Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Aftermath (Part 1)

Is there anything more heartbreaking than an unreturned 'I love you'?   I don't think so.

The rest of our stay passed, on the surface, contentedly.  The moment on the chaise was not mentioned.  I did not ask my allocated question, although I knew what it should be.

"Why did you ask me if I loved you?"

It seemed a dangerous thing for him to have asked.  Whatever my response had been,  no good could have ever come from it.

The next morning was heady with languid, drowsy loving and breakfast.  I ventured to Betty's where I cleared the shelves buying gifts for everyone I could think of.  We took some daft pictures together before we left.  Something we'd never done.  I'd suggested this, already thinking this would be the last time we'd see each other.

On the short drive to the station, I desperately tried to think of something to say.  Some enchanted combination of words, that would, like a witch's spell, give me an answer.  How to frame a question that could cut through the tension that simmered and shimmered between us like a heat haze on a dusty road?  But no. The question went unasked. The words were unsaid.  The moment lost.

I started to speak on the platform.  But couldn't.  I looked away up the snaking track, tangled with ripening blackberries and fading buddleia.  My eyes felt like hard grey stones under water. That day we left Harrogate was the only sunny day of our stay.

"You're so fucking dramatic,"  he sighed.  Then he paused.  "Let's get a cup of tea.  You've got half an hour till the train. Howay pet."

"No.  You get going.  You've got a long drive, Rochester."

Of course, I hoped he'd insist.  But he didn't.

"Ok, flower."

Later, at home, reunited with the hounds (who had stayed with lurcher cousins in a vast Victorian town house and were looking as fat as pigs), I emailed him.  I poured myself a big glass of whisky and wrote everything I was feeling and asked him for a response.

I spoke of how much I had enjoyed not seeing the sites of Harrogate with him, but how frustrating it was to be picked up biannually (like a flu jab in ballet pumps) and then dropped.

I spoke of how I felt about his relationship with Gladys, with whom he'd discussed a future and who had met his family - when we only ever discuss lesbianism and beards.

I spoke of how it was hard for me not to feel like some dirty, shameful secret when no one in his life knew anything about me.

I reminded him, there were dozens of times I'd needed him, and texted or emailed him after a fraught day or a fragile, lonely moment, only to be completely ignored.

Finally I asked my question.  My allocated question from the Chaise of Truth.

"Why did you ask me if I loved you?"

I pressed SEND.  Sat back and waited. . .


  1. I adore reading your blog the quality of the writing is fantastic even when your honesty and frankness is heartbreaking.

  2. That's a lovely comment, Jess. Thank you so much. xxx

  3. You are taking tiny steps....tiny...... but moving away and in the right direction. All will be well one day....you can live with a damaged heart y'know....chin up.

  4. You're right, there's no pain like that, but it's best it's coming to a head. You could aimlessly drift along for years like this, when you've obviously got so much to offer someone who can reciprocate it.

  5. Oh, Miss Underscore, oh my how sad. But well done on the email. He's even more of a bastard than your blog lets on: discussing a future with another woman, and letting you know about that. My heart breaks for you. And he is low-life -- worse than Roy Tucker from The Archers currently is.

    Your writing is so good, I forget this could well be your real life (then again, this is the internet, so it could all be fiction). But so so beautifully written.