When I found out my partner had been lying for years, my whole world shattered. Did calling it an addiction mean I had to forgive him?
The vacuum cleaner is laid out like a snake on the living room floor – an image of domesticity I will come to remember as representing the unravelling of that home. I have always loved this room for its large, south-facing windows that could bring warmth to my face even on the coldest of winter days, but the summer sun today is suffocating. It is one of those mornings when the leaves are perfectly bright and the sky clear light blue. The outside world is beautiful, but mine seems to be breaking apart.
Just moments earlier, I was arguing with my partner about the division of household labour. Frustratingly, I have fallen into a stereotype – vacuuming around him while he’s on his phone. But this morning is different. He asks me to sit with him on the sofa; he wants to tell me something big, something personal. I leave the vacuum cleaner on the floor.