Vse najboljše za smrtni dan

Sonia Kilvington

Tip na kontroli potnih listov je zadržal zehanje, njegova dlan je komaj prekrila ohlapno čeljust in ozke ustnice. Bilo je pol treh zjutraj, nočni šiht: njegova pozornost bi morala biti na najnižji točki. Računal sem na to in časa svojega leta nazaj v Slovenijo nisem izbral po naključju. Ne po petih letih izgnanstva v turško-ciprskem gorovju.

Utrujeni uradnik je previdno preletel mojo sliko, potem pa še moj obraz. Skušal sem prikriti nelagodnje: potni list tehnično ni bil moj – čeprav me je stal pravo premoženje.

“Namen vašega obiska?” je vprašal.

Pravi?

S krvjo prepojeno prizorišče mi je šlo skozi glavo in me sunilo iz cone udobja: ostani miren, ohrani vse pod nadzorom, pripravil si se na to.

“Obisk … Prijateljev za praznovanje,” sem se zlagal v svojem starem slovenskem narečju.

Prisiljen sem bil pustiti svojo domovino za sabo, a želja po maščevanju in, če sem iskren, moja čustva do Cilke mi niso pustila, da bi za vselej ostal zunaj Slovenije. Ko sem zapustil letališče in se namenil v mesto, sem lahko začutil, kako je začela stara bolečina vreti v meni. A v resnici je bila vedno tu, besnela je pod površino. Žgala je po žilah.

Na prvi pogled se ni veliko spremenilo, medtem ko sem bil v izgnanstvu. Kraj je bil še vedno videti enak. Slovenska Bistrica je bila moj domači kraj, mesto, v katerem sem se počutil pomirjenega. Ko sem se vračal v svoja stara zbirališča, sem želel presenetiti Harisa, bivšega prijatelja in poslovnega partnerja. Bil je človek razvad, ki so ponavadi vključevale velike količine viskija, zato ga ne bo težko najti.

Po petih minutah iskanja sem ga našel na njegovem običajnem napajališču. Sedel je nestabilno na visokem barskem stolu, njegova orjaška rit se je razlivala čez robove. Težko verjameš, da je bil nekoč v šoli športnik in priljubljen pri dekletih. V tistih časih je bil nekaj posebnega s svojo mladostno postavo in starim družinskim šarmom. Uspelo mu je celo, da si je privočil malo prepovedane zabave s par poročenimi ženskami v mestu. Dokler ga ni odkril pobesneli soprog, ki je zaključil njegovo športno kariero, še preden se je dobro začela.

Na Harisovo srečo je njegov stric imel v lasti zanemarjen hotel na obrobju mesta, ki mu ga je prijazno odstopil kot projekt, ki naj bi mu pomagal, da bi se izogibal težavam: če pogledamo nazaj, to morda ni bila tako dobra ideja. Na rit me je vrglo, ko sem ga zagledal za šankom s štiridnevnimi kocinami in neoprano srajco: zdi se,da neomejen dostop do alkohola konec kocev ni bilo tako prijazno darilo za Harisa.

Odločil sem se, da ne bom prehiteval, da ga ob pogledu name ne zagrabi panika. Po incidentu na Cilkinem rojstnem dnevu, pa čeprav je minilo nekaj časa, bi lahko bili nekateri ljudje previdni ob moji prisotnosti in nisem ga hotel prestrašiti.

* * *

“Dva viskija in to ne kakšnega sranja!” Natakarica je privzdignila narisano obrv.

“Ne pred deseto …”

S pogledom se je sprehodil po baru, bilo je že tri do desetih in večina s pivom prepojenih rednih gostov je že dobilo svoje. Pozabil sem, da ne smem pričakovati prijaznejše dobrodošlice kot tujec v mestu.

“Tukaj ne strežemo sranja,” je rekla in treščila dva kozarca na šank točno ob desetih dopoldne.

“Bi podala enega mojemu prijatelju tamle?”

Pogledala me je rahločutno, kot bi potegnil ven pištolo in zahteval njene prihranke, a po pogledu na njeno obleko, ki se je borila, da bi prekrila njen bujni dekolte, in izgubila, sem dvomil, da je vredno.

“To je bar, ne pa postrežna restavracija,” je rekla in pokazala na zbledeli znak, ki se je luščil z zidu, na njem je pisalo “Ne strežemo”.

