I looked around the room, and couldn’t help but smile. Everything was absolutely perfect, and just where it needed to be. Not that I was OCD or anything like that, but everything had to be in the right place in order for me to be happy. I was just that today; happy. I honestly thought, at that moment, that nothing could burst my bubble of joy on that particular day.
Turns out that I was completely wrong about the situation. Because right then my husband walked in and sat on his usual chair, and picked up the remote I had so thoughtfully placed there. “Are you going to make me a cup of tea, love?” He asked casually, over his shoulder like always.
“Of course.” I was actually halfway to the kitchen when I just stopped dead. He had not looked at me, or even noticed how perfect the room was. There was no way that he would have noticed the flowers that I had thoughtfully placed on the windowsill. Daffodils to mark the start of spring. Would he even notice if I left him to survive on his own? Of course he would, I realised, because nobody would make him that cup of tea that he was expecting to be placed on the coaster at his side.
I heaved a sigh as I realised that the type of person that I had become was just a routine. Nothing more could be said about my life, the routine was everything. As soon as I got up in the morning, the cleaning began until everything was in it’s right place. Then along came my husband and sat in his correct place, expecting his usual drink. Meals would follow, but everything was exactly so. It was not always like this, surely?
There had been a time when we had been the giddy young couple, very much in love, and very much discovering everything that was new. Then there had been parties, spontaneous dancing, chatting, and general fun. I could not even save a certain when things had started turning into a mundane routine, but that is exactly what had happened over the years.
I walked back into the room with the cup of tea. “Did you notice the daffodils, Alan?”
He stared at me blankly for a moment, before his gaze travelled to the windowsill. “What did you can put those there for?”
“I am marking the start of spring, we should welcome in anything that is new. I have always liked the spring, I thought that you did as well.”
“I did not realise that spring had even started, seems to get earlier every year.” Alan returned his attention to the television. “It is just another season, Margaret.”
“Don’t sound so disappointed,” he commented as he took a sip of his tea. “The only good thing about it would be that we get lots of lamb to eat.” He pulled out his glasses in order to read the paper. “Speaking of, what are we going to have for dinner?”
“We are going to have chicken.”
“Nice. Now go run along because, as I’m sure you are aware, it is not going to make itself.” And just like that, I was dismissed from the room with a wave of the hand.
Standing in the kitchen, preparing the chicken, I could not help but wonder if there was more to my life than this. When I was a young girl, my dreams and never involved falling into such a routine. I had always been spontaneous, but somehow that seemed to have left my very soul. There was only a sense of loss where it had once resided.
I wanted it back; I needed to get it back.
Question was, how was I going to do that? There was only one thing to do, and it was the only solution that I could see. It was time for me to go and leave all of this behind me. Did I actually have the guts to do that? I always had in my youth, but my courage seemed to dwindle when faced with the reality of life without routine.
Maybe I could somehow get Alan to return to the kind of guy that he had been when I met him, the kind of guy that I fell in love with. Deciding to talk to him at dinner I carried on with my routine of preparation.
Dinner came and went, and if I learnt nothing else, it was that that man, that Alan, was too far gone. There was no getting him back, and I could only hope that I could somehow bring myself back from the brink. So, that night I started to pack what I thought I would need out there in the real world. I could hardly sleep because I was that excited about what was going to happen.
The next morning I went downstairs, planning to write Alan a note to explain that I had gone. There was no point in writing any reasons because I do not think that he would understand them. That, and I’m not sure that I understood them fully. I just knew that I had to go, before I got stuck. I put the note on his table, next to his chair.
I glanced at the windowsill and looked at the daffodils. They looked so lovely today, and it was almost a shame to leave them behind. I did though, it was the last piece of myself that I left at that place of residence.
I turned away, and walked towards my new life.