June 7th, 1989
South of France
I’m here alone in the caravan, feeling sad and sorry for myself but I’ll start at the beginning.
I was still in bed when Ben came back.
“Hey sleepy head.”
“What time is it?” I asked.
“It’s just after one.”
I yawned and stretched. “In the afternoon?”
“Sorry, I’m all mixed up.”
“You mean hungover.”
“And that too I suppose but just a bit.” I sat up in bed. “What are you doing back?”
“I am done,” he stated.
“For the day?” My tone sounded hopeful.
“Yup,” he said, coming towards me.
“Fantastic.” I slid under the sheet. “What should we do?”
“You tell me,” he said, joining me.
Later this afternoon, we took the bus to Perpignan and with each passing mile I sensed a change in Ben. He was more relaxed and much more like his old self. I commented on how different he appeared and he agreed that the only way for him to really escape his work is to go far, like we did today.
Over lunch we talked about all sorts before the conversation got to “us.” We had been having such a lovely time to that point that I expected him to say we’re good and that after I leave, we’ll continue on.
I had just put a spoonful of crème brulée in my mouth when I heard him say, “I honestly don’t see any future for us.” I put the spoon down but didn’t dare look at him. His words made me feel woozy and even though I was sitting, I felt myself sway. In an attempt not to cry, I kept swallowing, trying to clear the lump in my throat but a few tears still escaped. I excused myself and in the loo, I splashed water on my face, all the while silently telling myself to keep it together.
We took the bus back and didn’t exchange a word. I went for a walk and when I came back, he was gone. If there was any way I could get a flight out of here tonight, I’d leave but I don’t even know where the closest airport is.