Mind games for the bewildered 

Shirley had a temper. She’d had one since way before she was probably even born and now, 43 years on, she wasn’t about to become a convert to the pleasant way. No, she was angry; simple as. Marrying Samson has been about as dumb a move as she could have made, and the clinging to a marriage that brought her nothing but churned up emotions, sadness and often rage was hardly about to turn her around into Little Miss Chillpill. She often reflected that his name alone should have been warning sign enough that here was a man not ideally suited to her less than stable self, and yet it was her own burning anger against anyone who dared suggest that Samson was not for her that drove her at sports car speed into his big, butch and heavily tattooed arms. 
‘If biceps made a marriage then you’d have done very well love,’ her long suffering best friend Eliza said to her over a hot coffee and the night after a blazing argument that had left Shirley with another black eye and a blazing headache. The fact that Samson had endured scratches deep enough to last no doubt weeks was scant conciliation to the hapless wife. 

‘I’ve had enough Liza and that’s a sure thing,’ muttered Shirley, the house now cleared of fractured kids at school and a husband down the social for more knockabout frivolity. ‘I just thought it was all going to be so different, you know?’ she added, her voice a painful concoction of reality mixed with blood. 

And she had, she really had thought all could have changed for the better. Yes, despite all her waves of unrelenting driving upset, deep below this sea of woe had existed a genuine belief that her Mr Right could really quell the depths of despair she had carried all her life. How wrong she was. The wedding had been catastrophe enough with the groom almost too drunk to stand up in church. She had arrived at her wedding determined to see her life take new turns, only for her to go into deep reverse as soon as she saw his lost, drunken and blank eyes. The row that night had seen his fists deployed for the first time as she in turn fought back with hissing and biting causing him to yelp in pure agony. The honeymoon had given a time of truce and for a moment there she had dared dream again of a brighter future. Coming home had destroyed all that. 

Now, 16 years on, and she’d had enough. 

‘Come on love,’ her warm hearted friend replied, ‘ you’ve the kids and your Mum and me haven’t you?’

They finished their coffee in reverent silence and Shirley thanked her friend for her care and said goodbye, closing the door to her for the last time. 

When you’ve reached out to every corner, tried without success to find the rainbow under every stone that fell in your way, there just comes a time when there’s nowhere else to turn. 

‘It ends here,’ she said, and it did. 

I’m always amazed by what so many people go through in our world. Aren’t you? Further you might think you know just exactly how people you know so very well are truly feeling, and yet I would hazard to guess you don’t know the half. Their internal struggles would astound you to your very core and leave you wide eyed and shaking. 

I wish I could do more to help, you know? I often feel I’m as useless as a boat with a hole, a plane with one wing. What I can do is try and offer provocation to the human mind and this is what I try and do through my various scribblings, as much for me and my own troubles as for the readers who kindly take the time. 

I dedicate this piece to you. 

A X  

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