Stab in the Heart
A stab in the heart by one’s own hopes is truly the cruelest way to leave this world. Sadly, that is exactly what happen to Sarah Cole in Russell Banks’ short story entitled, “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story.” The man who dated Sarah for a short period of time tells the tale. He calls himself Ron, for Ron could have been him, but he doesn’t want to say who he is for fear of looking cruel. He wants to believe what he did was right when he left her. They both didn’t handle their differences properly. The relationship could have been different if they communicated to each other what the relationship meant to them, if Sarah wasn’t so aggressive, and if Ron could let go of his vanity. All these aspects together caused the metaphorical death of Sarah because how Ron ended the relationship it killed all of Sarah’s hopes to having a better life.
Communication is something important in any kind of relationship, but not conversations that degrade one another. Ron and Sarah had a hard time engaging in meaningful conversations. “When he returns to the kitchen, the woman is putting away her groceries, her back to him. ‘You sure are quiet today Sarah,’ he says in a low voice. ‘Everything ok?’ Silently, she turns away from the grocery bags, kisses his mouth, rolls her torso against his hips” (11). They’re always uncertain of what to say to each other. They feared they would run out of things to talk about, so instead they would fornicate. Since they started of with sex, Ron saw nothing more. “‘ Friendship you owe me. And respect. Friendship and respect. A person can’t do what you have done with me without owing them friendship and respect’” (14). Sarah did only want friendship she wants to have the perfect life, and she wanted that life with him. Ron doesn’t envision life with Sarah being perfect. He thought they were each feeding off the other’s curiosity of how the other lived. For Sarah, the relationship is about raising her social class. Ron wants to end the relationship. Unlike Sarah, this relationship is not the future saw in his future. When he finally gave up trying to make Sarah happy, Ron kills her by killing her hope. She had confused him from the start by not communicating with him and leading him to believe that they were together just for the novelty of the situation.
Ron tells this story ten years later, while he tries to figure out if what he did to her was right or wrong. What he did in many ways was the right thing to do. Sarah could only show her emotions through aggression. Sarah intrigued Ron. Despite her looks and social class, he was strangely attracted to her. Ron wanted to understand how someone who had so little could live a happy life. What he learned was that a person will do anything to acquire a better life and will capitalize on any opportunity to obtain that life. Ron had given her that opportunity and she was going to do anything she could to make her dreams become...