Scarcely a look in her eyes, she walked away. As lingering words fell with a muffled hum against the vault of her person, she, in bewilderment, set out never to return. Whether qualm or favor, it mattered so little with him…reason, even less.
Time stood still as the sobs erupted, not within her, but pulsating around her, a cloak of defeat shrouding her in the dead calm of night. How could this end?
The days turned to weeks; when Dahlia swore time would stop, it pranced forward, slipped away, until only the force of her grief chose for her a new reality.
Change or chance, she awaited nothing. She thumbed through a travel guide to Italy in her new surroundings. Life before was no longer her state of affairs, and she had collected on a divorce settlement two weeks earlier. Yet, she constantly found herself panging for the routine of her previous existence almost instantly in every free moment, through the dull of regret and longing forever gone. A token, perhaps, to relive every moment of satisfaction, even under false pretenses, was a dangling just beyond her grasp. It had worn her down.God, she prayed, I’m listening. Her cloak of defeat was gone, cheating her. There was only the damp of night to contend,wistful and long. Alone.
Drinking or waiting, never on her, his foibles let onto the torment that had driven her out. Realistically, they were never compatible, but circumstance led to likability, likebility to logic, and logic said marriage. His pointing to her faults, his pointing never toward commitment, an aim vaguely composed in both minds. They were sinking in the shallows. Dahlia saw her life as over just as it should have begun, and, while happiness was a day at the races, it seemed she was the thorn in his side.
She opened the gate, and walked on the patio over to a chair. Idling nearby had been a stray dog; she was relieved to enter her haven safely. She had been to her psychotherapist, the stigma of actually doing so had disoriented her. Believe, she thought. But in what?; that was the stigma. Dahlia believed in her Maker, the sun and the stars, the cheeriness of early childhood memories and the newness of each day, she just couldn’t win. Win what?, she pondered. She stood in roses.