She’d claimed all her life to love people for what they were. It was her one guiding principle: the principle she swore by.
And by God did she swear. Fecking fecking hell.
And she was grand and magnificent: beautiful doesn’t do her justice. Handsome is kinda better, but not better enough.
And so she claimed that all she ever did was uncover the truth that lay beneath: she did claim so very often that when she met someone and fell for them, they were bent out of shape and needed freeing from their yoke.
And through her love and her passion, their yoke would be lifted – like eggs hard-boiled: toughened, tempered and finally made unbreakable.
And so that’s how he fell for her: yes, that’s how it happened.
He believed that she was acting on his very best interests: and for a while, maybe it was true. Interested he certainly was.
But finally, when everything was broken, spilt and damnably split – when everyone bemoaned behind the closed doors of wicked family … when he even cried out in provincial street via primitive mobile (it was the time, a decade ago, of extremely primitive mobiles!), and it had to go something very like this: “Please marry me! Please marry me! Please marry me, do!” (tho’ maybe not exactly; maybe his desperate expression had gone much further than that …) – was when he slowly, very slowly, began to realise that what she’d promised was not the Garden of Eden, but the temptations of quite another burden.
Hers was not a heaven on earth, but a planetary system which wheeled around her sole. It was she and her opinions who ruled the rugged rocks that, for a convincing while, she’d made out were to be his destiny: the destiny of the brave.
But the braver thing he ever did was eventually accept “No!” as the answer he really needed.
And maybe in her “No!” she actually was doing right by him: maybe she’d understood, even then, that when she claimed to be helping the bright and witty to raise their cups to glorious divinity, the chalice she was proffering so kindly was anything but the kindness enshrined she’d promised to represent.
And maybe, even then, she understood her own badness.
And maybe, even then, she understood her own sadness.
And maybe, even then, she understood how she would recover and make good.
And maybe, even then, she just understood how he never would.