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.