I was laying in bed in our apartment when I heard the front door close. My boyfriend was back. He was making more noise than usual, as he always did when he had been drinking. I knew where he had been. He had been with her again. I do not care to mention her name. I do not know why he even liked her. The only thing she had going for her was looks. Maybe that was all he wanted. He just could not help himself.
I heard him switch on the TV in the sitting room. I got out of bed, turned on the light and looked at myself in the mirror. My face was stained from the tears I had shed earlier in the evening. As I walked through the hallway to the sitting room, I stepped on a piece of glass from a perfume bottle that I had smashed in one of our arguments. The cold shard stuck in the bottom of my foot. I pulled it out and walked into the sitting room.
He glanced across at me and said, “Hi Rachel”. I did not reply. I just stood there, blood leaking out of my foot and tears welling in my plain grey eyes. Looking at my foot, he said, “Ow that looks painful, let me get you a plaster”. Then he got up and went to the bathroom.
When he tried to put the plaster on my wound, I shouted at him “What’s the point of that when you're bleeding all my life and love away every moment you're with her?”.
He looked at me with an expression like I had just slapped him in the face and said angrily, “Look I wouldn’t mind if you saw someone else on top of our relationship”.
I started to cry. After a few minutes of miserable weeping, I said, “ I love you but I can’t be with you if you keep seeing her”. He was not affected by my saying that in the least. I knew I couldn’t leave him as well as he did.
He turned to me and said, “I’ve had enough as well, so I think maybe we should end this”. When he said that I must have had a look of utter devastation upon my face for he looked quite perturbed. He came over to me and tucked the wisps of brown hair that had fallen across my pale face behind my ear.
I looked up at him and said, “If you left me I think I would die”.
“No. It would be better for you in the long run” he replied. He walked back to the black sofa in the centre of our living room, collapsed onto it and was asleep within minutes.
I wonder now, as I look back over that time, why I stayed with him. I expect most women would have left him. I can see now that I just wanted to be loved and he did love me. I was afraid that if he left me I would never find someone else who could love me as he could. At the age of twenty-five I knew how hard it was to find that. Anyway is it not what we all want, to be loved? Perhaps we are all just looking for it in different ways but when we feel it we know it is the ultimate cure all.
I awoke the next morning and reached out for him. He was not there. I didn’t realise something was wrong until I noticed that the cupboard he kept his clothes in was left open and empty. Then I knew he had gone. At first I felt numb but then after what must have been about an hour the sorrow swept over me in a giant wave. I don’t remember much more of that weekend apart from the blurry memories one has when one has drank too much.
On the Monday I made the decision that I would have a holiday for a month or so. I was an actress at that time and fairly well established for someone of my age. I called my agent in the morning and told her I would not be able continue with the play I had been starring in. The play was called Fool For Love. You may laugh dear reader at the irony of the plays name but I assure you it is no lie. Anyway I had to get away and be distracted. I knew the best way to do that would be to spend some time in another country and the diversity of another culture. So I left rainy sorrowful England.