Doing an RD, my way


So as the sun went down, he stood there on the balcony and had one last cigarette. It was time to go. The last boxes had been packed up and carried down to the car. The flat seemed suddenly so empty, as if it had been cleared out in minutes instead of a weekend. Empty of everything but memories. So many memories. Some were so heartbreakingly beautiful it made his breath catch on the smoke, and others were just… well, heartbreaking.

The flat had been home to so many of his thoughts, just as it had been the first real home of his very own as an adult. No parents, no wife, no fellow soldiers — his alone. He’d never considered Army barracks really home — just a place to sleep while doing other things. And when he’d been married, the home was really his wife’s, reflecting her personality. When he left, it wasn’t really a home he had left, it was her.

The apartment had been truly his. Chosen by him. It had seen his absolute joy and utter despair. All in less than two short years.

He drags on the Pall Mall and looks out over the wall to the neighbour’s garden, and remembers the first day he walked out onto the balcony with his girlfriend and marveled at the cool green wall of trees that divided the two properties and shaded the building. It had been a new beginning for him, a fresh chance of happiness. Every corner of the flat reminded him of her. He saw her touch on everything, her voice in every room. He remembered how happy they had been and smiled in spite of himself. But the flat was also touched by his betrayal now.

The trees were gone, ravaged by monsoon winds and cut down by frightened homeowners. Beyond the horizon of low roofs, a tall apartment complex was rising, glaring down at his balcony. His happiness had been ravaged too, season by season, by a wind more strong than the monsoons. A wind born somewhere in a history of betrayal, that he had refused to tame for too long. In the end it had consumed him. It had destroyed love and happiness and driven her away, broken and torn. His hand shook as he dragged on the smoke, fighting the need to call her and beg forgiveness. But he had done that so many times. It was his need, not hers. She didn’t need his regrets now, far too late. He stifled the urge, knowing it was just his selfishness once more.

He felt this was the closing of a chapter, one that had begun with joy and ended in tragedy. Perhaps the new chapter he was beginning would see him transformed into the man he should have been. A man he had kept locked up for years while That Bastard ran free, hurting everyone he’d ever touched. He wondered whether she’d ever know, or even care. He wished it didn’t matter to him, but he knew it did. It mattered so much to him that she know, that she care.

He stubbed out the cigarette. He knew his parents were waiting. Shelter. Comfort. Love. He needed it so badly, and they would give it to him unconditionally, just like all the women in his life had given him their love — love he’d bruised and broken with his rampage through life. He wished he’d returned that love, unlocked that door. But he hadn’t, and he feared now if it was too late, shook with a dread of never getting that chance again. He wondered whether a man got only so many chances, and no more. He hoped he was wrong.

Time to go. Time to change. Time.

He walked through the flat and down the stairs, not looking back.

10 thoughts on “Doing an RD, my way

  1. Shelter, comfort , love. Nice.
    It’s nice that through anything in our lives our parents always take us back. I do hope RD sees this too as I honestly envy the both of you. My sisters always looked after my parents whilst I chased the elusive dream; love and success. When I looked for all that you find in parents, it was too late for me, my parents were then dead. They gave me so much, and I could give none.
    I am sincerely jealous but happy for you.
    And I pray that you will soon find everything you seek. (Seriously though your name does occasionally crop up in my prayers 🙂
    My Dad was a headmaster in a school and consequently only after we had grown up, he went back to Law College and took his oaths to practice. At the tender age of 55! And even the day he died at 79, he went to his chambers and to court.
    You are still young Davy, you have lifetime before you. Maybe she will see that soon too, and do give you that chance.
    Now please do enjoy the season, and think of me at your next game of pool, the next Jameson on the rocks, the next wheel spin, and the next hard 100mph corner…
    Happy landings at home.

  2. If my opinion matters at all I always believed its never too late for anything. Things can do a 360 at any time I guess. But that works both for the better and the worse. And I think she does know.

  3. I think you mean a 180, but thanks. Hope’s really all that’s left. I too always believed that it’s never too late, but I fear that this time it is. At least for her and me.

  4. Isn’t it possible that she is hurting as much as you are? That she’s finding this as hard to deal with as you are?

  5. Moving stuff David. Change is always good. A chance to collect ones thoughts. Perhaps the answers lie in your spirit and your core beliefs on the more universal matters of life? good luck

  6. Best of luck David. You can only move on after you’ve finished mourning. It’s best to ignore all advice from well wishers too!

  7. We make mistakes and we learn from them. Time will heal our wounds eventually, but some scars will remain. Never mind them, they are just there to remind us that we are better than we were once.

    We all get chances. Make the most of this new chapter. Change can be good or bad, according to how you live. Make sure you do it right this time. It will always be better than the last.

    Lovely post and picture. Best of luck. Cheers!

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