The Wall

2004-06-17 10:53:00 +0000

“He did it all for me.” Chloëʼs head hung low, as if she was speaking to herself.

“Huh?”

“For me, all for me. Thatʼs why he did it.” Chloë looked up now, eyes wide in unbelief.

“Sorry, but Iʼm a little confused.”

“He changed. He changed for the better. I thought it might be because I wanted it so much, I prayed that wasnʼt the case. ‘Itʼs what I need to be doing,’ he said. ‘Iʼm doing this for me.’ He said what I wanted to hear. Only he wasnʼt. He couldnʼt see. He couldnʼt see why his life was becoming so wonderful. He wasnʼt doing anything for himself, it was all for me.” Chloë put her head down again. Then, in a barely audible whisper, “All for me.”

“But he did change, didnʼt he?”

“Yeah,” she answered. “He turned one-eighty, and he did it for me. Then I wasnʼt around anymore. I was gone. I was gone and there was no one left for him to change for. So he turned around and he went back the way he came.”

“Oh. Back.”

“Yeah, back.”

With that, Chloë stood up and began a slow walk alongside the short rock wall. The wall some hundreds of years ago probably marked the departure from one manʼs land to the next. It rose but two feet from the ground, and the pale grey line could be followed, serpentine, rolling over the green hills until it reached the end of the world. It followed the contour of the land, turning and rolling as it went, up a hill and down, lazily making its way across the countryside.

And so she walked, following the line to the end of the world. He watched her walk away, trying to feel the hurt she felt, trying to understand.

“Chloë!”, he called out to her. She stopped, but she did not turn. He ran up behind her, passed her now, turned around and looked into her eyes. “Chloë. Might I walk with you?”

Without a word, she looked into his eyes, took his hand in hers, then looked off into the distance.

They walked, along the wall, over the hills, following the lazy line to the end of the world.