...She doesn't love me enough.
It is Wednesday evening. I have watered the pots of colourful geraniums, hosed the patio and tidied the house, plumping up cushions in the lounge until I fall exhausted onto the sofa. I eat little. My stomach churns at the thought of food and I feel sick. But I open a bottle of wine which an hour later lies virtually empty on the table beside me where I am stretched on the sofa.
My attempts to keep occupied have failed miserably. My thoughts return again and again to Maria. I am angry and upset that she has declined any offer of lunch or coffee and our conversations in the office have been polite but minimum.
She is blocking me out of her life.
I feel utter rejection.
How could she blank me so easily?
I remember our love-making. She was completely at ease with me. Our bodies were joined in our love. It felt so right and I know she felt it too. She knew that our love making was special. She had never in her entire life felt so much emotion, passion or tenderness. She must love me too. Where has that love gone? Why does she not feel it now as I do?
“She doesn’t love me enough,” I say aloud and my voice turns into a pathetic wail. “She just doesn’t! Love is supposed to be the strongest emotion. Doesn’t she know the pain that she is putting me though? How could she treat me this way when she says she loves me? She is ruthless and cold and hard. She cares nothing for me…”
I am like a child trying to clutch a red balloon carried off by the wind.
I close my eyes and imagine the few times we were in the office and each time she looked quickly away. She wouldn’t meet my gaze. She is playing happy families now that Michael is back in Belfast. I never told her that Michael made a pass at me or that I suspect it was him who damaged my Harley.
“Let them get on with it! They deserve each other,” I mumble, “but deep down Maria belongs with me. It just feels so right when we are together. We laugh and have fun and Lily loves me too. She can’t love Michael like she loves me.” I fumble for the remote control and eventually find the volume. I tune into a music channel and turn it full blast and sing a slurred duet with Shania Twain, “Man! I feel like a woman…”
I tip the remaining wine from the bottle into my glass, cursing softly when it spills onto my blouse. I brush it with clumsy fingers but the stain spreads like blood.
My mobile rings. It sounds muffled and far away. It slips between the cushions. I make a lunge for it and grab it but my fingers are slow and it falls from my grasp. I try again and hold it like a trophy in the air before squinting at the number displayed.
It’s Maria’s mobile.