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Rated: ASR · Other · Relationship · #2024578
Early unfinished draft (VERY ROUGH) about the ending of a relationship
The wind swept across the synthetic covering of the tent and woke Rose with a start. The echo sounded bleak across the button grass, and she had realized that Sam was no longer sleeping next to her.  Adjusting her thick, woolen socks, she was reminded of her aching feet and the steep climb that had brought her here. It was the top of the peak, and she was ready, but not yet willing to go down the other side. That, and well and truly sick of the flatness here, even if the view was vast.

Sam stood by the fire, listlessly staring at its flickering light as he curved his thin frame against the wind, sipping his tea, now grainy with dirt.  “This is a despondent place”, he thought. But it’s where she wanted to go. Hearing the zip of the tent, he braced himself for Rose. What mood would she have for him this morning? As she emerged, the wind blew lightweight strands of dark, wavy hair across her bright blue eyes, and he could not discern her intention.

Rose felt compelled to avoid his gaze, walking past her ready prepared breakfast and towards the rocky outcrop that would allow her to view the way back down. She could feel herself watched, the pressure of his gaze, his expectation. She had walked out this way looking for freedom. To be emptied of crushing responsibility and house chores, the tyranny of dishes and laundry. And yet she seemed to feel the burden packed in her hiking bag, and stored in the hard drive of her camera.  Sam left a cooling cup of tea by her side and walked away, silently. Grey clouds closed in and created a claustrophobic blanket on the region. The now more violent wind, picked up and scattered leaves and sticks, but really had little effect, for all its energy.

“It hadn’t always been like this”, she thought. Her mind was immediately cast back to the summer in the east, maybe 2 years ago. It was hard to tell exactly when, now. They holidayed there every Christmas, camping on the beach with her family, drinking and laughing around the fire. The memories of it now blended into one hazy sun drenched episode. It could have been a story, starring someone else –she didn’t feel so connected to the memory anymore. But she did remember.  They were younger then. All he had wanted was her- or at least that’s what she thought.  Back then, he had been thrilled by her passionate temper, her spontaneity.  She was the cool girl. The years ahead were just a foggy outline then- possibility still existed at their centre.

Sam too, thought of the stark contrast through the years; those beach holidays, the heat. It intensified everything. This time two years ago, they’d be laying at the top of a sand dune. Chrystal clear jade coloured water would crash against white sand and he’d have nothing on his mind. Rose, athletic limbs, all browned and freckled from the unrelenting sun, would walk forthright into the waves. Always fearlessly riding them in on her body board, letting the motion carry her back towards the beach. Grinning and in her element. He had hundreds of photos like this. Rose emerging from the sea, glistening, her hair would be wild and curly from the humidity and salt spray. She would be waving madly for him to join her in the crashing surf. But still, he minded the bags and took photos for posterity. She bugged him about it while he was there, in her funny teasing way. But she always loved the photos, and a safe place to entrust her precious items to.

The sun was high in the sky by the time she was walking back to the fire. Sam was flicking through a book, as he often did when she was off doing things he didn’t approve of. As she threw her bones down petulantly on the camp chair beside him, she wondered irritably “ is it too early for a beer?” Sam raised an eyebrow and smirked at her, as though he could read her mind. Truth be told, he almost could. Accordingly, he hadn't packed any alcohol. Rose liked a drink- for every photo of her conquering a mountain or riding the waves- there were probably three of her falling out of an upturned shopping trolley with a can in hand. That or waving her arms wildly at the camera amongst a group of women in short dresses- most of whom had now outgrown the nightclubs Rose was always complaining that she wanted to attend.

“Good morning, Rose” Sam said, still smiling in that all knowing way she’d once found endearing.  She raised an eyebrow doubtfully and replied “the weather has turned to shit”.  Sam screwed his nose up at her, but said nothing.  She immediately regretted being so childish, after all, hadn't she agreed to this? One last shot. The argument though, seemed so final. It seemed cruel to keep dragging the lifeless relationship around. She had told him this is what she wanted. She knew he would give her this. Give her anything. She also knew it wouldn't work.

Sam knew, as he packed the last of the breakfast dishes into his pack and brushed a broad hand over his wind chapped lips, that this was pity. She was only here to do her penance, to say she tried. Even though this walk, this death march of their relationship, was never going to lead them back to where they came from.  He saw how she looked at him, like he was a beaten dog, angling for a pat and frightened all at once. It was true she’d hurt him, during that showdown that started this all. She had bitterly sneered that their life, her life and him were disappointments all. “You’re so fucking conventional”  She had spat at him that night, as he silently swept up the shards of wine glass, now lying in a small mound near where she had thrown it against the wall.  He couldn’t look at her. He knew she was just trying to hurt him. She knew it too, as she knelt on the floor to stabilise herself. “We could get away, you know. Like we used to”, Sam replied quietly. It was almost as though he didn’t want her to hear him.  The next morning, though groggy with a headache, she agreed. One more adventure. They’d go bush. No distractions, no aggravations just each other. There must be something still there, some of that old longing. She knew he loved her, but a version of her that wasn’t real. The version of her he wanted, it was a potential she’d never actually lived up to, and no longer cared about.

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