Public Display of Disaffection

They’re watching us. Breaking apart. Splintering. I watch you press your lips tightly together, oh, you sadistic bastard. Your muscles loosen, preparing for your final bow. Prepare for the roses they’ll throw at your feet. You probably invited them yourself. Sold tickets on street corners, handed them out like STI pamphlets at universities and parks, skulked around in dark bars, made sure the demographic was varied. All to witness my humiliation. If you’d ever put this much effort into our relationship maybe there’d be nothing to watch. And I know why you did this. You knew that I’d never play the part of the pathetic ex-girlfriend, would never grovel, or beg, or spend evenings alone crying or masturbating to thoughts of you. So you’ve started a scene, put on a show, dressed and groomed yourself better than on any date, and projected your voice so that everyone would know you’re leaving me.

That’s just as well. Do what you want. I hope you realise they’ll applaud you today and avoid you tomorrow. They’ll learn from my mistakes. You don’t win favour by winning a game no one wants to play. Tomorrow my phone will be ringing all day. Women offering me their sympathies, men offering me their shoulders (well, not just their shoulder, but they won’t be so bold). They’ll tell me I’m better off, to be rid of you. Tomorrow you’ll be the villain who gets to drink himself sick. And a year on I’ll be the girl that got away…you’ll tell everyone this, and claim women were created by God to punish you, but you won’t forget you pushed me away, that this is all your fault. You won’t forget the look I’m giving you now, my eyebrows arched, my tongue tucked behind my teeth. Not interrupting, not crying, not saying a single word that you could use against me to seal your point. Eventually, you’ll run out of breath, run out of ideas, trail off and without changing expression, I’ll give a small nod, and walk out, leave you to host the last victory party you’ll ever have.

So go on darling, they’re watching us. Enjoy yourself.


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