Where were you last night?

 

- “Where were you last night? I thought we had agreed to spend the evening together?”

- “Oh, did we? Sorry, it must have slipped my mind”, he replied with a smirk on his face.

- “I was expecting you, you didn’t turn up and I worried.”

I genuinely had been worried but only for a while and then I had been unexpectedly disturbed, he didn’t know that ‘though, not yet anyway.

- “Oh, there was no need to worry.”

- “What a stupid thing to say. Of course I was going to worry. Have you forgotten the last time? Well I haven’t and I probably never will.”

- “Look, I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

Here we were again, me left waiting on my own. I hated it. At first I would feel angry at having been abandoned, forgotten, but then I would start to feel guilty for being so selfish and I began to worry about him fearing that something awful had happened. My imagination would run wild. I had no one to turn to, no one to talk to.

It always seemed to be me lugging around the emotional baggage for the two of us. Saddled with a sense of guilt for what had passed and a fear of what was yet to come.

Had it been the other way around and I had kept him waiting I suspect he would have been angry with me. He would have made me feel like a naughty schoolchild and scolded me. Like I’d done something wrong again. That look he gives, that disapproving, ‘you need to get a grip of yourself’ look. But I’m not a child and I don’t need to be told off.

Not knowing where he was last night, what he was doing, who he was with, I had felt out of control. He knows I can’t bear to feel out of control. I can’t even freewheel downhill on a bicycle - I have to grip the brakes for dear life just in case I need to make an emergency stop; nor can I run down a hill with gay abandon – I have to crawl down on all fours – he used to laugh at me. So to have my mind running away with its thoughts was unbearable and this time it was his fault, not mine, his. Why didn’t he call, why didn’t he try and let me know what was happening? It would have taken just a second of his time to reassure me that all was as it should be. He makes me feel as if I’m the selfish one, but I’m not, am I?

- “So, where were you last night?” I asked again.

- “My meeting ran late and I decided to stay over at the club.”

- “But you didn’t tell me you had a meeting. I thought we agreed, no more surprises, no more secrets. We promised we’d be honest with each other. Why do you always have to go and spoil things? It makes it harder for me.”

- “OK, OK. I get it, I’m sorry. If it’s such a big deal to you, I promise I’ll call next time.”

- “Yes, it is a big deal. What was I supposed to think? You’ve no idea how lonely it is for me here. You’ve got the guys at the office, your club. I’ve got no one, nothing. I have to keep myself to myself, open up to no one, always looking over my shoulder. Some days I can’t face going out at all, just in case.”

- “I’ve said I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. I’m shattered; it’s been a long week. Let me go and have a shower and then maybe we can get a takeaway?”

- “But aren’t you interested to know what I did, where I went last night?” I asked.

- “Sorry darling, where were you last night?”

- “I was here, of course, but an old friend dropped by and we chatted. Anyway, sorry to spoil your plans for this evening, but I have to go now, there’s somewhere I need to be. I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

I glanced back at him as I walked out the door; it was as if he’d been struck dumb. He seemed to be rooted to the floor and his face told me he didn’t know whether to be enraged or terrified. Now it was time for him to share some of that emotional burden.

 

Julie Noble

 

 
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