Thursday 27 June 2013

Not Enough

The electronic woman calls out bus stops. Mine isn’t yet. I should be used to the journey, but it’s harder now. I know the route. I know to expect the nerves and to prepare my alibi. But that doesn’t make it easier.

The first time was easy; the first time was nothing. Just a laugh. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Then, the second time, and the third and the fourth, I still told myself we were friends. There’s no harm in meeting a friend for a chat, or coffee, or dinner, or drinks, or… well, that’s when it got harder.

I open my purse and pull out a photograph. I try to feel guilty - and I do - but not enough. Not enough to push the bell, get off the bus, and abandon the journey - but enough to make me hate myself - and him. Again, I tell myself I’m a coward. I should be honest with him. I should have been from the start.

It isn’t the right time to tell him. I need to wait so he doesn’t have to know about this. I need him to screw up enough that I can leave, or I need to screw up enough that he does. But he won’t. There’s nothing I can do to make him abandon me. And I can’t hurt him. I can’t. I fold the photograph in two and shove it into my purse.

The woman calls my stop. I push the bell and pick up my bag. The bus turns the corner and I see him waiting for me. So different. Tall rather than short, thick black waves rather than sparse yellow strings, physical strength rather than intellectual power. Everything I want rather than everything I need.

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