Originally published on Ali Isaac’s blog, but reproduced here because this morning, I feel like death.

The painting is by Gyula Derkovis

“I wish I’d never met you.”
Perhaps you said more, but I didn’t wait to hear. I fled to the door, flung it open and raced down the stairs. Didn’t grab a coat or put on a proper pair of shoes. Just ran. Outside, the street was as packed as it was every Friday evening. People hurrying home from work, people on a night out mooning along. Anonymous people. Traffic. Pushchairs and shopping trolleys getting in the way. Fury. Heartbreak.

“I wish I’d never met you.”
The words hammer inside my head like the clapper of a bell.
Ding dong ding dong.
Evening is falling. Chill. Damp. I wrap my arms tight across my chest. People had been looking at me. No coat, clapped out shoes, tear-streaked face, wild eyes. I hated them. So I ran to this bridge. Melodramatic, I know. Not that I intended to throw myself in the river. I don’t think. It just seemed the right place to brood, unburden, cast adrift.
“I wish I’d never met you.”
With my back to the crowds, face hidden behind a veil of long hair, staring into the current swollen and brown with the autumn rain, I sob. Your voice rises above the rushing of the water, the footsteps on the flagstones, the chatty, chirpy conversations of people in that moment I loathe. Your voice, sharp as a knife, slicing through the heartstrings.
Your voice.
“I wish I’d never met you.”
I turn, hair flying, cold, bitterly cold. Fury raises my hand.
“And I wish—”
You grab my wrist and you are here, in front of my face, filling my vision with those eyes I loved so well.
“I wish I’d never met you, because it hurts so much. Because you have my heart and I can’t live without a heart.”
“Liar! You never gave me anything of yours!”
“There’s an emptiness inside where it was. It’s gone. I wish I’d never met you, because if you leave me, I’ll die.”
You pull me close and kiss my hair then my forehead then my eyes. You kiss away each tear. And I know that this is not the end of the hurting. Perhaps it will never end. But perhaps it will.
“I can’t leave you, can I? And trail your ghost behind me forever? I’m glad I met you, because I love you and I can bear the pain of love.”
“Come home,” you say, “and forgive me.”
I don’t take your hand, afraid you might flinch away, interpret my gesture as possessiveness.
“I’ll come home.”
“And forgive me?”
“Forgiveness is easy,” I say. “Hating you for a lifetime would be too hard.”


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “Forgiveness”

  1. Fabulous Flash, worthy of its own page here where it belongs. Sorry you feel like death, hope its only temporary! 😁

  2. I’ll pop a few pills tonight just to make sure. I just wish I could turn my brain off at night but it carries on thinking about all the tangled mess of junk I worry about all day. That and story plots. Add the Apocalypse to tax returns and you get the general idea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s