She wasn’t listening anymore. No amount of apology could turn her toward him, so Anson stopped. Their beginning haunted him as if he were a house of murder; those good days, easy kisses and lovemaking in the morning, the laughter in the car, the work of building a home and a life, all were memories with sharp edges tearing at his insides. He understood how far behind they’d left it all while on this course away, apart, but stubborn beliefs crowded every angle of the future crawling in his periphery. A life without her was unimaginable – an Earth without a sun, he was a rock floating in the dead black of hours stretching ahead mercilessly. But she couldn’t listen to him anymore. Too many tidal assurances that pulled back into his ocean of self loathing, his hate for everything he’d done and didn’t do. He knew she loved him somewhere inside his Hell of mirrors, the reflections bouncing all around him distorting her affection just as they did everything. He knew the truth, but it never looked right and he never looked right, never felt worthy of breath or that cursed heartbeat that forced him to keep going. So when they saw the sun dipping while on their way to court, in the same building as they were married, Anson told her he loved her still but that he couldn’t ask again. She didn’t say anything in response and the hum of the car’s engine and the tread-drone of the wheels filled his ears as they sped down the road to their undoing. When they pulled into the parking lot, the winter sun had already fallen into the horizon, and echoing light offering little warmth suffocated under encroaching gray clouds. She shut off the engine and looked at him and Anson mustered a warm smile. “You don’t know how to love,” she said flatly. “You’re a good man, a great man, but you barely know how to not hate.” She then zipped up her jacket, opened the car door and left his life, a star tossing him from orbit. His world now absent dawn and dusk, he too exited the car, thinking of how he had to change, but not sure how to do so in the new dark of now.
(at Slow Stars)