‘It’s a folly to believe in life,’ the old man said, ‘I’ve looked all over for it; never found it, never will. It’s always been just out of my reach.’
‘Don’t go talking like that. We’ve been married for forty years, you know.’
‘That’s my point. First it was some sort of attraction. Then came the children, eventually the mortgage. It’s all done now, I’m leaving.’
‘Don’t go? Your place is here.’
‘You can’t take care of my needs any more. I’m off. I need to be cared for, looked after. It was sheer foolishness to believe we can continue to live like we do – even madness to think things will become better. It is time.’
Surprisingly, he kisses her before leaving. It’s been years since last he’s done that and it tells the woman more than his words ever did.
After he leaves, she picks up the phone to tell the Chemotherapy Unit he’s on his way.
“I don’t suppose he’ll come home this time.”
Only then, for the first time, she allows herself the privilege of crying.