place.


She stops herself from sharing her thoughts on the reason she believes his marriage and family broke down. But what is the point; many points that do not matter any longer. He knows it. And all of this no longer piques her interest.


He covers her hand with his hand. “Are you okay?”


She moves her hand from his. Standing up, she scrapes back her chair.


He looks up at her. “Where’re you going?”


“I can’t do this… You’re a complete stranger, and I’d never want to get to know a coward that is only capable of putting himself first. You’re no better than my father.”


She immediately regrets voicing the last sentence, she should have kept it to herself but it’s too late. She cannot take anything back, and now she simply needs to move on.



Forgive me for unleashing my mind

I have no right

It’s the manifested anger, a result of disappointment

That makes me feel this way

At times, sometimes, but not all the times

Soon it will release itself from me completely

It always does, always has

And I choose not to behave in this way

You are a grown man who has chosen a path

Who am I to judge your journey?

I feel grateful for all you’ve helped me with

Hope you find the strength needed to shine

And release the years of guilt from your mind

Goodbye, my once loved

Forever go well

Farewell forever

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