Revisionist History

“What if it was doomed to fail in the first place? And that incident only served as a catalyst to speed things up? What if we were already falling apart at that time, but just didn’t know it?”

“And what if it wasn’t? What if you weren’t so fucking stupid and didn’t do what you did – what then? Would it have ended some other way?”

“Not that I can think of at the moment…”

“Exactly.”

I dragged on my cigarette and exhaled into the tortoise’s face. It didn’t seem to mind – it never did. It just stared ahead, through me, seeing through all the smoke and bullshit.

“Stop trying to revise history. Just swallow the pill and man up. You fucked up, that’s all there is to it. There’s no point trying to believe otherwise.”

“Can I make things right?”

“It’s unlikely. And if I were you, I wouldn’t even try. Why the fuck would anybody give you another chance to let them down again? You’re better off dead. You should’ve killed yourself in that car crash.”

“Yeah, I should’ve stepped on the pedal harder.”

“Probably.”

There was nothing left to be said. I put out my cigarette, and walked back into the house.

***

“And to think I was actually rooting for him,” the tortoise thought to itself. It turned and retreated into its alcove.