A Long Over-due Ending

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She was waiting for him. Dread filled him and for several minutes, he stood there watching her, wondering if it was such a good idea meeting her. Then, he determined that it was. Breaking up over the phone was cowardly. He had to tell her face to face that it was over between them. Hopefully, she wouldn’t make a scene.

“Hello, Ruth,” he said when he reached her.

“Hello, Dushan.” How she longed to hug and kiss him. “How was your Christmas?”

“It was the best I’ve ever had. What about yours?”

“It was fine. We had friends and family over. I tried calling you yesterday to wish you a Merry Christmas but I kept getting your voice mail.”

“I had my cell turned off.”

“I was hoping that you would have called me to wish me a Merry Christmas.”

“I texted you.”

“Yes, you did but hearing your voice would have been so much better.”

“Thank you for the Control Smart Mug.”

“You’re welcome. I hope you like it.”

“I do.”

“I was really tempted to buy you this really elegant Desmond & Dempsey dressing-gown I saw at Harrod’s. I stood there for ages, staring at it and I imagined you wearing it.”

“I’m glad you didn’t buy it.”

“Why are we meeting here instead of at your flat?”

“I thought it best.”

“Best for what?”

“Best for what I’m have to say to you.”

His expression was so grim that her heart sank and dread filled her. “What do you have to say to me, Dushan?” Her hands trembled slightly as she pulled them out of the pants pockets.

“Ruth, I wanted to wait until after Christmas to tell you that it’s over between us.”

The color left her face and for several minutes, she just stared at him, thinking, this can’t be happening. He can’t be standing there telling me that it’s over. “No,” she protested. “It can’t be over between us, Dushan.”

“I’m sorry, Ruth but I can’t continue seeing you. I wanted to tell you that face to face rather than over the phone.”

“You can’t do this to me, Dushan. I love you. I can’t imagine not being with you anymore. Please, don’t do this. Let’s go back to your flat and talk this out.”

“There’s nothing to talk out, Ruth. I don’t want to be with you anymore. You’re married. Go home to your husband and–“

“My marriage didn’t bother you before. Why is it a problem now?”

“Having an affair with you has always bothered me because of Evelyn yet, I didn’t end it even after she divorced me and you remarried. But, now, I’m going to. You belong with your husband, Ruth. He loves you. Go and be a faithful wife to him–“

“I don’t love him, I love you. I want to be with you. If you were to ask me to leave him and to move in with you, I would do so in a heartbeat. As long as you exist, I can’t be a faithful wife to him.”

“Ruth, I will never ask you to leave him.”

“Why are you doing this, Dushan?”

“It’s the right thing to do, Ruth. You’re a married woman.”

“Is that the only reason?”

“Isn’t it a good enough one?”

“Is there someone else? Is that why you’re dumping me now?”

“Yes, there is someone else and she’s the other reason why I’m ending my affair with you now.”

“Who is she, Dushan?”

“You don’t need to know that. My life is no longer any concern of yours. Your life is with your husband and your daughter. Go home to them. It’s over between you and me.”

“Why did we have to meet here. Why not at your flat? Were you afraid that if we met at your flat, you would change your mind and we would end up in bed?”

“No, I brought you here because I thought it would be the best place to do this.”

“You mean you brought me here so that I wouldn’t make a scene?”

“Yes.”

Her face turned beet red and her hands curled into tight fists at her sides. “Right now, I long to scratch your eyes out and slap you hard across the face and scream at the top of my lungs.”

“What good would that do?”

“This other woman, are you sleeping with her?”

“That’s none of your business.”

“Does she know that you’re a miserable, cheating bastard?”

“She knows that I’m divorced and why.”

“You’re going to cheat on her just like you cheated on your wife.”

“No, I won’t.”

“You will. Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

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“I’m sorry you think so and I’m sorry for everything else. I hope that you will see that what I’m doing now is best for everyone–“

“That’s baloney and your know it. You don’t give a damn about anyone except yourself. You don’t give a damn about me.” Tears were streaming down her face. “If you did, you wouldn’t be throwing away what we had.”

“What did we have, Ruth? What exactly are we throwing away? Eight years of an adulterous affair? Do you want to continue sneaking around and lying to your family? Well, I don’t want to be a part of any of that anymore.”

“Fine! Go and be with your new woman. I hope you both rot in Hell.” She turned and walked away.

He watched her go. It had been tough because he could see how much pain and hurt it caused her but he had to end the affair. It was the right thing to do. And he wanted to be in a relationship with Chioma.

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