The Real Cost Of Indecision - Short Story
Richard was sitting on the bench in his rear garden looking straight ahead but not seeing anything. He was deeply lost in thoughts. He didn’t really know what to think now. He was looking to that moment for so long, yet now he was only feeling overwhelming emptiness and regret.
He had the house back to himself. He was dreaming about it for so long that he couldn’t actually believe when she said she was moving out. But she did. Nina moved out yesterday taking all her clothes, all her plates and cups. She took all the things and books she gathered while living with him for last 4 years. Finally he could stretch his legs and enjoy the silence or read one of his favourite books without her making him feel guilty all the time. He was free yet he felt like a looser.
It all started years ago when Richard met Nina on one of the trekking trips organised by the local club. They have fallen for each other and after few months she started talking on moving in. It didn’t fit in with his perfect world and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to have her in his life on a daily basis so he was trying to avoid this but she was insisting. He agreed as he didn’t want to upset her. It was quite ok for few months but after that he started to feel again that it wasn’t what he wanted. He liked Nina but the desire and passion wore off leaving him with an empty heart. He didn’t love her, he knew that.
But she did love him very much and he didn’t want to hurt her so they kept living together. He hoped she would get tired with him and would move out at some point. He remembered that he was so certain of that he used to tell his friends that it would be a matter of few weeks.
And then he met her, Vicky. She turned his life upside down. He had never felt so alive as with her. Vicky was his world or at least this part he could give her. What in fact wasn’t that much - a few hours every other week as he was worried that Nina could find out and he didn’t want to upset her. Still he knew it would be matter of weeks before Nina would move out anyway. Then he would be able to spend all the time in the world with Vicky.
Vicky was not only beautiful and loving person but also full of passion. He wasn’t young anymore but with her he felt like in his twenties and the world was up for him to grab. They were spending hours chatting online; he could tell her everything and she was such a wonderful listener. He felt so connected with her.
Weeks were passing by but Nina wasn’t moving out. He started to avoid her and became less friendly to show her that their relationship was over and he hoped she would get the hint. He was not able to do anything more as he didn’t like upsetting people.
Nina must have noticed that something wasn’t right as she was often upset and he found her crying few times. He was sure that soon it all would be over but it wasn’t. So he was waiting, what else could he do?
Luckily Nina was sent to Vienna with her work for a whole month and she really liked it there. He thought she would simply stay in Vienna and was already planning life with Vicky but Nina came back.
He didn’t know what to do. He finally told Nina that he was not happy in this relationship, so she suggested a couple therapy. It was a step forward, so he agreed and for another few months they were seeing a therapist. He learned a lot about himself but Nina was still living with him, upset most of the time and bursting into tears on every occasion. She also became very suspicious so he had to cut on meetings with Vicky. He couldn’t do anything else than just wait.
Or maybe he was just a coward. This is what Vicky told him when after a year she decided to split with him. It did hurt, badly, but was quick. Vicky told him she was patient enough but she had a life to live and couldn’t wait for him forever. She said that leaving him was breaking her heart but from the events so far, she could clearly tell he was not able to make any decision so she took it in her hands.
She left him and he could do nothing about it. He felt miserable; he lost a love of his life and was still living with a person he didn’t love. He avoided Nina at all cost as every time he saw her, she reminded him what he lost because of her.
Three months after that they had a conversation when Nina asked if he really didn’t want to fix things between them. He said nothing and she burst in tears. She told him she couldn’t live like that and that it was over. She looked at him with anticipation, hoping he would ask her to stay but he said nothing.
Nina decided to move out but it took her another two months to find and buy a house for herself and he was waiting. He met Vicky once after Christmas for a coffee, as friends, just friends, what a pain. He bought her a Christmas present and used it as an excuse for a meeting but in fact he wanted her to know that Nina was moving out.
She congratulated him but stayed cool, she made her decision months ago and she already moved on. She was friendly and nothing else. What a horrible pain. He wanted her back, he wanted her back so badly but she wasn’t available anymore. She was in a new relationship already and in a happy one. He was happy for her but couldn’t forgive himself that he let her go.
And today, sitting on the bench in his garden, he was regretting his decisions badly. Actually he was regretting not making decisions when he should. He was so scared of hurting people he cared for that he did nothing hoping the others will sort things out for him. But it didn’t work and he just have got to the realisation that by not making the decisions because of fear of upsetting people, he did hurt all of them including himself. What a pain. Horrible dull pain.