"I love you" she said. He could not look at her; he turned his back and pretended he was asleep. He knew she was awake, he could tell from her breathing, he was so used to it now, the way she breathed, it had its own rhythm, like everything else in his life. He waited until she was fast sleep and crawled out from underneath the sheets, his feet touched the cold floor and the unexpected sharpness of the cold made him take a deep breath, he could not sleep beside her, not like this. He opened the door of the balcony and tried to think...back to the days when saying "I love you" had been so easy, the days when he had thought that he knew what love is, the days he had been convinced he loved...
He had been young then, life was full of promises and then he had met her...Pamela. Life with Pamela...it had been...glorious. That was the only word he could use to describe it, glorious. Breakfasts in bed, sex in the middle of the day, late night outings, vacations to the most amazing places, dinners and shopping sprees. It had been glorious. He did not remember when he first started hating going home. He could not remember when her perfect teeth began to look like fangs, he did not remember when that oval face he loved to kiss became shapeless and her hair that he once lovingly put his fingers through became barbed wire, tearing at the skin of his fingers...he could not remember when she became ugly. He had come home one day, and instead of Pamela, stood this person, an imitation of Pamela. His days and nights became hell but he tried, to live with her...the imitation of Pamela, until that night when he came home and the barbed wire had turned to snakes....then he knew he had to let her go.
"Why won't you let me love you?" Sandra stood at the door of the balcony, asking him with those intense eyes of hers...
"Go back to bed Sandra, I'll be in a minute, it’s a bit nippy out here"
He did not answer the question, he had no answer.
"John, why won't you let me love you?"
Again, he was silent.
He stood out on the balcony and watched her put her bag in her car, he watched her get in and watched her drive off.