Wishful thinking

Maui, 2019

Maui, 2019


“It’s over,” said Neil tucking his knees up under his arms.

The sun was setting, gentle colour seeping into the sea. Ruth’s heart leapt in her chest. She’d just reached for her cocktail the name of which now escaped her.

“What?” she said. “What? I’m sorry. What did you say?” Her glass almost slipped out from her fingertips. She caught it in time placing it on the small table beside her. “Did you say what I thought you did?”

“I’ve met someone else.” Neil didn’t meet Ruth’s eyes. He continued to look somewhere else from behind his sunglasses.

“I can’t…Jesus, Neil…We’re on our honeymoon.” Ruth struggled to find the words to articulate her shock. Perspiration began to trickle down her neck into the space between her breasts. She wrung her hands together. “I don’t…I don’t know what to say.” Thousands of thoughts were tumbling through her mind. She scratched at her arms. Her body had grown numb in the few minutes that her new life had changed.

She stood up her hand catching her drink in the abruptness of her movement. The glass tipped over with a clang sending the cocktail dripping onto the floor. A line of ants lost no time in making a regimented line towards the sticky liquid.

“How long have we been here?” she said.


“How long? Three days? Four? I can’t remember now when we landed. Monday. I think it was Monday.”

Ruth gathered up her things and threw them into the straw bag she’d bought at the airport.

“I’m going back to the room,” she said rubbing her hand against her forehead. She’d only had two sips of her drink. Neil turned as she wobbled, stepping through the maze of sun-beds behind them.

“I don’t know where we go from here,” she said. Her words lingered in the air in a whisper so quiet Neil couldn’t hear.

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