The end of an affair

The End of the Affair

Their story would have a beginning and an end. For Lara this much was clear from the very start. She wondered at times whether Adam had known it too, or whether the realisation had crept upon him incrementally, with every forgotten promise, every angry word, every moment of guilt and remorse that went unshared.

She could have borne it all, just about. She would have found the strength to accept it and move on, if only it she could rid herself of that sneaking suspicion that he didn’t love her. Not fully. Not as she craved to be loved. Her pride was hurt by the thought of that imaginary offence alone. If she had made no sacrifice, it would’ve hurt less. But she gave up her sense of self to become his, and to think him indifferent was crushing.

She loved more. She would hurt more when it was finally over. And there was a perverse desire within her to make him pay for the difference. If she couldn’t make him love her, then she would make him hate instead. Anything was better than indifference. If he hated her, she would be remembered. And that was something.

There would be an end. All things end after all. Perhaps for him, who believed in eternal life and damnation, that sense of an ending was more difficult to grasp. But then again, he was unaware of the beginning too, shocked to discover himself complicit in the affair.

She dreamt of making it last once. In her most daring moments of playing at make-belief, she envisaged their leaving together, hand in hand, into the somewhat dreary London sunset. She was almost, almost able to see a couple of blue-eyed lookalikes filling their later years with the clamour of childish laughter. Wasn’t that the greatest proof that there had been love: that desire to authenticate it, to cement it in flesh, replicate it generation after generation?

They were naïve, those dreams… impossibly farfetched. So she let them weaken and die, and with the death of hope, came unavoidably the slow decay of love.

*

Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course 

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21 thoughts on “The end of an affair

    • Thank you, Lee-Anne. This is a small fragment from my second novel “The Point of Sanity” – it is a departure from the action-filled plots I tend to veer towards. It is rather introspective – the deepest I’d ever attempted to delve into a characters inner life.

      • Oh, is your first novel out? What’s its name? Are you working on your second, at present?
        (Sorry about the interrogation!) 🙂

      • Thank you, Lee-Anne. I don’t mind at all and I’m touched that you should ask.
        I’ve drafted three novels so far. The first is “Finding Swift” – the one I wrote the blurb for – and this is the one I am currently revising. Once I am happy with it, I will start looking for an agent. I could look now, but I know that most agents won’t take an author on unless they have a manuscript ready, and although it is very nearly there, I want to make sure I put my best foot forward. Hopefully it won’t take me too long to polish it up, although admittedly it’s taking longer than expected due to other commitments.

        This fragment is from my second, “The Point of Sanity” – which I will hopefully be able to start revising this Spring. It was a mad undertaking, written in a matter of weeks and I suspect much of it will require closer attention come revision time. It was very painful to write – it felt like cutting a vein open and dipping the quill in – and I am apprehensive about returning to it, but it will have to be done.

        Then there is “In the quiet before the storm” – I have the skeleton ready and half of the chapters written, with abstracts for the rest. I have a feeling it will become a trilogy, as I wrote a lot of the backstory for many of my characters and realised that I can very easily transform that into a prequel, with a sequel yet to be decided.

        I hope this answers your questions 🙂

    • Thank you, Chris.
      I remember the first time I told a friend about the novel I was writing and he asked “How does it start?” To which I answered “Not well.” I explained the premise and he then wanted to know how it would end. “Badly,” I said.
      He wasn’t best pleased as the story paralleled his own experience in more ways than one, and he hoped for a happy ending.
      I like a happy end myself, but unfortunately it is not always possible to make it happen, whether in reality or fiction.

  1. “Wasn’t that the greatest proof that there had been love: that desire to authenticate it, to cement it in flesh, replicate it generation after generation?” Couldn’t have said it better myself. A great read!

    • Thank you for reading, Pepper, and for the comment too. I doubted for a while whether it is possible to write a novel where introspection outweighs action to a great degree. Once I’ve revised the first, I will return to Adam and Lara’s story. Their names keep changing. Nothing is fully settled yet, but I suppose that’s what rewrites are for.

  2. ‘She loved more. She would hurt more when it was finally over. And there was a perverse desire within her to make him pay for the difference. If she couldn’t make him love her, then she would make him hate instead. Anything was better than indifference. If he hated her, she would be remembered. And that was something.’

    The difference is devastating, for the more we are emotionally invested the harder it is to recover and there is nothing worse than feeling like you aren’t ‘cared for’ as much as you ‘care for’. It almost worse than unrequited love.

    Really escaped with this piece, so articulately written loved the way I could feel what the characters felt.

    #Moving – really appreciated the tale as it drew me into my own memories about ‘differences’ and how they feel.

    ML
    x

  3. Pingback: Arrivals and Departures | litadoolan

  4. Pingback: A Poetic Duet With JaneyBGood – “Vanquishing Doubt” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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