I stumbled around for a while, looking like a right idiot, before I eventually came to see a clearing. I raced towards it, hoping for Divine Intervention and an exit, but found myself gazing towards nothing more than a little log cabin. The newspaper article came back to mind, and I suddenly knew that I was looking at the home of the huntsman who had found my dying husband. In reality, I had probably only been walking for a couple of minutes, and just a little off course, for I knew that the wooden cabin could not be more than a quarter of a mile away from the ‘crime-scene’ (as it had become known).
The cabin had been wrought out of hardwood trees and assembled so that they formed row upon row of horizontal wood paneling, topped with a wood-paneled hood. Fresh new light poured down onto the clearing from above, and onto the front-facing side of the miniature house; the side with an old door painted a grotty shade of indigo; on the other hand the remaining sides of the cabin were cloaked in strange darkness.
A little hesitantly (and there I wandered whatever for), I stumbled forward through the tangle of forest plants and knocked onto the dirty cabin door.
It was opened by a middle-aged woman, perhaps older than me, but only a little, with dark ginger hair (possibly dyed) streaked by thin locks of grey, and knotted up into a braid pinned at the top of her head. She was wearing a thick woolen jumper the colour of steel, and a thigh-length green skirt over her plump figure. It all gave the appearance of a Danish pastry. Especially, as when she spoke, she had a thick European accent, although I couldn’t distinguish which it was exactly.
“I can help you?” Said she.
“Um…” I stammered: I wasn’t used to admitting defeat.
It was, I think, Peter who first realised that our marriage wasn’t going to work out.
Typically, to whom did he tell his doubts first? Me? No, he went straight to Mike and unloaded all the problems onto him.
I started to notice that something was wrong when the two of them, once they had both finished work for the day (Mike was a car repairman), spent their evenings at the nearest public house.
The truth finally broke out one evening, when I stayed up the night until 1am to wait for Pete. He was sloshed. We both were not happy.
We argued for ages over Peter’s lack of commitment at the house. He finally let it slip: I was boring him, I wasn’t enough anymore, ‘the spark’ had gone from our relationship; we both didn’t love anym6re. And, down inside of myself, I understood that the last statement was true…
We both regret what we said that night…but it’s all in the past now, of course.
Steven was eight at that point.
A year later, after many arguments, days of silence, and nights of walking away, Peter Howard packed up his things and left his wife and child. He filed for an annulment, but reasons weren’t followed through and we continued to be married. That information didn’t change Peter; he stayed far away from me. I don’t know if he found another love, but I chose never to let myself get involved with his problems again.