When we cast you aside in our callous manner and leave you despairing and devastated in the dirt, the smouldering ruins of the fabricated world now laid bare and razed to the ground, all around you, you will spend many hours dissecting, analysing and reviewing what has happened. The questions that form as a consequence of our magnificent seduction, our brutal abuse and our reckless discard come thick, fast and often. Did he love me? How could he have treated me this way? How did the happiness turn so sour and so quickly? Is he with someone else? How will he treat her? What if she makes him happy? How could he treat me like this after everything that I have done? How does he sleep at night? How can he look at himself in the mirror? Has he done this to other people? Maybe his ex-wife was right about him and tried to warn me? Did I do something wrong? Did I bring it on myself? What if I had tried harder to please him? Why did he not say he was unhappy with me, I would have done something about it? Why won’t he speak to me? Will I ever see him again? What have I done to deserve this? Was he ever happy? Why was he so angry? Surely he meant some of it?
This last question is the refuge of the deluded. A place where you attempt to gain some solace and relief from the wounds that you still bear after becoming entangled with us. You look to any shred that may give you some comfort from the hurt, some piece of the jigsaw that will make everything click into place and some consolation that he really did love something about you and he showed that to you. You might seize upon all those times you and I attended those classical music concerts, when we sat holding hands and listen to the philharmonic orchestra as they played Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scherezade. You remember looking across and smiling at how content I looked. I certainly seemed to be enjoying the performance and indeed I spoke about it in glowing terms in the bar afterwards. I may have enjoyed the performance and appreciated the skill and dedication of the musicians but I enjoyed more making you think that this was something I really enjoyed so that you poured admiration and positive fuel my way.
How about the excitement I exhibited when you organised for us to attend a wine tasting course led by that television personality? That must have been true appreciation of what you had organised for me. I appreciated how you had committed such a loving gesture and fuelled me as I became excited at the prospect of showing off in front of the other attendees about my knowledge of wine and outshining the personality. That is what motivated me.
You look back through the love letters, the elegant copper plate handwriting which conveyed such deep and heartfelt emotions. The words were so moving and now as you re-read them the tears form in your eyes as the memory of hearing me reading to them cuts through you. Surely I must have meant those words, they are so passionate and meaningful. I meant those words as a way to gain more fuel from you, to make you want me all the more and your tearful appreciation made me feel powerful and fuelled as I read to you.
You recall your favourite restaurant and the numerous times that I took you there. Surely I enjoyed that? I always complimented the chef and on several times I booked it as a surprise. I found the food mediocre but your reaction to knowing that you were going there and your gushing appreciation when we dined at this restaurant meant that enduring the bland cuisine and irritating maitre’d was entirely worth it.
How about then the times we danced cheek to cheek to Sade or Dido. You felt so close to me then and hadn’t I said that I felt as if time had stood still and the rest of the world had melted away. Surely I must have meant that? Not so, I hated those artists and I wiled away the tedious minutes drinking in your fuel and plotting my further machinations.
There are occasions when we do certain things for you, or behave in a certain way, or do things with you which may coincide with things that we like. I will admit that, but to say that we loved them and to say that we loved them because of you is erroneous. What we loved more than anything was the fuel that you provided to us as a consequence of your reaction to dining at that restaurant, or dancing cheek to cheek or attending the basketball together. The outings with friends, the gardening together, the sex, the holding hands, the playing of computer games, the films, the television shows and on and on, all of it was love because of the fuel you gave when we did those things together and you deemed them to be special. It was the fuel. You may delude yourself and feel free to do so, it will just make hoovering you at a later stage easier. Convince yourself some of it was real. Convince yourself that some of it was worthwhile and not wasted. That is your choice and one which makes you all the more susceptible to me sinking my teeth into you again and drawing yet more fuel from you. So, when you ask yourself yet again that surely he meant some of it when I did as I did and said as I said, you know the answer is that the only thing I meant was that I loved the fuel you gave me.