betrayal

We Ride A Train

In the car behind the man of shadows and fugue and the lady of passion and hope, sit I, the betrayer, and you, the betrayed. Or is it the other way around? In contrast to their harmony, their longing, we simmer in silence, the gulf we brokered in life persisting long after. Too long is this train ride, this journey with no destination. Yet, though we are fated to suffer eternity together, neither of us will be the first to speak. Neither of us wants to be the first to apologize for the sins that distance us.

                Outside the window, I watch the train rattle through nothing, through darkness. Once we passed over ocean and in each drop we watched our lives disintegrate again and again, refreshing our anger, reminding us of what cruel hell it was to be for. In each drop we saw…

                I enter our home to a strange rhythmic noise, a musk in the air. Even before I can process it, my nose tells me what transpires. I creep into the bedroom, saying nothing. Waiting for you to notice me. Our eyes meet, and you do not stop.

Even in the throes of passion you are so cruel.

Now the ocean is gone, or at least is obliterated by the black that looms absolute beyond our windows. I turn from the night, dissatisfied, and regard you. Stern lips bound in a tight line. You look right at me, as though anywhere or anyone else would do to set your gaze. Alas, there is no other option. Nothing but the object of your scorn. There is nowhere for us to flee, the door is locked (we both tried in in stony silence when we first arrived). It seems that God, or whoever placed us here, is determined to let us marinate in this suffering.

Unless…

Anger grasps me, not like a hot lance but a cold storm, one that's been brewing in my suspicions for months, if not years. How many betrayals have I overlooked? How many apologies am I owed? I turn my back on the two of you, joined as one flesh in a way we never were. Retreat to my study where I grab…

…two, three bangs. Two, three angry flashes of sulfur and light and there we sat on a train. Alone.

"So…" I relent, finally speaking before madness and boredom consume me completely, finally resigning myself to offering the first olive branch.

"…What do we do now?"

Falling

                Her shovel sank into the loam like a spoon into cheesecake. The swamp's stink around her comforted her, like a fetid blanket it enveloped her senses, buried her sins as she buried he who had sinned against her again and again.

                How did we fall out of love? She mused as she dug.

                Betrayal wasn't enough. She forgave him so many times, endured so many apologies. She had believed him time and time again when he said he would change, that he still loved her above all others. How many times had she bought that line? She chuckled when she remembered what a fool she was, but would not let herself regret.

                I would be the woman I am today without him. I would not understand what it means to be free. I owe him that much. Still, in spite of her 'gratitude', she spat in his blank, empty stare, lying still beside her as she dug. It took hours, but the hole slowly took shape in the bank. Crickets, tall grasses rustling in a silent wind, the still waters of the bog, its stench… and his, they were her only company.

                How did we fall out of love?

                Piece by piece, day by day, they lost passion, then contentment, then trust. He strayed and strayed, she forgave and forgave. It hurt all the worse, knowing that what she clung too was little more than dust. That the love she felt was no longer returned. And perhaps it had never been. Doubt eroded what had once been unassailable. And…

                And… one night she found herself standing above him as he slumbered. Ice pick in her hand. He smiled as he snored. And that was it. The moment.

                How can he be so happy when I'm, I'm…? The pick bit into him of its own accord. Into his neck, his eyes opened wide. If he screamed she did not hear it. It rose and fell and rose and fell and…

                …now in the swamp, in the bog by the shore. Hole dug, she gave him one last look before rolling him into the black. She wept, not for him. She would never miss him, but for what she thought they had.

                How did we fall out of love? Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you try…?