The closest we came to forever was the moment in which we gave up. Our breaths held and never really returned. The moment drew out to seconds, to hours, to more. Your eyes dimmed like exhausted candles. Mine were already black.
The closest we came to forgiveness was that moment we met at the wake. Dressed in black from head to toe, I barely recognised you. I said Hello and you almost said it back.
The closest we came to something was that moment when we both said, I do. I remember how it felt, not how it sounded, as those three tiny letters sunk beneath my skin and slipped off your well-oiled own.
The closest we came was closer than most but never close enough for me.
There was something unsavoury about her smile, an unavoidable diagnosis of disgust. Whilst she revelled in self-centred superiority, the world might’ve burned. The others played on.
She felt wrong. The whole thing felt wrong. As if having swallowed a live worm when expecting a jellied one, she wriggled within. I’d have wretched, but she was watching.
She’d done nothing other than sit there politely minding her own business. I hadn’t sought her, nor looked upon her by any other reason than an accident. She happened upon me. This was the simple truth.
Evasion proved the smarter side of valour. I slipped away to another table like a furtive rat, eager for some space and a place to breathe. She followed. Why the hell had I chosen this casino?
She sat and asked the time. I made a point of looking at her watch, but she ignored it. I gave her the correct hour but added twenty minutes. She laughed a crescendo.
I woke to an empty bed and an emptier wallet. She was long gone. I wasn’t annoyed, though. I blamed myself. She enjoyed her games, always had. I savoured them, too, once, but less so after we married.