Am I Being Unfaithful?

A Bank Holiday ahead and an extra day on the allotment, the decision is easy.  I put on my weathered clothes, slip on my wellies and remember I need a few bits from the garden shed for the allotment.  It’s here where my day changes.  I step into the garden with the sun on my back and the garden bursting with life, but she’s not happy.  She knows where I’m going.  No matter how I try to hide it she knows.  The clothes give it away, the musky smell of dried earth on my sweater, there’s no mistaking that aroma: I have a date and it’s not with her.

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But when did she first suspect?  When I said I wouldn’t be planting vegetables anymore.  ‘But darlin’ think of all that extra space.  I can get you more flowers’.  Or was it the recent t-shirt tanline that gave it away, ‘I can’t keep wearing long sleeves, summer’s coming’.  Maybe she saw the dirt under my nails and knew it wasn’t hers.

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I’m feeling guilty, even reluctant to go, but I know up on that allotment there’s a plot waiting for my gardener’s touch.  Inviting me to sink my hands into her warm soil, shape her beds and tend to her weeds.  In return she promises me a bumper crop and a place where I can escape from reality, if only for a few hours.

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I suppress my guilt, turn to my garden and make promises that I’ll water her tomorrow, maybe treat her to a wicker trellis or some solar lights.  But she knows I won’t be back today, to her they’re just empty promises.

How do the others do it?  Juggle them both without a care in the world?  Surely ‘heartless’ and ‘gardener’ are not phrases that sit together.  What to do, what to do?  But as I continue to write and the guilt continues to mount I turn to the snaps I took earlier today of that enticing plot that always has a smile for me and I know, deep inside I know, I’ll never leave her.  She had me the first time I pulled back her tarpaulin.

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