The Day Pretend and Real had a Dual
A smart instinctual womans eyes start to notice suspicious behaviour in her husband.
He’s the charismatic type, could charm the devil, has a clever way with words, the ability to hold attention, a true leader many would say.
He is staying late at work, taking a lot of trips abroad without her . He’s lost interest in their relationship.
He gives her appeasing gifts now and again.
There are funds leaving their joint financial account which she is the main contributor to .
She prefers to trust so she comes straight out and questions him .
He becomes very evasive , not answering her questions, generalising on how much it costs to keep everything afloat , changing the subject etc .
Her nose starts to twitch as she is now picking up the scent of deception.
So she uses her nose to begin sniffing out information.
This is what smart instinctual women do when they smell something odd in the air .
The more she looks , the more she finds .
Clandestine meetings, broken loyalties , fascination with something more glamorous than her, addiction to the excitement and power of a much bigger more powerful world than their little simple and old home.
A home that has so much history to it, so many joys and sorrows it has seen, and still holding strong which is why she loved it so much.
He didn’t love it so much – she had often thought not at all but she chose not to think about that too much.
She decides to confront him with what she has found.
It’s all there in black and white as they say.
He laughs at her , tells her she’s being paranoid, delusional.
She knows what she has seen, it was plain as the instinctual nose on her face .
She can’t believe he is still denying. Even though he’d always been a chancer , she thought she knew him better .
Thought he was a good person underneath.
Who is this man ?
She’s exasperated .
She breaks down and cries.
He puts his arms around her and tells her he forgives her , because he knows she is under a lot of mental strain .
Says her head is not straight.
His arm and words of comfort do nothing to console her, in fact quite the opposite, they send a shiver down her spine.
He goes out and buys her flowers and chocolates and pats her on the head as he presents them to her .
She can’t let go of it, really needs to talk to someone .
So she calls a friend of theirs and tells her everything .
Her friend says she thinks she’s imagining things and doesn’t hear her saying that she has all the evidence.
She tries to show her friend but again she acts like the evidence is irrelevant.
Her friend tells her to think more positively , to only think of all the good things about her husband.
The world needs more positivity.
She tries to find other friends who will hear her .
Many respond in the same way .
She can’t believe they would think like that .
Would they rather pretend , ignore it if it was their husband deceiving them ? Maybe they would…..
But she put so much work into her marriage.
She trusted it, she trusted him .
He said he’d take care of her and so she left him to do all the organising, but now that she thinks about it, she was the one that did most of the caring, and the giving .
He had done very well out of their marriage indeed .
She looked around her marriage , her life , her friendships etc and she realised there’d been a whole lot of pretending going on .
She realised she too had been pretending everything was ok for a very long time .
It’s what she’d been taught to do . She had not known how to do much else.
She didn’t want to pretend anymore.
She wanted to be real.
Even if it meant there’d be no one left but her .
So one day she stopped pretending .
She took off by herself for a walk .
She came to a fork in the road .
There were two roads in front of her .
One was busy and very well organised looking – lots clean lines, of clearly signposted directions, no overgrowth .
The other seemed empty of people and overgrown.
It was more of a path than a road really .
It was a very bendy path and there were no directions.
But she liked that it was full of life.
She could hear birdsong from down that way .
She could see all the colours of its wildness and her instinctual nose was loving all the smells.
On this day, she chose that path .
It felt good , kind of peaceful even though she was still in the process of stopping pretending and she wasn’t sure how long that would take.
So as she strolled down the overgrown with life path, she heard voices.
Not beautiful bird voices this time , human voices and some of them were singing too .
And they seemed to be coming from down the way , around one of the many bends on the path .
So she quickened her pace .
Not long after she reached the voices and the ones that were using them .
Turns out the road less travelled wasn’t so empty of humans after all.
They too were all in the process of stopping the pretending and all like her, were still a bit shook .
But there was a look of recognition on everyone’s faces , like they all knew each other , like they had met before or something .
Anyway , after a chat and a cuppa brought by some to share , they all decided together that they weren’t going back to the life they had left .
They’d all keep walking on this overgrowing path- together .
None of them knew where it would lead but they knew it felt better, smelled better and it was real and for now that’s all that mattered .
Annette Morris Keane July ‘21
Image ; “The Harp of Erin” painting by Thomas Buchanan Read