Very Short Story: To Care or Not To Care

She has been gone four weeks now. And this house on the beach – the house of their dreams – has become a house of loneliness, a house of insomnia.

Four weeks! Four weeks of waking up and realising that she is not in bed beside him.

Four weeks of tossing and turning and trying to get back to sleep.

He gives in; he gets up; he makes tea.

He stands, naked, in front of the bay window and sips his drink and stares at the moon shimmering on the surface of the sea.

It’s a full moon so it’s a full month since it happened – since the office party.

It wasn’t that she got too drunk, nor even that she had a grapple with the new office manager. These were not the cause of the ensuing mayhem.

It wasn’t the fact that she had felt the need to tell him about it either – her pointless need to be “honest.”

The problem, in the end, was that he hadn’t minded.

It had been like one of those trick questions you get in magazines, one where the obvious answer is a) but you suspect that you’re really supposed to answer b).

“I’ve got something to tell you,” she had said.

And when she had done so, he had replied, “Well, that’s OK. You were drunk. These things happen.” And apparently, this was answer a. This was the incorrect answer.

That night had been the first ever night of insomnia in the house – they had shared it together. But by the following sunset she had left. She was gone because, she said, he simply didn’t care enough. He was, she asserted, someone who never cared enough.

But now he wants her back. He doesn’t care about the office manager, and he doesn’t care about the crazy argument. He doesn’t even care that she twisted the whole thing round in a truly mind-fuck manner to make it all somehow his fault.

He simply can’t stand another night without her. He can’t tolerate another night, alone, staring at the moon.

So he will call her today, and he will apologise.

The decision taken, he immediately feels better.

Yes, he’s going to pretend that it’s all his fault, because ultimately, he doesn’t care about whose fault it is either. He nods at the moon, and wonders if she isn’t, somehow, right about him. And then he wonders if he cares.






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