She took his strength for oppression and packed her bags to leave. She took his silence for indifference and shut the door behind her.
He didn’t stand to follow. He didn’t speak to ask her to stay. He just sat in his chair, unmoving, and watched her go.
“30 years and it’s come to this,” she said to no one as she almost ran down the driveway. “It’s all come to nothing.”
She reached the busy street and passed a woman who seemed startled at the expression on her face. She pulled her black hoodie over her head and set her sunglasses in place. She had always loved having him know her best, but if he refused to know her now, then it was the end of anyone knowing her at all. She’d hidden nothing from him, and now he was the sole keeper of who she truly was. She’d given all she could, and now there was nothing left for anyone else. Oh, someone else would come along, she knew. There are always plenty of takers in the world. Someone else would take her, but they’d have to take her empty, because now empty was what she was.
She walked for an hour, without direction and without caring where she’d end up. She arrived at a corner, looked both ways, and crossed another street into farther than she had ever been. She slowed her pace and looked around at the unfamiliar buildings. Always before, she had led her steps to where she thought he’d want her to go, to where she thought he’d want her to stop. But her suppositions about his will were irrelevant now. Her feet were free to go wherever they would and there was nothing to halt their way.
So, she thought, Where will you go? When will you stop?
Her only answer was to feel her feet keep moving forward beneath her.
(Music and video: “Victoria Lucas,” by Moby)