Real horror is rarely external. Real insanity is seldom sudden. This is what I'm trying for in a story about the worst kind of betrayal.
“It can’t be that way.”
That she truly didn’t believe her words was irrelevant. It was a definite; no question absolutely no doubt statement. The way her face darkened and her body grew still, tense and breathless, proved the lie. It didn’t matter now though. She knew but would never know as I did.
It most definitely could be and it most certainly was. I could never get her to accept it. For her, the truth was too hard to deal with, the pain to dangerous. I saw it in her eyes because I knew her. I knew that she would cling to the dream she had so painstakingly created through denials and inconsequential ideas of what was right, what should and should not be possible and the impossibility of such a betrayal. In her world what was wrong was a nightmare. A nightmare was by definition a dream. A dream only lasts until waking.
So, of course it could not be. I looked down, trying to find something to fasten my wandering eyes on but there was nothing and everything was blurred and distant. I had my arms crossed over my chest and felt myself sink. I let my body fall forward until I sat on the chair, elbows on my knees and my hair falling forward
I was acid, rock and fire. Pain in every shallow breath, wishing to deny in every aching heartbeat.
I felt her touching my shoulder. Tentative, careful fingers that nonetheless made me recoil. I don’t think she noticed as I didn’t move. It was all on the inside. All movement was drawn to the centre and flared out from there into muscle, blood and nerve. But I was a stone and she never knew the difference.
“Are you okay?” Her voice, so soothing, so fake, so wrong, so sweet and compassionate fuelled the resentment I had just decided to cultivate.
In the moment she denied me my emotions, my pain and in that same moment reinforcing my shame and my guilt, I had decided to hate.
Hate is easier than understanding. Rage is easier than tolerance. Contempt is so much easier than forgiveness.
That was the moment, the tipping point, when I knew with certainty that I was finally irrevocably alone.
I raised my head and looked at her. The smouldering in my soul calmed a little. The tension eased a fraction and my mind settled itself in a new configuration. Other pathways negotiating facts, possibilities, consequences and emotions came to exist as a second layer of consciousness.
Or was it a third? Fourth? How many times had I taken this journey of self-preservation vs. unconditional giving? This struggle of mind against heart, soul against smooth persuasion and cold intimidation.
This time it was me against myself. I would win and I would be left alone with nothing left of me but hate. Hating is my choice. My right, my life.
The woman in front of me was no longer who she had been. She had betrayed me. She thought that the true crime was the one I had told her of in a final desperate attempt to save myself from the horror. It wasn’t. The crime was not doubting the facts as I had presented them to her. I caught her eye and I felt her fingers tremble but she didn’t pull away. Just almost. I kept still and just looked into those weak, suddenly frightened eyes until she flinched and looked away.
Averting her eyes was not a crime either. No, the crime was the pretence. The crime was denial. The crime was the lie.
I can’t stand liars. I am not in denial anymore. I have accepted my fate and know my future. The question is how I will get there from here. And how harsh must a punishment be to atone for such a lie, such deceit, being a traitor of humanity.
There is only one.
I would meet a grim future. She was the lucky one. She had none at all. I would make sure of it.