I see the letter as soon as I get home from work. It’s in a plain white envelope, my name neatly written in black ink.
My armpits go clammy.
Why would she leave me a letter? Why not leave a post-it? Send a text message?
Who writes letters now?
There’s only one thing that a letter is for.
I knew it. I knew things were too good to be true. Why would someone like her be with someone like me?
They say ‘You don’t know a woman until you’ve had a letter from her. ‘
I know her now, don’t I?
I always knew she was hiding something from me.
My friends keep saying I’m a lucky bastard and it’s true, I am. I can’t believe it when I wake up next to her in the mornings, eat breakfast with her, hold her hand on the train.
It was never going to last though – I was always punching above my weight.
And now, the inevitable.
But for the time being, I won’t open it. Let me live as though we’re still together. At least for another few minutes.
I’ll pretend I haven’t seen it and start making dinner and it’ll be like she’ll walk through the door and tell me about her day and then we’ll drink wine and watch tv and fall asleep on the couch together.
I give myself ten final minutes of life pre-letter.
I pour a glass of wine and turn on the radio and start chopping onions.
I drink more wine.
I finish preparing the spaghetti bolognese and pour another glass.
The envelope is watching me.
I put dinner in the oven to stay warm and give myself another ten minutes and more wine.
And then another ten.
And more wine.
The thing is, I can’t bear to see the rejection in black and white. I’ll never be able to unsee it. It’ll torture me forever.
Fucking bitch. How could she do this to me?
I open another bottle.
I keep seeing the envelope across the room – taunting me.
Ready to destroy me.
This can’t be how things end. It just can’t.
What a fucking cow.
I should have known. I bet she’s been shagging that guy at work. She’s always talking about him – “Dave said this, Dave did that…” Fuck him. Fuck her.
I won’t give her the satisfaction of having the last word though. Fuck THAT.
I slam my wine glass down and pick up the envelope. I bang the door behind me, stagger down the stairs and stand in front of the dumpster. I toss it in. As easy as that. Fuck her.
It’ll just be like, she’s … away. For work. Or whatever. It’s fine. I won’t even notice – she was always working late anyway. Or out with her friends. Or doing anything with anyone but me. Fucking bitch. Fuck her. Fuck her.
I never wanted that cunt in my life anyway.
I stumble back up the stairs and fling open the door.
She is there. At the table.
“Hey!” she grins and comes towards me, arms open.
“Happy anniversary! Did you like the card?”