143

by Violet

I don’t want to be yours. I don’t want to wake up in the morning to your sour breath and smile when you say my name. I don’t want to get out of bed before you and rush to the kitchen to put on the coffee and cook you breakfast. I don’t want to suffer through the morning sickness, the weight gain, the screams and the curses of childbirth only to give life to children who don’t get to keep my name.

I don’t want to remember the anniversaries, cringe at the idea of finding you another present, and pretend to like roses. I dread the stale bread crumbs on the counter tops, the china patterns, the photo albums and the photograph that will inevitably hang on top of the fireplace. I don’t want to look at the perfectly preserved wedding dress and remember that we were happy once. Or even worse, looking at our wedding photo and noticing our smiles were unconvincing to begin with.

I would rather not see the tan line on my ring finger when I take it off and throw it at you during one of our typical Friday night arguments, when the kids pretend they’re sleeping and we pretend we’re trying to keep our voices down. I don’t want the same body crawling on top of me day after day, year after year, as it slowly succumbs to the endless cruelty of age and time. I don’t have the strength to love the decaying matter I chose to bind my life to, to watch it decompose before my own eyes, retaining evidence of how we lost our youth, till even the memories are blurred and I believe we always looked this old and ugly.

I don’t want our lives to fall into a peaceful rhythm, the nights ending with us lying on the couch, me holding a glass of wine and you clutching a bottle of beer, neither of us sober enough to care that our lives are being wasted. With our feet resting on the coffee table and the telly on slightly too loud, as you hog the remote and flick through the channels aimlessly, because we’re tired of looking at each other.

I don’t want our children to be confused about the words “I love you” because we say it to each other every day but it’s been years since we sounded like we meant it. I don’t want to wait till the day you come home looking more dishevelled than usual, and notice the patch of lipstick stain on the right side of your collar. When you come close to kiss me out of habit all I can smell is the stench of a stranger’s perfume, and all I can wonder is how much it cost you.