A task from my writing group – 200 words on the topic of debt.
And afterwards, saved from jumping, from falling, he looks directly at her
“I will always be in your debt” he says
and she nods, appraising the truth of this statement.
At first it is easy, a request to mend a dripping tap, chop wood for her stove, drive her and a sickly pet to the vets.
He is happy to help, ater all he is in her debt.
But, the tasks become more complex, long journeys to collect objects she says she cannot live without, heavy manual labour around her home, jobs that take up more and more of his free time.
He considers refusing, but the pause she leaves after each request reminds him that there is a debt to be paid.
And then of course, there are the calls, late at night, rambling into silence or diatribes about the unfairness of her life.
He begins to dread the sound of his phone.
He makes his preparations, travels to the beach, weighs his pockets down with stones and walks towards the water.
He feels only relief, release.
He has made sure that she is out of town this week end.