Shattered Moon

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As the second tourist season finishes, Lisette and I decide to part our ways, amicably, but definitely.

I want to try harder with Kiri. I want to give us a chance. I know he is nervous and tired, so I want us to leave Mirissa and settle a bit farther up the coast. I want the pressure to be off us for a bit. We have saved a little money, and I have my rental income from back home.

We find a sweet little house north of Weligama, a stone’s throw away from the beach. It is not far, but it is far enough to give us a fresh start.

The house is small, a square building with two bedrooms, a living-room and a tiny kitchen. At the front lies a small porch with a wooden table and two chairs. Through the house and out of the back door, to the left, there is the modern bathroom and to the right an old water tank, now empty. Scattered rubble is piled near the bathroom, remnants of building work. The garden runs all around the house, wider on the left, where we have four very tall coconut trees and an assortment of flowering bushes. To the right and back of the house, there is only a small slip of garden and, beyond our fence, the jungle with banana trees loaded with fruit. A small slip road leads to us from the main road. We are the last house to the left, across the front of our little house, the bamboo fence shields us from our neighbours.

At night there are no street lamps, only our porch light and the stars illuminate the place.

We decide to take a couple of weeks off before settling down to our new life and travel a bit toward the North and East of the island. Neither of us has ventured there yet. His bad moods are constantly ruining my days, but the violence has decreased. It is a testing time, but he is keeping his worst side under control. It’s not great, but it’s better. Maybe I was right, we can get better, we can make it. I can save us.

When we get back to our new home, the ups and downs are my constant companions, but we have projects, we have a new place to call our own and to make ours, we have a future to organise. We have more time for ourselves and less pressure and demands from work, or anybody else.

When he starts going in search of job opportunities, I miss him, but I’m happy for him. His unaccounted time is not bothering me. I trust him, and I don’t want to think the worst. But after yet another evening when his I’m on my way turns out to be a two-hour wait, I feel it’s time to let him know this is not okay. How can a half an hour trip take more than two hours? I don’t really mind where he has been or with whom, I just don’t like being left waiting like an idiot, that’s all. Of course, I know the confrontation will probably ignite a fire, which will explode in my face, but I want to believe we are in a better place now, where we can talk.

A half-baked explanation and a plate of food thrown at me later, I just sit outside crying to myself and asking the moon what on earth I’m still doing here. But I know the moon won’t answer. I need to answer myself. Why am I here, if I’m always so miserable? I want to be happy, yet I just feel like crying every day. I need more, I want more, I deserve more!

His contempt is written all over his face. There is no dark fire in his eyes tonight, just scorn. No love, no hate. Not enough for me to just let go. I don’t have the strength to leave just yet. I walk to the beach alone. It’s late, and the roar of the ocean is deafening. Tears keep streaming down my face. I feel so inconsolably sad. I feel so hopelessly trapped. I’m so lonely. I look at the moon again and shout at the top of my lungs: I need help to get out of this, I can’t do it on my own. Help me, please!

When I walk back, he is fast asleep on the sofa. I look at him, and I know what tomorrow morning will be like. I have heard it all before, so many times.

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