“I just want to understand,” the man says.
Goitsemang tries hard not to sigh. She knows he won’t like that. “What’s to understand, OT? I’m a busy woman. I’m already forty-nine years old and have lived a perfectly full life alone. I like my life how it is. I don’t see any reason to change things so late in the game.”
“Do you love me?” His mouth shakes a bit at the edge. She can see he’s scared to hear the answer.
“Yes, I believe I do. But what does that really matter?”
He runs his hands through his hair in frustration.
“What does it matter? That’s all that matters.”
“No, you’re wrong there. I’m sorry, OT, I really am. I know you want this, but I don’t. I’ve never wanted to be a married woman. We can continue how we’ve been, if you want – I like spending time with you, we have a lot in common – but I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m never going to marry you. It’s just how it is.”
The man paces back and forth, his agitation increasing. “So what? Is this some more of your feminist bullshit then? Is this you making a stand for something no one gives a fuck about?”
Immediately Goitsemang sees he regrets speaking out what she suspects are his true feelings.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”
“It’s fine, I know you’re upset.”
Goitsemang’s tired. Living has become so tiring lately. Days lay upon days. Just pulling herself out of bed and getting on with it sometimes seems an insurmountable task. All she had wanted was to spend her evening investigating the minds of murderers, but here she is in the middle of another person’s drama. It all seemed far away, like it had nothing to do with her, and quite unnecessary.
She walks to her drinks cabinet and takes out two glasses and the bottle of whiskey. She’s been drinking too much lately, but tonight she isn’t going to worry about that. She sits down heavily on the sofa, setting the bottle and glasses on the sturdy wooden coffee table. She pours herself a drink and holds the bottle over the other glass, looking up at the man. He shakes his head and she sets the bottle down. She picks up her glass. She takes a deep drink and sits back on the sofa, slumped like a teenager awaiting her punishment.