Masivno oprsje in odlična znanja o skrbi za stranke – v minuti mi je postala bolj zanimiva …

Mikalo me je, da bi poudaril, da tip sedi na drugem koncu šanka, in izrazil dvom, da bi premik enega kozarca pomeni resno kršitev pravil njene zaposlitve. A zaradi jedkega pogleda, ki mi ga je namenila, sem se odločil, da to morda ne bi bila najmodrejša poteza. Namesto tega sem potegnil ven bankovec za dvajset evrov in jo vprašal, ali bi bila tako prijazna. Prizor vseh čedno nagrmadenih bankovcev, ki so objestno nabrekali v moji denarnici so povzročili blago spremembo v njenem srcu.

“Okej,” je rekla, si stlačila bankovec v to svoje sočno oprsje, ki ga z veseljem intimneje preiskal, če se ne bi zdela prijazna kot gad na tripu.

Ko je končno predenj prispel njegov dobri viski, je Haris pokukal v mojo smer.

“Naj me vrag, mislil sem, da si mrtev!” je rekel, njegov podpradek se je stresel.

“Mislil ali upal?” sem vprašal, da bi dodal malo humorja – brez uspeha.

“Sto let je minilo. Kje si bil, pizda?”

“Naokoli. Saj veš?”

“Seveda,” je rekel.

Zarežal sem se, kot da bi stavil denar, da nima jajc, da bi kdaj zapustil mesto. Ostal sem miren, čeprav me je žrlo od pričakovanja, medtem ko me je polnil z nesmiselnimi malomeščanskimi smeti, ki so se zgodile med mojo odsotnostjo.

Kot da bi me to zanimalo, ko pa sem imel samo eno temo v glavi.

Odložil sem čas in skrbel za dotok viskija, dokler ni bil dovolj naklan, da preidem k bistvu tega otročjega razgovora.

“Je Cilka naokoli?” Vzdrževal sem nivo glasu, kot sem bil vadil. A moral sem zadeti napačen ton, saj se je Haris skoraj zadrgnil na pijači, njegova ohlapna usta so poskropila vsebino po njegovi srajci, njegov obraz je postal vijoličast.

“Je ne moreš pustiti pri miru?”

“Kot si jo ti?”

Gledal sem ga, kako se je zvijal, ko je skušal spraviti svojo debelo rit z barskega stola.

“Kje je?”

“Ne vem.”

Haris ni bil nikdar prepričljiv lažnivec. A pričakoval sem nekolikanj tehtnejši premislek od tega. Zgrabil sem njegovo umazano srajco in mu porinil pištolo v vamp.

“Okej, okej – v hotelu je. Nobene potrebe ni, da …” A je že porabil svoj zadnji vdih.

Njegovo krvaveče truplo je naredilo peklensko razdejanje. Iz izkušnje sem vedel, da bo treba vložiti precejšen trud, da se bo to počistilo. Čas je, da si Miss Oprsje zasluži napitnino – brez nič ni nič v tem življenju. Nasmehnil sem se samemu sebi zaradi te ironije.

V tem življenju sam investiraš v svojo karmo.

Glede na hitrost stvari v tem mestu mi je preostalo vsaj pol ure, morda še več, preden me bo kdor koli dohitel. Obilje časa za to, kar sem imel v mislih.

* * *

Nadnaravno je bilo znova videti hotel. V moji glavi je kraj ostal povsem enak: mavzolej za moje spomine. A ko sem videl, kako se je spremenil, me je vrglo. Bil je zanemarjen kup dreka, preden sva ga s Harisom renovirala. Uredila sva vodovod in električno napeljavo, za odličnost pa dodala mini kazino in oder s plesnim drogom.

Ko sem bil vodja, hotel ni bil dosti več kot par nemarnih sob za goste. Kljub vsemu trdemu delu se je iz neznanih razlogov prenovljeni hotel pokazal kot neuspel poskus, da bi turiste odvrnili od Blejskega jezera. Čeprav je res, da je bil kazino majhen, razlog je bil omejen proračun, ki nama ga je nameni Harisov stric Grega. V glavnem je šlo za avtomate s par zdelanimi mizami za karte v ozadju.

Harisova brihtna ideja je bila, da sta najela “artistke”. Par plesalk na drogu, ki so pobegnile neuravnovešenemu dilerju iz Ljubljane. Da bi se zapletel v romanco, je bila zadnja stvar, a v trenutku, ko sem zagledal Cilko, sem vedel, da jo moram imeti. In tako sem se trudil, da bi jo osrečil. Dal sem ji vse, kar je želela. Vse droge, ki jih lahko kupiš z denarjem. Resnično sem verjel, da se bo izšlo. Nisem si mogel predstavljati, zakaj se ne bi. A zdi se, da bolj kot sem se trudil, bolj se je upirala.

