‘You. Are. A. Wanker.’
Rob squeezed the words around a smile and waved the car through.
Kate had said to be home for six, and be ready to go soon after that. Bit mysterious. He looked at his watch, his timepiece he reminded himself, six fifteen. He’d be back soon enough.
He reflected, as he put his foot down on the Maidstone road, that the watch (timepiece, timepiece) had been pricey, but worth it. Like they said on those stupid ads – he was worth it.
It was the longer way back, but one of the few roads round there that lacked speed bumps. It felt great to get her opened up. This car deserved speed and so did he. Whatever Kate’s plans were, they would wait.
He put his foot down hard, felt the swiftly gathering momentum and the passing scenery blend. The leather seat pushed back, held him snugly. Were there a few heads turning in admiration or reproach too. Yes. Wan-kers.
Rob considered speed to be a habit, and a good one. Something to be encouraged. This is what his car was for. This is what he did. He glanced at his watch again as he took a bend at speed. He didn’t notice the time.
– – –
Rob walked into the kitchen and immediately sensed something different. She wasn’t in. Where the fuck was she? Beyond the quiet there was a stillness. The house felt emptied out. Expectant.
He called out her name, knowing that he’d get no reply.
That’s when he spotted it. The kitchen-aid. It was sat in the middle of the table, stuffed with some of the kids toys. What the fuck? There was a note laying against it, with his name on.
He picked it up.
These things are yours. You bought the kitchen-aid for me, or for us, I can’t remember. You were always careful about that sort of thing. Mine, yours, only sometimes ours. And you bought the toys for Jake. But I’ve found out you won the kitchen-aid and the toys are your sister’s castoffs.
It’s the last piece of the jigsaw Rob. That puzzle that I have been so reluctant to solve is finished.
Yes, were. We are in the past now. Already in mine and right now, as you read this note, in yours. I want you to start thinking about that girl you used to go out with. And moved in with and wasted the time of. That mad bitch. The great gal you missed out on. Somewhere in between. You chose. But quickly. And pack up and just go.
It’s not that I wanted bows and bangles. Maybe a little. But I wanted more. It doesn’t matter. I know you will read this closely.
No pleading. No dinners. No blackmail.
I get it. What defines you is what’s missing.
What you lack Rob, is generosity. That all the missing praise, the judicious silences, the slow creeping change that I thought my fault or made space for or put to one side and then eventually blamed myself for – it all came from you. And the question, my obsession, whether you loved me, is neither here nor there in your heart.
Yes I’m angry, but this isn’t a female passion (as you have described them). These items are the material of your commitment, and it’s just so paltry. That’s how I feel.
And cold. Do you not feel it too?
I’ve read this back. And I see it all. The justifying. The pleading. With who?
– – –
Rob went. And swiftly. His speed at last counting for something. (He has recently bought another very large watch. Or timepiece.)
Kate has moved on and is thought to be living in harmony with the things she has and the things she wants to have.
They seldom think about the other.
– – –