she won't be back
The man looked across at his wife, and wondered, again, why they had stayed together for so many years.
How had she described them? Two or three good ones - then a slow slide into boredom, dislike, resentment, and unhappiness.
He hadn’t thought of it that way, but could see why she did.
And now - almost total silence.
It was rare that they actually talked about anything, touched even less.
He looked at her again. She was still beautiful, perhaps in a more severe way. He still loved her, but in a detached and distant way. The passion had disappeared a long time ago.
He should have tried harder, he knew, but it was too late now – it was time to end it before it ruined them both.
He wondered if she thought there was someone else, and that was why he was going to leave her.
He smiled, ruefully, saying to himself “perhaps I should have”.
I looked at him.
He’d changed so much over the years ~ not handsome now, fatter, doesn’t care about how he looks, never does anything exciting, never wants me, cares more about his work than for me.
How could I have ever loved him?
And that stupid grin when he’s thinking of something. Or someone.
I know he wants to leave me, and will probably tell me tonight.
Shall I pretend to be surprised? Should I make myself cry, at least a little?
I don’t think so.
If he doesn’t tell me tonight, then I’ll tell him tomorrow. Enough is enough.
He took a sip of wine, placed the glass down carefully, and, looking up at her, grim-faced, said “Sarah, I’m sorry, but we have to talk about this. I think it’s time we went our separate ways”.
“Thank god for that” she said, standing up and smoothing down her skirt. “I couldn’t stand living with you for a day longer”.
Turning her head back as she walked away, she said, in a loud voice “Don’t bother coming back to the house - you can sleep with her tonight”.
As she left the restaurant she was surprised to feel a tear running down her cheek.
She brushed it away, took a deep breath and walked out into the night.
“Would you like the bill now Mr Williams?”
“Not yet, John - but do you need the table?”
“No Mr. Williams ~ it’s yours for the evening if you need it”.
“Thank you, John ~ could you clear Mrs Williams’ place away, please.
She won’t be back”