Run Away With Me by S. Bee

“Let's do it Sarah!” 

“Oh Dan, we've had this conversation a hundred times. I can't leave Colin.” Sarah wished Dan would get the message. Their affair was set out to be no- strings fun, yet as time had passed, to her dismay, he'd wanted more. 

Before she'd set out today, Sarah had made a decision. This was to be their last meeting at the discreet hotel. 

“I love you, Sarah. I've told you over and over – I'm fully prepared to break up my marriage for you.” 

She stalled for time. “It's just so life- changing.” 

He grasped her hand. “But I want my life to change – don't you?” 

She demonstrated by ticking the points off her fingers. “We'll have no income, no home, no friends and no children.” 

“It'll be a fresh start. Look, to make it easier, we'll move away and find new jobs in a city where no-one knows us,” he soothed. 

She shook her head. He talked as if running away was easy. As if they were teenagers with their whole lives ahead of them. 

Her thread of thought about teenagers gave her a sharp reminder about Theo and Amber. “Think about our children. How would a split affect them?” 

“Stop fretting, Sarah. They'll cope. You know perfectly well that my Amber's at local uni now. She's independent, living in a flat share, zooming about in her car, happily getting on with her own life.” 

“But my son needs me,” she said firmly. 

“Oh come on! Theo's nineteen and working full- time. He'll be flying the nest soon. Then what? With both kids gone, I'll be stuck with Lyn and you'll be stuck with Colin. Don't you see, darling -we have to leave. It'll be difficult, but if we face this together -” 

Her face twisted. “Oh Dan, why can't you let me go?” 

“Because I love you.” 

“I'm sorry, but I don't love you.” 

“You do, darling. I know you do. You're scared. I understand.” 

Sarah floundered. How could she get through to a person who was in denial? As the clock ticked, she reflected on the past. 

“Remember how we met? When you and Lyn moved next door to me and Colin?” she mused. “Me and Lynn, you and Colin. The four of us really hit it off, didn't we?” Dan took up the story. “To welcome us to the area, you invited Lyn and I to dinner... when we arrived, I kept catching your eye. After the meal, I sneaked into the kitchen to help you wash-up.” “As we stepped out into the garden, you bravely took my hand. I suddenly felt alive... It was so romantic. The stars were sparkling in the night sky. We smiled at each other and my pulse raced -” she sighed. 

Oh why had she allowed a strong dose of flattery and a dash of risky passion to rule her head and heart? 

Well, it was a typical neglected wife scenario, she reasoned. 

Colin barely listened to her these days, plus he took her daily housework and cooking for granted. He was always immersed in his mobile, saying it was colleagues, pestering him, wanting his advice. 

Affection and warmth were low on agenda, so naturally, intimacy had taken a back seat. Sarah felt resentful. 

Why should she refuse someone who was good- looking and trim, who complimented her and gave her lots of time and attention? 

Yet as time passed, Sarah had found that her feelings for Dan hadn't developed. It was Colin she wanted and needed. 

Actually, Sarah thought Colin may have already suspected something was going on. In order to see Dan, she'd invented a new girl at work, Jenny. For the past month, Sarah and 'Jenny' had met for a regular weekly drink. 

Dan had told his wife Lyn that he was out drinking with a new colleague, too. It was a good tactic, as it avoided the need to drag real people in to act as alibis. Okay, Colin wasn't perfect dreamboat material – but deep down, she loved him. Sarah desperately wanted to rescue her long- standing marriage. It was way too precious to throw away. 

Despite this (as usual) Sarah and Dan parted with no clear way ahead. 

*** 

Sarah unlocked the door with a heavy sense of guilt. When she almost tripped over the luggage in the hall, she idly wondered why Colin had filled the cases. 

Colin appeared. He usually greeted her with a breezy 'Hi love.' Sarah noticed it was missing today. 

“Has the washing machine broken down?” She kept her tone light as she indicated the stuffed baggage. 

“No.” His answer was sharp and brief . 

Her heart lurched. “Oh. So you're not going to the laundrette?” 

He shrugged on a jacket and turned to her. “I'm sorry, but I'm leaving you, Sarah.” She gaped. “What?” 

The doorbell rang. 

When he answered, Sarah saw someone she recognised. Sarah was about to say hello, when the caller cut in and addressed Colin, lurking behind her. 

“Ready?” she asked him. 

Colin nodded, scooped up his cases and threw them in her car. 

Dumbstruck, Sarah watched as her lover's daughter - pretty, slim, eighteen year- old Amber sped her neighbour's husband far, far away. 

Published in Issue #20

No comments:

Post a Comment