This is a realistic love story.
An unapologetic, sensible, no-nonsense, realistic love story.
I’ve seen it happen, you have too,
It is unavoidably common.
It started at a party when they were young,
An alcohol-infused, sweaty room, sprawling with teenagers,
Too young to think of consequences, yet too old to be confident,
That is where she kissed him first.
She remembered the taste of the cheap Tescos vodka in his mouth
And the stale scent of cigarette smoke wafting from his hair,
A quick kiss outside of a shed.
And then school came on Monday and they saw each other in class,
And again in the hallway,
And again in the lunch hall,
And once again back in class when he asked if she wanted to go down to Oscar’s this Saturday,
With the promise of a great time and free drink.
She didn’t like him but she said yes anyway, thinking of what other boys there will be there –
And then they were more than a kiss. They were a relationship of sorts.
She didn’t like him.
She said yes when he asked her because she looked into his eyes and saw his fascination in her and…
She couldn’t let him down.
Despite the fact that she never knew what to say to him,
Despite the fact that she never liked him,
Despite the fact that she had been texting that guy from that coffee shop,
She still said yes.
Eight years later, pregnant,
Swollen and aching, unhappy, unmotivated,
She squeezed out two children to keep his parents happy.
She didn’t like him.
But there was no use now,
It was too far gone, she was trapped in this
Divorce? Don’t even think about it! She’s too exhausted.
Plus she’s got a family now, its…
That’s what she is, tired.
Tired, tired, tired
Of having to read bed time stories every night and cook meals for everyone and
Listen to his stories of his boss at work critiquing his presentation,
Having to force a smile all the time, because, well,
Has a real one ever existed?
A mirror. A reflection.
A face staring back at her,
Thin, wrinkled, old. Skin hanging loose off her
Bony face and bags under her eyes, swooping low,
Hanging around her breasts –
Her rib cage poking through the flabby skin, stretched
From child birth and sagging with age.
And as she walked, two stilts for legs no larger than the width of my wrist
Would stagger around the house, about to snap, unable to carry
But it’s silly, really, to ever think that there is a way out of this.
If she had never met him when she was seventeen, perhaps she would
Find herself living her teenage dreams of running a hotel
In her hometown, small and quaint with pink walls and
A lobby smelling of that smell you get when you cross
A winter’s day spent inside around a fire wrapped in blankets
And a summer’s day in the garden, half naked and tanned,
And a friendly concierge who smiles and doesn’t ask too many questions.
But that is just a silly dream, a young fantasy.
If she had not had met him she would have just met another version of him.
Stuck in a loop.
After all, I told you this was a realistic love story.