Not for all the love in the world

Title from The Thrills’ song by the same name.

“It’s stupid,” she said, “this idea, this whole thing.”

“I have to do this,” he said, “it’s my dream.”

“You’re gonna get yourself killed.”

“I’ve wanted to do this my whole life,” he said, “you knew this when we first met, it’s been years, you didn’t think I just gave up on it did you?”

“And what if I had?” she said, her voice starting to break, “I foolishly thought that since we’ve settled down, bought a house- we have kids! You’re just going to leave?”

“It’s a once in a life time opportunity,” he said.

“Stop, just stop with the one liners,” she yelled.

“What do you want me to say?”

***

When they first met she had been so in love. She fell in love with his passion, he was a dreamer and she wanted to be part of that. She wanted to take his passion and wrap it around herself like a scarf that will keep her warm at night.

She thought if he would just turn that passion to her, her life would be perfect. Looking back she could tell how that had been stupid and selfish.

She ignored her friends’ worried faces and creased brows and she married him. His passion died down, he became more subdued and they settled down. He’d talk about boats occasionally, or maybe mention someone finding a lost artefact, but she didn’t think much of it. He had chosen her, after all.

She ignored the faraway look he got in his eyes when he talked about such things. Maybe it was just nostalgia for a life he never had, but then he’d blink and it’d be gone, and everything would go back to normal.

***

He picked up his bag and walked towards the door.

“If you leave-“

“This was never going to work out,” he told her, “we’re too different.”

“I thought you changed,” she said quietly, “all those years-”

“I thought I did too,” he said, “I wanted to change, for you, so badly, but-”

She nodded. “Once in a life time opportunity,” she said, resigned, “you’re a dreamer.”

“And you’re a realist,” he told her. It wasn’t an insult, he was just stating fact.

“When you come back,” she said, “I won’t be here.”

He couldn’t say he was really surprised. He nodded instead, picked up his bag again and walked out.

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