Ellipsis

You were shattered after that first betrayal, you disappeared on me the next morning. It took two full weeks. Then the little red flag and your name.

–   Hi.

–   Hi …

–   I’ve been thinking about you, Mags. How are you going?

–   Fine.

(I am bristling at your disappearance. You never even bothered to say thank you).

–   Okay, good. It’s just …

–   It’s just?

A full hour and then:

–   I miss you.

So this is how easily we made our choice. This little dance of words, each sentence extending an invitation to the next. One offering accepted and then another until our fingers were tripping over the keys in our eagerness to propel this thing forward. My response was immediate. I had been waiting two full weeks.

–   When can we fix that?

And that was it. The moment we decided. We knew where we were going because of where we had already been. The first night, we could claim surprise. But not this, not the conscious plan. I had my eyes wide open this time, though I never asked where you went those two weeks, away. Did you pray, did you make love to your wife, did you try everything in that fortnight to be a better man?

I would see its trace so many times in the coming years. The concerted effort, way you tried to push it down. The way you would suddenly harden your surface without warning, the way you could shut me out. And how your resolve would suddenly crack apart when it became too much. This strange tenderness that grew in the dark, and found its light in my provocation.

You waged an ongoing battle with the force of my submission once you understood how it could change your course. I thought I was making you brave at first – this laying down, baring all. I did everything to elicit the ragged breath and cry of release that announced your arrival in my arms. But it also signalled your retreat, didn’t it Mack. Did that make me complicit in my own demise? I still don’t know where my surrender took you. I tried so often to follow, but I was already lost there in the dark.

Yes, my love. I missed you too.

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