Five years together and four weeks apart, he brings his replacement me to my beach and photographs her laughing and prancing across the sand. Blind to the possibility he might be on the rebound, I feel devalued – but from this moment sure I made the right choice. Except for a gin-fuelled relapse, over which a veil should and will be drawn. Still, I lack the confidence to try at love again for more than a year. When I do, I am rejected out of hand. I wonder briefly whether this would make him laugh.
I don’t think it would.
* * *
I look up suddenly from boxes of reduced-price mince, to see her gazing slyly through heavily mascaraed eyelashes. No sooner is eye contact made than she hurriedly breaks it, apparently transfixed by grubby markings on the floor. I think I see a trace of guilt beneath layers of foundation - perhaps a memory of books unreturned, or promises unkept. There were several of each. On the other hand, ever the martyr, it’s unlikely she'd acknowledge any sense of wrongdoing. People need to lighten up, in her honest opinion.
This grudge isn’t mine to bear, but I do it anyway.