Do noči, ko je imela rojstni dan. Ko je vse šlo zares narobe. Pozabil sem ji kupiti darilo in prepir je ušel izpod nadzora. Priznam, v glavnem sem bil kriv jaz. Tokrat sem jo premočno udaril in rekla je, da je konec. Kar tako. A nisem bil neumen, vedel sem, da to ni celotna zgodba: še nekdo je moral biti.

Bil sem uničen.

Resno. Nisem pretirano čustven: nikoli nisem bil, ampak misel, da Cilka pleše na drogu drugega tipa. Tega nisem mogel prenesti. Rotil sem jo, naj mi pove, kdo je, a ni hotela, zlomila mi je srce: zato sem prisegel, da jo bom zlomil …

Bes se je prežgal skozme kot nevihta. Pamet se mi je stopila. Nisem se mogel zbrati. Bil sem zmeden. Sumničil sem vsakogar, še posebej tistega tipa z brado, ki se je vedno slinil nad njeno točko. Prisegala je na svoje življenje, da ni bil on, a sem ga vseeno ustrelil …

To je bila neumnost. Odreagiral sem, preden sem si dal priložnost, da bi dobro premislil. Jasno mi je bilo, da sem popolnoma uničil njen rojstni dan in da bi ji moral prinesti primerno darilo in malo premisliti ta večer.

Pravzaprav ne. Morda pa malenkost preveč obžalujem tukaj? Kot bi rekla moja mati, bog ji daj večni mir: za pošten pretep sta potrebna dva. Mogoče bi moral samo ustreliti prasico, tako bi si prihraniv ves stres zaradi skrbi, s kom je še porivala. Res ne vem. Pogled nazaj ubija, ampak moraš biti realen. Tako ali tako sem zamudil priložnost za zadovoljivejši izid: zato sem rekel Dosti je, pospravil pištolo in zapustil mesto.

* * *

Malo me je sram priznati, ampak roka se mi je tresla, ko sem vstopil v kazino, hladna kovina v mojem žepu ni učinkovala pomirjajoče. Prostor je bil čist v trenutku.

Bil sem šokiran, ko sem videl, kako drugačna je notranjost hotela, od tiste v mojem spominu. Novi vodja je moral razširiti dejavnost, odkar sem odšel. Igralne mize so bile videti nove in so imele fensi nove rulete. Razporeditev pa je bila še zmeraj enaka, s pisarno vodje v ozadju.

No, lahko me jebeš, če ni bilo Cilkino ime na vratih pisarne! Haris jo je moral povišati v vodjo med mojo odsotnostjo. Vedel sem, da jo je ves čas porival, a tega nisem pričakoval! Moram priznati, da je kljub izdaji treba pohvaliti njeneo ambicioznost.

Ko sem odprl vrata, so se mi zašibila kolena. Težko bi ženski pripisal, da me bo zredicirala na to.

Vstopil sem tiho, v upanju, da je novica o moji vrnitvi še ni dosegla. Najbrž je ni, saj se ni takoj obrnila.

Hecno, ampak komaj sem verjel, da je resnična. Od zadaj je bila videti praktično enaka, s pobeljenimi lasmi, ki so ji zapeljivo viseli prek ramen. Čeprav sem, ko se je obrnila, opazil, da je čas zahteval svoj davek. Koža na njenem obrazu je bila manj napeta. Manj vabljiva. In zaradi ostrih črt okoli ust je bil njen izraz precej robatejši kot prej. Za trenutek sem se vprašal, če ni bila napaka, da sem se vrnil.

Dokler ni izgovorila mojega imena: njen opojni glas se mi je prežgal skozi možgane.

Ko je šlo za Cilko, mi ni nikdar bilo jasno, kaj se dogaja z mano. Težko bi rekel, ali me v to stanje potisne to, kakšna je videti, ali način, kako fuka.

Dvignila se je s stola in se smehljala, ko so se njeni prsti dotaknili mojega obraza.

“Si prišel na moj rojstni dan, ljubček?”

“Vrnil sem se, da popravim, Cilka,” sem rekel in izvlekel pištolo iz žepa.

“Sem mislila … Se pravi, da mi še vedno ne verjameš … Celo po vsem tem času?”

