Wild Orchid Rage

A droubble by TerrenceOblong

The smell of wild orchids on the table between us. Almost drowning out the smell of food.

You pick at your plate, nervously. As if this were our first date. Or our last.

You say, "I'm dying for a fag."

I say, "I know," I see it in your face. But you resist, for now.

I want to say 'I love you'. I look at you and try, but the words don't find their way out of me.

The food disappears slowly. Topics are nibbled at, not digested. My day's work. Your new shoes. Somehow we make it through the meal without choking.

You say, "I'm having an affair".

I say, "I know."

I ask, "Who is it?" though I know, and don't really care.

You say, "It doesn't matter," but tell me anyway.

The waiter brings more wine, which you glug greedily, eyes avoiding mine, concentrating on the bottom of the glass.

You say, "I'm sorry," and cry for a while.

You go outside for a fag, leaving me alone with the smell of orchids, half a bottle of wine; an empty life. I cup the orchid, fragile and beautiful, and break off its head with a sharp snap.

Published on 26/01/15