What do you see when you look in the mirror? And the mirror? What does the mirror see when it looks into you?

She wished that she could reach into that other world and demand a decision. Not a small decision about this or that part of her life, but a momentous decision… That all-changing look the other way. She had been searching for answers in all the wrong places, trying to avoid making a choice. It was madness to even think it. Could she leave all behind, start again? Will she?

– How do you feel?

– Trapped. Trapped by promises I’ve made in good faith and can no longer keep. Trapped by a sense of duty.

– Why do you waiver?

– Because of what I have to forfeit if I stay.

– And what is that?

– Love.

– Are you certain it’s love?

– No. It is not. It is the chance to find it out.

– Only the possibility of it? It does not seem like much to give up…

– You wouldn’t say so if you felt the way I do.

– How do you feel?

– Resentful. Resentful of the life that has entrapped me with its shine and lustre. A life that had me… domesticated. I used to be a wolf. I hunted my own prey. I’ve lost my hunger. That hunger was all that I had. It drove me forward through this pointless, purposeless existence. I am sated and discontented. I want to find the wolf within again.

– What’s stopping you?

– What I have to forfeit if I leave.

– Security?

– No. It is not. It’s so much more than that. I would be cut out from my pack, ostracised from the world that I spent a lifetime building.

– And won’t you take the risk? Walk out of the door?

– I am too afraid. I fear the unknown. I fear being alone, helpless, with no one to care whether I live or die. I fear that all that awaits me on the other side is the abyss… endless misery and untimely death.

– Then you must conquer your fears.

– How can I?

– I do not know. It is a mystery.

Does it speak to you, that face beyond the pale? It was only a mirror – a reflection.

Twinned lives. One decision. Infinite possibilities.

vicbriggs for HarsH ReaLiTy


This article was first published as a guest post on HarsH ReaLiTy: http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/11/10/unfaithful/ with the following reblog message: My fourth contribution to HarsH ReaLiTy is somewhat of a departure from the rule. It is a snapshot into the inner world of a woman whose life is falling apart, and who slowly, but surely descends into madness. She thinks that what’s at stake is her marriage, her life as she knows it. But what she does not yet realise, is that in delaying her decision, she risks losing her sanity.

10 thoughts on “Unfaithful

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      • Hah, no, but thanks for that 🙂 Always my pleasure, Vic. And I’ll just say that I love the narrative insight of your characters. It pulls me in.

      • Thank you, Erik. Compared with what came before, this was the most difficult writing I’ve ever undertaking. Had to go to a very dark place.


      • I was in the middle of writing a children’s story when I felt the mood change. Instead of working against it, I decided to let it take me where it will. In the end it delved far deeper and into more uncertain territory than I could have imagined. In many ways I am somewhat apprehensive of starting revision on this novel, but it also helped me deepen my characters for the first (the one I am currently revising). After going to that dark place, their original trial and tribulations seemed inconsequential, unworthy of the space I’d allocated them so I worked hard to make their life more difficult, which I hope will make for better and more satisfying reading in the end.
        – sorry for the length of the reply (it would appear that I am more verbose come the morning) 🙂

      • It’s all good, I do the same thing when the morning wakes the writer’s brain. And I agree: it absolutely does make for better, more satisfying reading in the end. :

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