Intro: up to 50 words (delete this text and enter your own)
“I am not asking you to love me”, she says, “but it’s possible to carry on as usual, no need for you to break down or fall to pieces. Try to accept what is happening without anger and resentment. Do not blame anyone, but see this as a challenge. Every difficulty is meant to strengthen us.”
He says, “how is it possible, when your affair is disrupting our whole life? I am looking ridiculous and I feel I am losing my self-respect. Neighbours laugh about me. I dislike going out anywhere, for I feel their whispers behind my back like an evil breath.”
“Calm down”, she says, looking at him, somehow relishing his outbursts, “how can anybody be so sensitive to other people’s gossip? You never please them all. Most people don’t understand other people’s real lives. Once the Dalai Lama wrote, that the people who hurt you, are the greatest teachers. We fear any change, for we do not realize, that a change is our only chance.”
“So change”, he says. “Stop seeing him and stop lying to me about where you have been and what you have done”.
“So change”, she says. “Stop those long sulky silences. Talk to me about your feelings and what you love or hate. I am lost, as I do not understand you anymore. Sometimes I feel sitting next to a stranger and eating with a corpse. Will I gather dust in this stuffiness and become old and wasted? We are two people mummifying together in a stale world of silence and unhappiness.”
They are at loggerheads and none of them makes a move. It is like being on a seesaw hovering in suspension. Neither of them can rise or fall, each holding on to their own position, unable to get down to the ground.
“I am not asking you to love me” she says.
“Just try to understand, that’s all.”
And he sniggers: “Do I have a choice in this matter?”
He looks at her and takes it all in, those blue eyes, he had once fallen in love with, now red-rimmed, the blond hair, by now thinned and showing the first strands of grey, her face, once beautiful, now proving that time cannot be held back.
“I think I have stopped loving you a long time ago” he says.
She holds his gaze and smiles at him. “So what’s the big deal if I try to find love somewhere else? It gives me strength to carry on with you, with the daily tasks and the children. It makes me a happier person. Do you not realise?”
Again he feels a dry cough coming up, as if someone forced him to drink something acidic and it scratches his windpipe and the back of his throat. There is a pungent smell of burning fat and he realises he has burnt the onions again, as he is stirring without looking. And now he puts all his strength into this slow continuous movement, as if his life is depending on this and nothing else is important. He keeps on stirring until everything in the pan turns into a sticky disgusting mess and a thick, black, stinking smoke inundates the kitchen.
“Stop it!”, she screams. “Take the pan off the fire. Do you want to kill us?”
“Yes”, he says. “Because you do not love me anymore.”