Excerpt from "The Mother, Lover, Wife" (working title)

When he fell silent, removing his company and contact, she would twist and turn in a noose made of the shards of remembered words, the barbs of snatched moments, sharp fragments of hopes never realised. She would hold her breath. Put living to one side and the world would contract, diminish, dim. She would be in that state of suspended watchfulness, waiting for his word.

And often then she would reproach herself. How had this thing happened? And then at times she felt the anger rise and she would resolve again to forget him and to shake off the madness of wanting him, wanting to hear his voice and feel his hands, to burnish with her eyes the velvet of his neck and his bitten nails and the creases at his bright eyes.

She would ignore the texts and emails and avoid meetings. She would plunge into a frenzy of outings. Refuse thoughts of him space in the clutter of her mind. She would fill up time with others. Until she would sit one night looking into a mirror, searching her own face for signs of meaning. For without him it was all just nothing. Just so much noise and fury. Without him – the hope of him – she was living and breathing a husk of life.

And then she would succumb and send him a sentence where are you? speak to me. And he would. He would. And it would begin again. 

He would speak of the way in which she called to him out of the silence he had enforced upon them or that she had enforced upon them. He would say it could not be. But would answer Nay to her offer again of total withdrawal. And she would be pained with the relief which his refusal to consider banishing her would ignite.

There was no sense to it. Whilst she hoped, she knew it was hopeless. And he insisted it was hopeless and yet did not want to let go. That their lives were at different stages. That others depended upon them. Either selfishness or, paradoxically, selflessness or even cowardice – the horror of hurting other loved ones, or of being judged and found wanting, or of committing to a different path this late in life – all of these things were the bricks of the wall that surrounded them and kept them from the light of day. And yet it went on.

(excerpt from a longer piece I am working on).

7 thoughts on “Excerpt from "The Mother, Lover, Wife" (working title)

  1. Love the breakdown of thought between the two characters. In this fashion you have a “She thinks, he thinks”— opening a strong discourse.

    Love the phrase: “she was living and breathing a husk of life.”

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