A long time ago, I’m shocked to realise that it’s close on twenty years now; I fled an unhappy marriage in the middle of the night and went to the home of good friends to spend a sleepless night in their spare bedroom.

In the morning, I listened to their comfortable ritual;

sounds of a bed being made and clothing picked up,

the click of an electric kettle switching off,

dog pellets falling into a bowl…

A song came on the radio and they immediately began to sing along softly. Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take you, Bermuda, Bahamas come on pretty mama, Key Largo, Montego baby why don’t we go …  I felt so unhappy for myself; filled with dread at the practical details that lay ahead to dismantle life as I had known it, and I envied them their easy happiness.

I just heard the song again and recalled my sad shock when I heard, years later, that they had divorced. 

Things aren’t always what they seem.


17 thoughts on “AT FACE VALUE

  1. Things are never what they seem, are they… I mean, we grow in different directions… or we forget to care if the other one is okay.

    I would like to believe that the woman i am with now is the one I will stay with for the rest of my life… but I know it will take major effort from both of us.

  2. Beautifully written. Yes, the reality behind the veneer, the private truth behind the public face are often at odds.

  3. Unfortunately things have turned on their heads, divorce which used to be the exception is now becoming the rule.

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