BEWARE THE DUCKS
The lake shimmers as light fades from day. In those last few moments before sunset, with the mountains standing immobile in the distance, the sky takes on a heavenly sheen of light gray. Colors fade, even the bright lively coats of the ducks swimming on the water. This sight inspires me, always has, always will. Looking out there, into the peaceful nothing of this gray sky makes my soul shiver with delight. I feel part of something, although I can't tell you exactly what I think is out there. I come here often, for the quiet, for the beauty, for the very fact that he can't reach me here, which is why I'm here today. That day with him, that ... regrettable incident remains too fresh in my mind to smile and feel at home with nature. I'm sure it will get better once he can let go of us. If only he would move on with his life.
I'm getting ahead of myself. It’s hard to dredge all of that up again when I simply wish to forget, need to forget. That isn't possible, so I guess I should tell it right.
I did break his heart, as you might have heard him say, as he has been saying all over town. I couldn't live the lie anymore. The fire went out a while ago, long dead and extinguished. He couldn't accept it and doesn't mention the fact that I refused to answer him with I love you for the last three months. He never accepted it. I told him straight and without warning that I didn't love him anymore. I also told him that I wouldn't so much as answer one letter or one phone call. Yes, I told him that I wanted the break to be complete. Is there anyone who can tell me that it is better to let it linger? It's better to crush the heart in one blow. A sharp blade makes a cleaner cut.
All of that happened last Sunday. He whimpered away, destroyed. I thought that would be the last of the matter, but no, it was not the end. He called me twice Monday, again on Tuesday, and four times just yesterday. The reason I'm beside this lake instead of eating my dinner is to avoid the calls. I hope he doesn't decide to come to my house. I hope he can let go and let time answer his questions.
I bet you think I'm cruel and you may say I shouldn't have told him I thought it better if we weren't friends. I know. I can hear your objections, but they are meaningless. You don't know him. He wouldn't have accepted friendship. It's better this way. You must believe me when I say that I did this for both of us.
Look at the ducks. I think they are beautiful, majestic. One of them is walking right at me. I can see the glossy eyes at this distance, some twenty feet. I can now see a small black mole on the side of its head. And doesn't that beat all; the imprudent animal just plopped itself in front of me. Can you beat that? Here come a few more. This is really something.
I can't say I don't feel something for him, but I can't let concern for him get in the way. I can't be with someone that doesn't do it for me, if you know my meaning. I want magic, I want romance, and I want to be swept away on waves of passion. He always treated me well and all, but does that make a difference? No, you can't make yourself love someone, not even if your family, friends, and all the gods both real and fake pressure you to love that person.
Hey. Get the hell away. Holy shit. There must be fifty ducks, all around, and I think they are looking at me. This one, the one with the mole just pecked me on the ankle. I can see blood, oh my.
The call yesterday was the worst. He cried, wailed and blubbered pathetic. He kept asking me all these questions.
"How could you do this to me?"
"How can you look yourself in the mirror?"
"How can you sleep at night?"
He sobbed on and on. He told me over and over we were meant to be together and that I was throwing something special into a trash bin, leaving it to die. He begged me not to leave him.
I hung up on him. I couldn't listen to any more of his breakdown and that is exactly what happened. I could hear him coming apart, right on the phone. But I can't and won't take on his baggage. There is nothing more I can do for him.
Ow! That one hurt. That little bastard just pecked my thigh. More blood. I think it may be time to get out of here.
Hey, leave me alone. No, get away from me. Don't peck me there! Help! This can't be happening. I must be dreaming. Oh, my, I must get up. I must run. I must... Oh, my God
CLOUDY DAYS, STILL NIGHTS
LOVE AND QUARTERS