Fiction: The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

Producer: Hi Sophie, it’s nice to meet you. Just take a seat in front of the camera. What we want is for you to tell us your story of what happened after your split with John and what happened to you in the months after.

Sophie: Oh erm, sure no problem.

Producer: Don’t worry about anything else we just want you to feel comfortable and we are here for as long as you need and as long as it takes

*Sophie stares at the man, a little younger than her surrounded by coffee cups on his small desk behind him and wonders how many of these he has done today. There is a weariness in his eyes that match her own and she wonders if he too is completely and utterly disillusioned by it all too.*

I thought it would be greener, you know? The ‘grass’, ‘the other side’. I really thought it would it be. Not literally obviously but metaphorically. I’m not crazy, disillusioned sure, but not crazy I don’t think anyway. You’re not about to find me lying down in a lush green meadow, glistening with dew in the early morning sunrise inspecting the apparent greenness of each blade of grass. But I truly with all my soul believed it would somehow be different but it wasn’t.

But I am getting ahead of myself here. You are probably wondering who this idiotic lady is rambling about grass. I am Sophie. I am 37 years old and up until exactly 257 days, 6 hours and 27 minutes ago I was living my life cooped up inside what I believed was my happily ever after. My fairytale, my dream. I was living what I thought was my best life. I had my career, my husband, my lovely 3 bedroom house.

We didn’t have kids, John and I. We lived, well actually existed in our little bubble.

We worked the 9-5 slog. We ate well, we drank moderately, we socialised on weekends, went to the gym and well, you know as I said existed. Until one day we didn’t. I don’t blame him of course. I wasn’t his fault and it’s not like he just woke up one morning and decided that was it. I suppose it had been coming for a long time, like a slow moving meteor across the skies until one day it impacted something in its trajectory. That something was John and me.

I still remember my astonished look. I wore it for a good couple of weeks whilst we sorted things. That day he told me he loved me but wasn’t in love with me and he found our life boring rocked me to my core. I mean, I didn’t see it coming, the meteor. Bam, out of the blue, just like it hit square in the face. In hindsight, sure it hadn’t been such a shock but then I hadn’t noticed those subtle little changes in John either and I suppose he was right when he said we were just going through the motions.

He had applied for a new position at work.

Based in Singapore. It was a one-way ticket, for one. Not two. Not husband and wife. One man, on his own relocating and building a new life for himself far, far away from our suburban humdrum life. Picked for its green belt, good transport links and top-rated schools for those children we thought we might want but ultimately never made time for nor actually desired. A blessing considering…… well I will get to that later.

But not once did I admonish him for his choices. Deep down, I knew he was right. Despite our friends and family being shocked, they rallied around helping us to make the arrangements to get John his new life in Singapore started without any ties back to the UK. Aside from his parents. A fresh start he called it. Whilst we were both still young enough to change our destiny he said. My John didn’t believe in destiny, or at least I didn’t know he did.

I digress. As I said it has been 257 days, 6 hours and 27 minutes and however long it has taken you to get to this point. And I now know that the grass really isn’t greener as people told me it would be. Naively I believed them. I didn’t know to back then and I know 257 days isn’t that long but I honestly thought things would be better.

There is so much to tell, but not so much at all really if you know what I mean?

Sure you don’t because truthfully, I don’t really know myself. My journey to self-discovery was somewhat of a rude awakening shall we say. Being single in 2018 is vastly different to being single in 00’s.

But bear with me as I try to explain and untangle the mess my life has become since that fateful day. In some ways, John leaving not only me but the country has been the best and downright worst thing that has ever happened to me. I’m not ashamed to say that I nearly bought a ticket to Singapore to join him and reconcile until I was told in a rather abrupt way that John had in fact moved on and was no longer the man I knew, or loved or had planned to spend the rest of my life with.

I don’t even know where to start if I am completely honest. I was told to tell my story from the beginning and that is what I want to do but really what is the beginning? The beginning of what? From where and if there is no beginning there most definitely is no end. That is the way it feels to me right now anyway. I can describe the actions and events that led me here. To this point. How I ended up sitting in front of a camera telling my story to a bunch of complete strangers with the hopes of, well I don’t exactly know.

Here goes, this is me, Sophie and this is my story……………………..

*screens fades out to black*
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