Settling Down

You should’ve waited for me.
But you never said I should.
Did I have to?
Of course not.
So you knew?
I knew.
Still you went ahead. Without me.
How long was I supposed to wait?
Forever if needs be!


Silence grabbed the feed by the scruff and made it its bitch. Heavy breathing pierced through it. Both of them avoided eye contact. Tears were well welled up on all four eyes. He looked up to the deities hovering about the sky in an attempt to invite one of them to lift him up from this miserable existence into absolute oblivion. He feared death; there’s always a possibility of a life after such. And no guarantees that the afterlife had no vestiges of life. All literature pointed to the possibility of the afterlife as a continuation of life in another dimension. As thus death would not bring him the salvation he so desired from this betrayal.


So you sat with him?
I had to sit.
With him?
My legs were weary.
You sat with him!
I wanted to sit.
With him.
You did not want to sit.
I don’t.
It was time to sit. It is time to sit. We must all sit.
But here I am standing.
I can’t.


The deities, he learnt a while ago, were only interested in praises. Not one testimony had come forth of any other point to their existence. But with teary eyes he begged them to have mercy on him. It was in vain. It is always in vain. His life had turned too real. The little missus he enjoyed a frivolous love affair with had decided to grow up, to settle down. He was left alone in paradise. What miserable torture. Now condemned to be a martyr for their dreams.


So how long do you plan on sitting?
Are you going to sit?
I am going to stand!
For how long?
As long as it takes.
For what?
To stand.
For what?
Must I get up?
You’ve already sat.
I can get up
For what?
To stand.
For what?
Is he to stand with you?
I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t matter.
Yet you sat with him.
He mattered then.
And I didn’t.
I wanted to sit.


He knew. He had no doubt whatsoever. That had she asked him to sit; he would’ve. And that he could stand forever for her. If needs be. Even if it need not be. Whatever needs be did not matter at all. All that mattered was her. And she knew. She knew! So why had she not invited him to sit? Can the deities at the very least – should they not be up to the task of reversing the tide of time with its knowledge and memories – could they at the very least explain this conundrum to him?


I didn’t want to rearrange you.
Do I look arranged?
It’s not my doing.
Of course it is!
What did I do?
You sat with him.
I sat.
With him!
He just happened to be there.
And you sat.
I wanted to sit.
With him.
To sit!
Sit then!


To find out that all his devotion was impotent in the face of reality. That he was not above some petty existential weariness on her list of priorities. That she would choose her happiness over him. That for her life was more important that their love. He knew right there and then that he was completely and utterly alone. And had been all along. Oh what a waste. What a shameful waste! There were no more words to be said. They both knew what time it was. Yet none was brazen enough to end the call. So they sat there. Starring at each other’s soggy eyes. Both their visions progressively blurring for none had the guts to wipe away the stream of tears – it would mean too much. To wipe away the tears would herald the beginning of a healing process. To heal would mean letting go of each other. They were not ready. So they let the rain fall from their eyes. Their shared self-inflicted pain is all they had left, so they held on to it for dear life.


  1. Andries Coetzee

    Awesome piece. We all need to heal but we all at some stage rather choose to inflict our souls with pain and thus start the selfdestruction towards our living death

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *