That morning I was at the hospital. The procedure was non-threatening but significant. I hurried home because you messaged me to say your cat had died. She had seemed well when I left but, that simply, she was gone. I rushed from the train station to the house and sat with you while you cried.

She had been a kitten when you got her. You had raised her yourself and had had her with you before you’d met your wife. She’d been with you through the births of your two daughters, the second being traumatic and ended in loss, both of that daughter and subsequently your marriage.

So that over the next two weeks that you were distant and unfeeling was of no surprise to me. I made efforts to comfort you and to try and ease your distress, because clearly something was very wrong. Things were not easy for me in my own self. I was feeling so ill and struggling with my own difficulties, that would have been no picnic for you, but I gave you the time I could, because this was a big thing for you. So I thought. I was surprised to hear you say, when I asked that the loss of the cat didn’t worry you at all.

Fourteen years living with a creature that was now gone seemed enough of a reason. To learn it was not, confused me. What was going on then?

But you were distant now and wouldn’t give any reason.

It’s fair to say things became worse. The pregnancy I had gained, was lost along with my sense of well being and health, and I was confused at your reaction to that.

Was that what it had been, the pregnancy and not the cat? I’ll never know.

You say you want to be friends, and for a time you are, but the distance kicks back in and you oscillate between the two. I learned better than to try and stay in touch when you were distant a few months back. So I’d just been taking the contract when you were able to give it, then leaving you when you were not for a little while now. Eight months on I have finally reached the revelation and I no longer believe this will ever be repaired.

I find myself drinking alone now. I never understood that before. I had rarely drunk, and only ever with friends.

I had even regaled others about how far my Father had fallen in his illness that he would start drinking at 4 pm. Heavily. But today I saw the time, it was 4:30 pm and my fourth was already in my hand.

I am not what I was, and I know this is not your doing, but my failing.

But while I easily forgave you the thousands of dollars you left me in debt, I still struggle with the words you used to describe me when I asked for your apology and kindness. Because it was never about the money for me but perhaps it was for you.