Tatter Jack - books
It’s quiet now. I don’t know why I like to watch you, afterwards. To watch you sleeping. But I do. And this is after, and before was what it always is – a wonder and, somehow, a delightful terror. A great breaking wave, and you make me into the whole sky and a single flying leaf at the same time. But that was then, and this is now.
And now? Now it’s quiet, and I watch you sleep.
And I watch you, and I watch, and I’m aching and I’m sore, and every muscle is stretched beyond stretching – but then it happens. That sound. And I’m wet. Not just wet, but soaking and dripping. That one sound, and it’s done.
Do you remember? The Day we Didn’t?
You weren’t expecting me. I’d gone, and it didn’t matter what I’d said, we both knew I was never coming back. And I wasn’t. Because I was smart, and it was the right thing to do. To never see you again, and spend every night crying, wishing I could look in your eyes one more time. It was better to leave you, than not to – and have you leave me. But there’s smart, and there’s right – and then there are times when things are neither, but they have to be done anyway. But even then, well, they have to be right – even when they could easily be so very wrong. But right or wrong, this thing had to be done if – well, if anything. And the man on the radio, he said today was it.
So I got in my car, and I drove. Waylan wasn’t expecting me either, but it didn’t seem to bother him. He looked up at the sky, and he looked at me, and he pursed his lips – and he nodded. Like he knew, though there wasn’t any way he could. Then he plunged the horseshoe he’d just finished into the water vat. He tidied up the forge, the way he always did, and we got in his Land Rover. I told him I wanted to walk the last stretch, through the pass and into the glen. Waylan looked up at the sky, and he looked at what I was wearing. He just shrugged, and pulled up. So I got out. When he’d driven off, I took off my heels and I started walking. Somehow I knew it had to be this way – barefoot. Just me, the sky and the heather. I walked, and the wind was already starting to blow. It should have been cold, but it wasn’t. It should have been crazy – but it wasn’t that either. And my feet took me through the pass, until I could see the cottage below. And my feet took me down into the glen. And I was there. There, facing a door much more than the weathered oak in front of me. A door more scary than one into you, or into me – or even into us. A door I could still knock on – or walk away from.
So I did it. I knocked…