The thought of her remained with him for a long time. When he woke up in the middle of the night, he would try to listen to her breathing, but there was only silence. When he woke up in the morning and felt next to him, it was cold and there was no longer her imprint on the bed where she had lain. When he came home from work in the evening, her red jacket was not hanging from the coat rack. Strange, she’d usually be home by now.
He looked down at the cat, squeaking at him, it still needed feeding. Did it ever notice that something was missing from their lives? He sat down to watch television; she wasn’t with him on the sofa. He would need to eat alone; the cat would jump up on the sofa and curl up beside him, trying to keep warm. He tried to watch their favourite shows, but they no longer seemed so funny. If there was a new show on television, or he’d finished a book he liked, he would no longer have someone to tell. The cat didn’t care about any of this and would answer his questions with a silent meow.
Someone once asked him what he missed most about her. It was the little things; it was getting up in the morning and turning on the heater and making them both a coffee. They’d turn on the television and watch the AM show with Duncan Garner and tell each other that they needed to go to work. He’d say have a great day and she’d stay behind a bit longer and fold some washing. She loved to potter around.
There is no longer any washing to fold. He could iron his shirts, but if he puts on his jersey no one will notice. These days you don’t have to wear a tie and what’s the use, as he counts the days until he retires.
He is thankful that their relationship did not go the way of other friends. One of whom told him that he could no longer stand the way his wife smelled.
He can’t understand how you could simply stop loving someone who once meant everything to you. A broken bond, leaving two people who can’t bear to be in the same room as each other. Each day speaking to each other in cool and clipped tones, until the façade totally slips, and you stop talking to each other and begin to dream of another life, person, and possibilities.
He recalls seeing two swans manoeuvring around the lake together and sends her a photo with a message:
<I can’t do any better than move gracefully with you>
He presses send, knowing the message will fail to deliver.