“Pet let sem imel, da sem ugotovil, Cilka.” Skušal sem ostati miren. Obljubil sem si, da bom, a čutil sem, kako mi iz drobovja vre surov bes. “Haris je bil, ne?” Stiskal sem pesti, pripravljen, da udarim. Morda bi bilo to bolj zadovoljujoče kot uporabiti pištolo?

Zagledal sem paniko, ostro kot nož, lesketala se je v njenih očeh. “Ne reci, da si …?”

“Vem, da je bil on. Zdaj mi lahko nehaš lagati!”

“Nikdar ti nisem lagala Rok – ampak nisi hotel slišati resnice!” Vpila je name. Kot da bo to kar koli spremenilo.

“Resnica! Ti. Si. Porivala. Drugega.” S pestjo sem udaril po mizi. Hrup me je prestrašil, saj nisem hotel tega.

“Nisem ti bila nezvesta, Rok! Ampak mrcvaril si me vsak dan in bila sem izmučena, ker sem se vedno morala braniti. Izčrpal si me. Tega nisem več mogla prenašati – nisem ti lagala, samo nehala sem zanikovati.”

“Kaj bi rada rekla – da sem si vse skupaj domišljal?” Podžgala je moj bes, kakor je to vedno počela. Moj bes je naraščal, pripravljen, da ekspolodira.

“Ne, ljubi, ne, ti si bil pod stresom, ker si vodil posle. Vsa ta odgovornost – predaleč te je zanesla. Šššššš,” je rekla in nežno božala mojo roko v njeni, prijem okoli pištole je popustil.

“Sediva in se pogovoriva o tem.”

Zrušil sem se na stol in potem mi je drgnila zatilje, kakor je to počela, ko je bilo med nama še vse dobro. Oči so se mi zaprle in nizek stok mi je ušel iz ust.

“Kako prijazno od tebe, da si se vrnil na moj rojstni dan, Rok. A stvari so se spremenile in nočem več, da skrbiš zame.”

“Stvari moram postaviti …”

“Ššššš, ljubi! Nobene potrebe ni za to. Dal si mi popolno darilo. In iz dna srca ti želim vse najboljše za smrtni dan, ljubezen moja.”

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I Wish You a Happy Death Day

Sonia Kilvington

The guy on passport control stifled a yawn, his palm barely concealing a slack jaw and thin lips. It was two thirty in the morning, the graveyard shift when medically speaking; his attention span should be at its lowest. I had counted on this and hadn’t chosen the timing of my flight back to Slovenia by accident. Not after five years of exile in the Turkish-Cypriot mountains.
The tired official scanned my photo, carefully, and then my face. I tried to hide my discomfort: the passport wasn’t technically mine – although it had cost me a small fortune to buy it.
“The purpose of your visit?” he asked.
The real one?
A blood-soaked scene ran through my mind, jolting me out of my comfort zone: keep calm, stay in control, you have prepared for this.
“Visiting… friends for a celebration” I lied in my old, Slovenian dialect. I had been forced to leave my homeland behind, but my need for revenge and if I’m truthful, my feelings for Cilka, had made it impossible for me stay away from Slovenia, forever. As I left the airport and headed to town, I could feel the old pain welling up inside. But in truth, it has always been there, raging just below the surface. Burning through my veins.
At first glance, not much appeared to have changed in my exile. The place still looked the same. Slovenska Bistrica was my hometown, the place in which I felt most at ease. Heading back to my old haunts, I wanted to surprise Haris, my former friend, and business partner. He was a creature of habit, which usually involved large measures of whiskey, so finding him shouldn’t prove too difficult.
After a five minute search, I found him in him at his usual watering hole. He was perched quite precariously on a high bar stool, his huge ass spilling over the sides. It’s difficult to believe that he’d been an athlete in school and popular with the girls too! Back in the day, he’d been quite something with his youthful physique and old family charm. He’d even managed a few forbidden flings with a couple of the married women in town. Until the day he was discovered by a furious husband, who had ended his athletic career before it had ever really begun.
Luckily for Harris, his uncle owned a rundown hotel on the outskirts of town, which he’d kindly given to Harris as a project, to keep him out of trouble; although with hindsight, perhaps it had not been such a great idea. I was taken aback when I saw him at the bar, with his four-day stubble and unwashed shirt; it seemed that unlimited access to alcohol had not been such a kind a gift to Haris, afterall.
I decided to take it slowly so that he wouldn’t panic at the sight of me. After the incident that took place on Cilka’s birthday, even though time had now passed, some people might still be a little wary of my company, and I didn’t want to scare him off.

