When the Caring Stopped
She wanted to pinpoint the exact moment when her mouth stopped saying; "I don't care" and her heart stopped caring.
She wanted to recall that clarity of thought, that neutrality of spirit, and mark it, celebrate it, in some way designate it the Day I Stopped Caring.
She tried to recall, going to one event to another encounter, to a report or a view, but she really couldn't recall.....
The First Time
The first time he really hurt her was a week before the wedding. Which is why she never married him.
They had lived together in the pre-marriage style, seeing how they fit, and then, thinking it was working, made the plans.
It was fortunate that he had his affair before she made a life mistake.
She didn't leave him just then, because to let go would have been 'defeat' ; the usual Cat on a Hot Tin Garbage Can.
Once enough time had passed and the affair was a shrug, when she had apparently 'won' the battle for him... she wonder what she had won...
She had loved him. That can not be disputed. She had loved him, but also started to hate him. And when the hate was a bit more than the love she left him.
Time passed, days, weeks, months...then years. She had a life, places to go, things to do, she wasn't sitting looking into space. She had left him, she had gone on with her life, and so....
He looked awful the last she'd seen him.
He looked awful and was in dire straits.
He came to the office where she worked and he waited as everyone else.
Waited because they didn't know him, and he couldn't say he was her husband, lover, boyfriend....
because he wasn't...
and didn't have any idea if she had a husband, lover, boyfriend..
And then he came to her.
As no one there (as opposed to her old office) knew who or what he had been to her, there wasn't embarrassing stares from co-workers that this wretched man had once been intimate with her.
They saw a number of men like him during the day Failures who came a begging.
He was just another failure who came a begging. Nothing special about him.
During the short time he spent in the chair besides her desk there was no hint
in her demeanor that once he had almost been her husband. She didn't treat
him any differently than she would a stranger.
Because he was a stranger.
When he left she'd filled in the forms as was the standard and moved on to the next applicant. She didn't feel anything.
She knew she was supposed to feel something. But didn't.
She took an early lunch to explore the non-feeling but other things encroached. She didn't have a retrospective.
That's when she knew that saying; "I don't care," was as illogical as refusing a job
she wasn't offered.