“I’m not sure this is working out,” said Turner as Shirley sat on the sofa with her face buried in her hands. He walked out of the door with tears in his eyes knowing it was either him or her. Turner and Shirley had been dating for two years but their relationship had hit a rocky patch and despite everything they tried, things always seemed to get worse.
They met in their final year of college and instantly took to liking each other. Tim was mango; soft on the outside but rough on the inside. He was always calm on normal occasions but he would occasionally let the rough side come out.
Shirley on the other hand was a free spirit. A very decent lady who was easy to get along with. She did her best to make everyone happy and was everyone’s favourite. Their friendship was based on the fact that both of them came from low points in their lives and found comfort in putting a smile on each other’s faces.
Their friendship grew over the course of time and so did their trust in each other. At first, it was nothing more than mutual concern for each other’s wellbeing. Shirley was concerned that Turner had was too aloof with his emotions and barely let anyone get past the basics of knowing him. She was concerned that he was suffering in silence and it was affecting his social life.
Turner on the other hand was interested in Shirley because he felt she was not fulfilling her full potential. She was always doing her best not to offend anyone and in the end she would end up getting hurt. He had seen this before and had been on the opposite end of the spectrum. He knew what it felt like to hurt someone and see their life spiral out of control.
In Shirley, he saw a lady that would take him to heights he had not experienced before. She was calm, focused, beautiful and made him appreciate the little things in life. She had been through a lot in her life but you couldn’t tell from the smile she always showed the world. Turner saw the smile and all the possibilities that were behind that smile.
Shirley liked Turner for who he was. He was a bit younger than her but they found comfort in each other. Over time, they grew closer and all those hugs and laughter turned to a kiss goodbye and sharing of great moments together. Things were taking their course and you could tell these two were meant to be together.
Both valued their privacy and kept their exploits under wraps. They didn’t want anyone to know what they were up to and kept their secret between them. Things were going well for the two and there was nothing but love between them. For a while, nothing could go wrong because it was always what they meant to each other that mattered.
After graduating college, they both found themselves in different industries. Turner found himself in the media industry and Shirley was in the marketing field. These were environments they had not been exposed to in their lives. They were both on field assignment and this meant they had to spend time apart.
The distance didn’t make much difference in the beginning because they would always yearn for each other. Their romance grew as they would be happy to see each other and would tear the place apart. Time was beginning to bring some distance between them though. Turner was always working late and would not find adequate time to spend with Shirley.
Shirley didn’t find any problem in him not being around and always did her best to make herself available. At work, Turner was having a hard time at all the staff parties keeping to himself to avoid putting himself in a precarious situation. He would stay up late, barely drink and head home. He kept this up for a while but he finally caved in.
He would go out with his colleagues on a regular basis and found comfort in his assignment partner, Mish. She was in a relationship with a business man who was barely around. She would confide in Turner and tell him about her love life. Turner would listen to her and they found themselves spending more time together.
Whenever they worked late, they would have a glass or two of scotch before heading home. One night, Mish was very uneasy. She kept on checking her phone and was absent minded. “What’s up today?” asked Turner as he handed her a glass of scotch. “It’s nothing.” She replied still looking at her phone. “Come on. It’s me. You know you can tell me anything.” He said as she put her phone aside.
“Well, it’s my wedding anniversary and my husband hasn’t even sent me a message,” she replied as tears rolled down her cheeks. Turner sat on her desk facing and placed his glass on her desk. “Just give me a few minutes and I’ll be back,” he said with a smile. He ran out of the office and came back with a gift in his hand.
“Happy anniversary!” She took the unexpected gift and her eyes were filled with tears. “When did you get this?” she asked amid sobs. “I listen,” he replied as he embraced her. They spent the night drinking and headed home at almost dawn.
Turner walked into the house and Shirley was waiting for him. “Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick? Couldn’t you even have called?” Turner couldn’t explain the fact that he had spent the night out with someone’s wife on her anniversary while his girlfriend spent the night worrying about him.
That was the beginning of their problems. Mish would call Turner anytime she felt lonely and he would heed her call. His actions made him and Shirley drift apart. Suddenly, the fun filled sex escapades were replaced by arguments and mistrust.
Shirley started drifting from Turner and their affection was slowly being washed down the drain. She couldn’t understand how Turner could forget where they came from because of a stranger. Turner on the other hand couldn’t understand how the person he’d opened up to didn’t trust him enough to be on his own.
On the fateful day, Turner was working late and it had skipped his mind that he and Shirley were supposed to have dinner. She called his phone and Mish answered. Shirley felt that Turner had crossed the line and betrayed her. She called a friend over because she needed someone to talk to.
As they sat at the dining table, she started crying. Her friend went over to her and hugged her. As he leaned in looking into her eyes, Turner walked in. He froze and dropped his laptop bag. He picked up his bag, walked past them and went to the bedroom. Shirley’s friend left and she went into the bedroom.
“How could you?” She asked with tears in her eyes. Turner didn’t utter a word as he packed a pair of boxers, socks and a t-shirt in his bag. He was burning with rage but he loved Shirley to much too let it show. “Aren’t you going to say anything?” she shouted following him into the living room. “I’m not sure this is working out,” said Turner as Shirley sat on the sofa with her face buried in her hands. He walked out of the door with tears in his eyes knowing it was either him or her.