***

“Two whiskeys, not the shit stuff!” The barmaid raised a penciled eyebrow.
“Not before ten…”
Glancing around the bar, it was already three minutes to, and most of the beer-soaked regulars already had been served. I had forgotten that I shouldn’t expect a friendlier welcome as a stranger in town.
“We don’t serve shit in here,” she said, slamming two glasses down on the bar at precisely 10 a.m.
“Mind passing one to my friend, over there?”
She looked at me as subtly as if I had pulled a gun and demanded her savings, but after checking out her outfit, which had already fought and lost a battle to contain her vast cleavage; I doubt it would have been worthwhile.
“This is a bar, not a service restaurant,” she said, pointing to a faded sign, peeling off the wall, which said, ‘No waitress service.’
A massive cleavage as well as customer care skills – she was becoming more interesting by the minute…
I was tempted to point out, that the guy was only sat at the other end of the bar, and I doubted moving one glass would constitute a serious breach of the rules of her employment. But given the caustic look, she was already giving me, I decided that this was probably not the wisest move. Instead, I produced a 20 euro note and asked her if she would be so kind. The sight of all of those neatly stacked notes bulging wantonly from my wallet appeared to prompt a mild change of heart.
“Ok,” she said, stuffing the note deep inside that luscious cleavage, which I would have enjoyed investigating much more intimately, had she not seemed as friendly as an adder on acid.
When his good whiskey finally arrived in front of him, Haris peered over in my direction.
“Bloody hell, I thought you were dead!” he said, his fat chin quivering.
“Thought or hoped?” I said, trying to add a little humour – which fell completely flat.
“It’s been years. Where the fuck have you been?”
“Around. You know?”
“Sure,” he said.
And I laughed, as I would have put money on him not having the balls to ever leave town. But I stayed calm, my guts gnawing with anticipation, while he filled me in on the pointless small town garbage, which had occurred in my absence.
As if I was interested when there was only one subject on my mind.
I bided my time and kept the whiskey flowing until he was just pissed enough for me to get to the point of this puerile conversation.
“Cilka around?” I kept my tone level like I’d practiced. But I must have hit a false note, as Haris choked on his drink, his slack mouth spraying its contents over his shirt, his face bruising purple.
“Can’t you leave her alone?”

“Like you did?”

I watched him squirm; trying to get his fat ass off the stool.

“Where is she?”

“I don’t know.”

Haris had never been a convincing liar. But I had expected a little more consideration than this. I grabbed his dirty shirt, pressing my gun into his gut.
“Ok, Ok – she’s at the hotel – there is no need to…” But he was already wasting his last breath.
His bleeding carcass made a hell of a mess. I knew from experience that it would take a considerable amount of effort to clean it up. Time for the Miss Cleavage to earn her gratuity – you don’t get something for nothing in this life! I smiled to myself at the irony of it.
You make your own Karma in this life.
Knowing the pace of things in this town, I would have at least half an hour, maybe even longer before anyone caught up with me. Should be ample time for what I had in mind.

***

It felt surreal seeing the hotel again. In my own head, the place had stayed exactly the same: a mausoleum for my memories. But seeing it look so different, it really threw me. It had been a rundown pile of crap before we had renovated it, Haris and me, by sorting the plumbing and wiring, then adding some class with a mini casino and a stage with a dancing pole.
When I’d been the manager, the hotel hadn’t been much more than a few grubby guest rooms. Despite all of our hard work, for some reason, the re-vamped hotel had proved a futile attempt to lure the tourists away from Lake Bled. Although it’s true that the casino was small scale, that was down to the limited budget we’d received from Haris’ uncle Grega. It was mostly slots with a couple of worn out card tables at the back.
It had been Haris’ bright idea to hire the ‘artistes’’. They were a couple of pole dancers escaping from a deranged dealer in Ljubljana. Getting involved in a romance had been the last thing on my mind, but from the second I saw Cilka, I knew I had to have her. And I tried so hard to make her happy. I gave her everything she wanted. All the drugs money could buy. I truly believed it would work out. Couldn’t imagine why it wouldn’t. But it seemed the harder I tried, the more she resisted.
Until the night of her birthday. When everything went seriously wrong. I had forgotten to buy her a gift and the row had gotten out of hand. Admittedly, it was mostly my fault. I’d hit her too hard, this time, and she told me it was over. Just like that. But I wasn’t stupid, I knew that wasn’t the whole story; there had to be someone else.
I was gutted.
Seriously. I don’t feel much; never have, but the thought of Cilka dancing on some other guy’s pole. I couldn’t take it. I begged her to tell me who it was, but she refused, breaking my heart; so I vowed I would break her too…
The fury burnt through me like an electrical storm. My mind went into meltdown. I couldn’t concentrate. I was all over the place. Suspecting everyone, especially that guy with the beard, who was always drooling over her act. She swore on her life, it wasn’t him, but I shot him anyway…
It was a stupid thing to do. I reacted before I had given myself chance to think it through. I realized I had made a total mess of her birthday and should have bought her a proper gift and put a little thought into the evening.
Actually no. I maybe I am giving myself a little too much grief, here? As my mother would have said, God rest her soul; it takes two to make a decent fight! Maybe I should have just shot the bitch, so I wouldn’t have had all that stress of worrying about who else she was screwing. I don’t honestly know. Hindsight is a killer, but you have to get real. I’d already missed my chance of creating a more satisfying outcome; so I called it quits, stashed the gun and left town.

