I stand in the family home, in the dark, behind half opened blinds because I don’t want Louise, the neighbour, the annoying, prying neighbour to pop in.
She and her husband Fred had been constant visitors to our home.
We had played nice, avoided them as much as we could, because they were the true ‘happily married’ couple.
Fred died a year ago, and Louise went into catatonia. She could not breathe without Fred. She had been in the hospital, she was on a suicide watch, her children came to monitor her, then, hired live in nurses.
Patrick and I had visited her to be polite, and over time, did a once a week check. It was not that either of us had cared about her or Fred, it was simply for appearances.
When Louise learned Patrick died she popped out of her shell to ‘console’ me, thinking I must be as bereft as she. Thinking she could give me strength.
I wanted to tell her the truth, so many times. I wanted to tell her that Patrick and I were a marriage in name only (with some sexual connection) and that we never shared our souls, never ‘lived’ for each other.
We never loved each other. Sometimes we didn’t even like each other.
But I didn’t.