‘Did I ever tell you about the time I gave myself away to a broken man?’ She asked me one icy afternoon when the skies over Glasgow were mourning the loss of Summer.
The tea grew cold as I waited for her to return from where she had retreated to inside her head. I had known her all my life—our friendship, a tapestry of dark and light. When she finally looked up, her eyes were wet with tears. My heart broke for her.
‘I walked away from everything that I had. Everything that I felt was no longer enough. I sacrificed it all and I gave myself to him in pieces. One heartbeat at a time. I thought that I could save him. That I could rearrange all his fractured pieces into something new. Heal him. You know?’
She stared out of my kitchen window at the rain falling in grey sheets over the Old Kilpatrick hills.
‘I realised too late that he would cost me something that I could never get back. I almost lost my life bleeding from trying to put the splinters of his life back together in the shape of a man. It’s an impossible thing to do. A broken man who doesn’t want to heal, will cut you until you die.’
I reached for her hand across the scrubbed pine table. Our eyes met and I nodded.
‘I know’, I said, ‘I’ve known for a long time. But you can walk away from this. You have to leave him there. Leave him where he walked away from you. He didn’t deserve you. Still doesn’t. You are worth so much more. You have lost so much of yourself because of him. Don’t let him steal the rest. You have your husband back. You have to choose where to plant your love. Here, with a man who adores you; who would give up his life for you, or in the past with a shadow who never had any intention of loving you. The choice is yours.’
She smiled her beautiful smile at me and for a moment I saw myself in her eyes. A tapestry of dark and light. A friendship of pain and joy and all the other moments that made up our relationship. Yes. She had a choice to make.
A shaft of afternoon sunlight broke free from the grey clouds. The rain had stopped. Briefly. It would fall again. But for now, the light was breaking through. And it was good.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
Photograph by Daja.
I haven’t written a flash fiction piece in a while. I hope that you enjoy this.