***

I am a little ashamed to admit this, but my hand was trembling as I entered the casino, the cold metal in my pocket, doing nothing to calm me down. It literally took seconds to clear the place.
I was quite shocked to see that the inside of the hotel was so different from how I remembered it. The new manager must have expanded the operation after I’d left. The gaming tables looked new and they had a fancy new roulette wheel. The layout was still the same though; with the manager’s office at the back.
Well, fuck me if wasn’t Cilka’s name on the office door! Haris must have promoted her to manager in my absence. I knew he’d been screwing her all along, but I hadn’t expected this! I must admit, that despite her betrayal, I had to give Cilka some credit for her ambition.
As I opened the door my knees felt weak. I could hardly credit that a woman had reduced me to this. I entered quietly, hoping the news of my return hadn’t reached her. I guess not, as she didn’t turn straight around.
It’s odd, but I could barely believe that she was real. From the back, she looked pretty much the same, with her bleached hair hanging seductively over her shoulders. Although as she turned towards me, I noticed that time had taken its toll. The skin on her face was less taught. Less alluring. And the hard lines around her mouth made her expression much harsher than before. I wondered for a second if I had made a mistake in coming back.
Until she said my name: her luscious voice burning through my brain.
When it comes to Cilka, I have never understood what happens to me. I couldn’t tell you if it’s the way she looks or the way she fucks, which gets me into such a state.
She rose from her seat, smiling as her fingers touched my face.
“You came back for my birthday, sweetheart?”
“I came back to make it right, Cilka,” I said, taking the gun from my pocket.
“I thought… you mean you still don’t believe me… even after all of this time?”
“I’ve have had five years to figure it out, Cilka.” I was trying to stay calm. I had promised myself that I would, but I could feel the surge of raw rage storming from my gut. “It was Haris, wasn’t it?” I felt my fists clenching, ready to strike out. Maybe that would be more satisfying than using the gun?
I saw panic, sharp as a knife, gleam in her eyes,” Don’t tell me you’ve..?”
“I know it was him. You can stop lying to me now!”
“I never lied to you Rok – but you wouldn’t listen to the truth!” She yelled at me. As if that was going to make any difference.
“The truth! You. Screwed. Someone. Else.” My fist struck the table. The noise startled me as I hadn’t intended to do that.
“I wasn’t unfaithful to you Rok! But you tormented me every day, and I was exhausted with defending myself. You wore me down. I just couldn’t take it anymore – I didn’t lie, I just stopped denying it.”
“What are you saying – that I imagined the whole thing? She had detonated my fury, just as she always did, and I felt my rage expanding, ready to explode.
“No, baby, no, you were stressed out with running the business. All that responsibility – it pushed you too far. Hush now, “she said, caressing my hands gently in hers, easing the gun from my grasp.
“Let’s sit down and talk about this.”
I slumped into a chair and then she was rubbing the back of my neck just like she used to when things had felt so good between us. My eyes closed and a low groan escaped my lips.
“It was so sweet of you to come back on my birthday, Rok. But things have changed and I don’t want you to take care of me anymore.”
“I needed to put things…”
“Hush baby! There is no need for that now. You have already given me the perfect gift.
And from the bottom of my heart. I wish you a very happy death day, my love.”