The icy southwestern wind stung her eyes as she gazed out across the Atlantic. The tears in her eyes were not simply a result of the biting wind. She knew she must return to the hotel room sooner or later, she had already been out for too long. The thoughts of going back brought a heavy, sinking feeling of nausea to her stomach. Hopelessness and despair seemed to be her default emotions, exhausting her, making her feel sick and tired every day.
Her eyes searched the grey horizon, the boundary between the overcast sky and the steely water almost imperceptible. The desire to flee, to simply not go back to the room, to run and catch the next bus to the train station and just leave, for anywhere, anywhere but here, was overwhelming. The knowledge that, if she had brought out her purse, she would almost do it scared her.
He was not a bad man. She loved him deeply but she hadn’t been in love with him for a very long time. She could not even remember when she had stopped being in love with him. It had crept up on her. The feelings slowly dying over time like a neglected houseplant. Over the years, he had simply stopped seeing her. She hadn’t felt like he really saw her as a woman for too long. She was his wife. She cooked, cleaned, made his life run easier, she looked after his needs. He unquestioningly provided her with anything she needed or wanted. Anything except affection, attention, interest.
The ache of loneliness she had lived with had reached an unbearable level. Sitting night after night with him, both watching television, unspeaking and silent, she felt completely alone. Wanting to share her thoughts and ideas with him, only to be met with a blank disinterested gaze, if he even bothered to look her way, crushed her spirit to the point she stopped trying to get his attention.
She couldn’t remember the last time he had touched her, apart from his brisk, dutiful kiss goodbye each morning. Her skin craved contact. She didn’t know if he had any sexual feelings anymore. He shut down any attempts she made to discuss it. She allowed the tears to come as she recalled her efforts at seducing him and the constant rejection they were met with. She was still an attractive woman, she thought. Her petite, curvy figure was toned, more so than many forty one year old women could claim to possess. Years of healthy habits had left her frequently mistaken for a decade younger than she was. Yet, he still never made her feel sexy or desired.
She could not go on like this. Her love for him, her unwillingness to throw away fifteen years of marriage, her loyalty and her memories of the deep love they once shared, had forced this last chance endeavour to salvage something in the relationship. But now, standing on the cold sand, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, wishing her life were different, she cried lonely tears of realization that the weekend will be fruitless.
Wiping her tears away, Emma wrapped her arms around herself and turned to face the short walk back to the hotel. Back to face her future. Whatever it turned out to be.
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