Days merged into days until everything started to look the same and she couldn’t differentiate between the start of the week and the end of it, except for weekends, weekends there was no heading to work and so they were both home, but still, weekends resembled one another so much so that she couldn’t tell the last weekend from the current one.
Alarm rings, the signal for the loop begins. Emily rolls out of bed and staggers towards the bathroom in a dreamy like haze. Andy was already up sipping his tea and flipping through the morning paper as he always did each day before work. By the time she was done freshening up and headed into the kitchen, he was already gone, without even so much as a “have a good day.”
She made herself some tea and went through her emails, nothing important, except for an update from her agent about the deadline, which was creeping slowly up the calendar and catching up to her faster than she could catch up with the last bit of her manuscript.
The day zoned by as it always did, she munched on a sandwich and when evening fell, dinner was laid out as it always was. Andy came in and mumbled a greeting which she responded in kind as he planted a plastic kiss upon her left cheek; cold, un-soothing, so close and yet so distant, always so distant. Why did he even bother? But this was the routine.
The unchangeable routine, the last time she had tried to break it, he had carried on, like he hadn’t noticed, till she gave up and fell into the façade of each day as he was comfortable with it. She read through the last chapter of her manuscript, jumbled words, meaningless, incomprehensible, she needed air and without a second thought she was out the door. They lived almost like single people who had become bored of playing “let’s make believe” Emily couldn’t place a finger on when it all began, the distance, it started as a little scratch in the wall and now, it was as vast as the ocean. They might as well be living on separate continents. Whenever there was a problem, Andy preferred to avoid it, till the little things grew horns and became tyrants, till they could no longer have a light-hearted conversation because it seemed pretentious to her to do so, not with all the dirt that was waiting to be swept out from under the carpet. The evening breeze stroked her hair with cool fingers trying and yet failing to comfort her. She watched the birds as they flew ahead, and often wondered if they felt as she did, together, yet always alone, direction with no apparent destination…lost.
When she got back home; the place where she lived, or the place where her heart was meant to be and somehow no longer was, she glanced at the dinner table, the food remained untouched as always, Andy had eaten out again. She picked herself a plate and after saying her prayers she munched on the cold salmon, a tear slowly trickled down her face surprising her, she had not realized she was still able to cry, and she did not know for what reason she did so now.
She cleared the dishes and when finally she retired into bed, she felt a hollowness that she could not fill. Andy lay, back turned away from her, and she felt… she felt the need to have his arms wrap around her like they once did. She stretched out a hand, slowly, purposefully cutting through the air on a mission, but right before her fingers could brush against his warm skin, she recoiled as though bitten by something venomous. She felt suddenly, strangely like she lay beside a stranger, not the man who had proposed to her, pouring his heart out like a stream, telling her of how she was everything, and he was nothing, nothing without her.
It prickled her skin, it pinched more deeply each time she remembered how it used to be “Andy” she said barely above a whisper, her heart thumped inside her chest willing to burst.
He shuffled uncomfortably, “I’m listening” he said in a monotonous voice that to her was like the drone of a far off helicopter.
“I’m leaving you.”
He turned around so he was now facing her for the first time in a long time. She saw that he could barely mask his confusion, how long had he thought that she could live in this manner?
He saw the firm resolve in her eyes, he wanted to say something, she held her breath, waiting, wondering, if they were finally to have a conversation, but he turned away from her and switched off the lights.