Subtle Coolness · chrono index · alpha index

The Wall

by William Jackson on 2004-06-17

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


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

“Sorry, but Iʼm a little confused.”

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

“But he did change, didnʼt he?”

“Yeah,” she answered. “He turned one-eighty, and he did it for me. Then Iwasnʼt around anymore. I was gone. I was gone and there was no one leftfor 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 onemanʼs land to the next. It rose but two feet from the ground, and thepale grey line could be followed, serpentine, rolling over the green hills untilit reached the end of the world. It followed the contour of the land, turningand rolling as it went, up a hill and down, lazily making its way across thecountryside.

And so she walked, following the line to the end of the world. He watched herwalk 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 upbehind 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 offinto the distance.

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