I wish I knew how to behave.
If Mr Frog had shouted, or cried, or lost his temper, stormed out and slammed the door behind him, I would have known how to react to that. I expected fireworks and melodrama. I felt I deserved them, somehow. Here was I, stammering in a low, guilt-ridden voice that I had finally found the strength to walk away from this relationship which was not what I wanted any more. Where, in my opinion, it was plain to see that we were both deeply unhappy. Here was I confessing that I hadn’t come to take this decision without any outside help: there was another person involved. It’s not that I wanted to inflict pain. Far from it. But some kind of reaction would have been nice.
Not a moan or a whimper on my account. There was genuine anguish as he grappled with the idea of having to live apart from our daughter, and possibly see her less often. There were demands for reassurance that his role as daddy would never be challenged. This was the outcome I had told myself I expected, that I had hoped for, as I rehearsed my lines earlier that evening, but I found the total absence of any emotional response in relation to me galling nonetheless.
“What about me?” I wanted to yell. “You’re losing me too. Me! Do I really leave you completely indifferent?”
I suppose we have both known for a long time that we were now together by default, even if we rarely dared to admit or acknowledge it, even to ourselves. For the sake of our Tadpole. Out of inertia. Or fear of change and upheaval. So where the jagged emotions should have been, there was now just a gaping void.
Part of me feels cheated. After working myself up to this finale over a week of sleepless nights and adrenaline-fuelled days, it was a resounding anti-climax. I wanted to be wept over bitterly or gallantly fought for. Mourned, or regretted just a little.
So that I felt like I was someone worth having in the first place.