To help get Katka health insurance in the Czech Republic, I've spent the past couple of weeks filling in forms and collecting her old payslips and tax documents. Yesterday, after posting everything off to the Inland Revenue, I emailed her that I'd finally sorted things out and sent my best wishes for the future. I got a childish temper tantrum in return.
In retrospect, I should have known what was coming. I'd touched on some examples of her recent selfishness - such as emailing me a couple of weeks ago to moan that she was really down, had realised that she was losing something special and just wanted to be in my arms; then following it up the very next day with a brief message informing me that she was now in a "really good mood" because she'd solved the problem at work that had apparently been the sole cause of her depression. I was trying to caution not antagonise her, to show how her more thoughtless actions affect others, and could affect her in the future. As my email was friendly and non-judgemental I naively imagined she would be big enough to at least listen to my point of view.
Her response was swift. She never loved me - why else would she have allowed me to go to China? As proof, she was always happy to see me go because she could finally have her own space. Conveniently enough, she neglected to mention that this was space in which she started an affair with her brother's married best friend, which is obviously the very best kind of space a person can have. Next up, I was the selfish one, damned because I hadn't offered to go back to the Czech Republic with her. As the temporary boyfriend was still juggling her, his wife and children for a full three weeks after I returned from China to hear that our marriage was dead and her flight home had already been booked, I'm slightly baffled by her revisionism.
But not really baffled, of course. It's much easier to project blame than to dwell on the consequences of our own actions. Nor does any of it particularly matter - whether she loved me or not is wholly immaterial as far as I'm concerned. Despite the disastrous end to our short-lived marriage, it would be immature and pig-headed of me to obliterate the good times we shared together. If she wants to do so, then that's a matter for her alone.
It's sad that it had to end like this but I'm only very fleetingly angry and not at all bitter. In the couple of dozen emails and two phone calls we've exchanged since she left she has never once expressed any kind of regret or understanding (I did get a text message twenty minutes after I told her that I'd found out about the affair with a few easily-typed platitudes - you are the best man I've ever met, I didn't deserve you), only self-pity and requests for help with tax forms and translations for her new job. Enough is enough: my life is better without her; we have no more ties, only the memories.