We Three

We Three

A Story by Johari
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From a collection called 'Acid Drops'

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It would have been more honourable to have been caught with his trousers round his ankles, the fact of the matter laid bare. No guesswork or brave faces. No pleasant small talk or furtive glances over coffee cups.


I suppose it would have been kinder to say something. Anything by way of a life buoy of a warning that she was getting out of her depth. Does that make me as wicked as him? Knowing what she was facing but letting her get on with it? She must have wondered why I was so calm, why I didn’t scream and shout. Perhaps she thought I was too polite to make a fuss; or too weak.


Maybe she thought me too stupid to understand her kindness was an attempt to assuage her guilt or notice how she shifted awkwardly in her seat the day I came back from work too early. I only hope she had the good grace to feel as awkward when she lay in my bed.


She was all hearts and flowers, you could see it in her eyes. She had never had to endure the night - the blows from fist and voice. The awkward love making, devoid of feeling, an attempt at reconciliation. But she will.


It’s an odd feeling, making tea for your rival. Hands still, shoulders down, back straight and smile painted on just a touch too sickly sweet. I think I got through it by not being there " while my body was passing round the biscuits I was thinking about work and where I have put that new book I’d just got from the library. I was waiting for angels, bloody but unbowed. Not long now.


I could never understand how someone all ‘love and light’ could be so painfully dishonest. It was her husband I felt sorry for. She didn’t need my man, she had one of her own, loving kind and wealthy, but I guess greed is as strong an emotion as any.


As for him, base as he was, he had never lied. He told me from the beginning that our days were numbered and to just enjoy the season, but a proposal and matching towels will give false hope. While I deluded myself of my own importance, he acted only in accordance to his nature, cold and cruel but true to himself.


She was an artist. Even painted me a portrait of myself; not of this life though, that was how she worked, never facing the now. A Viking man with a soft face, flowing hair and beard. He was a ‘way finder’ and ate raw fish. “Resourceful” was how she put it and I clung to that word, blessing her for giving me the key to my cage. Even dishonest people can hold the light of wisdom it seems.



I resist the urge to say “ahh, there there now…” while patting her maternally on the head. The confusion in her eyes is all the fuel I need to power a smile and walk out of their lives.


© 2014 Johari



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Added on December 23, 2014
Last Updated on December 23, 2014

Author

Johari
Johari

Norfolk, United Kingdom



About
East Anglian author Tasha O’Neill has been tinkering around with words since childhood and writes short stories, novels, non-fiction and poetry. She has an enduring love of folklore and fairy.. more..

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