On the occasion when she came home upset in part by work and in part by my presence in her apartment, she told me how unthoughtful I was. I didn’t understand the stresses of her job, or how emotionally and physically demanding it was. She was sore and hungry. I didn’t listen to her enough. I didn’t do anything to make her life easier. This is what she told me, nearly shouting, leaving me to sit quietly and bite my tongue while I took each blow.

On the occasion when the attack eased, she might have realized she was wrong. Dinner was in the oven waiting to be heated. Champagne was on ice by the tub, waiting to be filled with warm soothing water. Lotion at the bedside for a long massage. This is what I’d prepared.

On every occasion she was shown wrong, she went quiet. Never apologetic. In some small way, she was always right. It is this quality that, unchanged, could leave her as alone as I left her on the last day we ever spoke.