‘I’m over it.’
I pause to catch my breath, to collect my thoughts. Susannah and I are in the midst of our ever-increasing arguments. I can foresee a week of her passive-aggressive behaviour. She freezes me out, see. Sulks and pouts, gives monosyllabic responses to my attempts to cajole her back to normal. But this time, I’ve had enough. I’m not going to be subjected to her impetuous nature.
‘I’m over YOU.’ I cross my arms over my chest.
Panic flickers across her face, and her forehead scrunches up. ‘What is that supposed to mean?’
‘We’re done, Susannah.’
And I feel free. Instantly. I look around the home we’ve shared for eight years. Every trinket, photo frame, pot plant and candle in its place; benches and cabinets dusted to within in an inch of their lives. It’s a museum; I’m shocked I’m allowed to breath in here, lest I fog up a vase or something.
I long for my home, the one I built before Susannah and I met. It’s in the country; its rustic simplicity calls to me.
‘I’ll be out of here in an hour,’ I say. She sinks to her knees, sobs. It’s pitiful. ‘Cry all you like, Susannah, but nothing’s going to change my mind.’
Before I finish my sentence, I’m reaching for my suitcase and throw in shirts and jeans. I grab a carton from the recycling ‘station’—as she likes to call the corner of the kitchen where we keep recyclables before taking them to our bin—and collect my shoes and the small amount of my knick knacks that were deemed appropriate to be on display in our home. All my furniture is in my home, my cabin. Of course she didn’t like my taste.
She watches me the whole time. Fighting off tears, preparing her pout.
Within forty minutes, the boot of my car is full. The back seat takes my suitcase and a bucket filled with my toiletries. I’m ready to go.
‘Take care,’ I say, jiggling the keys in my hand.
‘Robert,’ she says. Her voice is a whimper; her eyes glisten with unshed tears.
‘Bye.’ I wonder whether it’s appropriate to kiss her cheek in farewell. But I decide against it, climb into my car. In the rear vision mirror, I see her gazing at my car as I drive away.