Something my sister will understand

I’m staring out the window, wondering if the sky is as blue where he is.  I wonder if he’s seeing the same clouds.  I wonder if he’s thinking of me.  I wonder if he ever thinks of me.  I hope so, but I doubt it.

I just became a believer.  There’s this one, huge, perfectly rosy-pink-white-cream cloud that looks like Heaven.  It looks like a place I could share forever with him at.  That’s one thing I can take solace in.  I’ll see him someday.  I’ll be able to hold him again someday.  I’ll be able to love without fear someday.

There should be some shame in writing this.  I have a husband at home, taking care of our children.  I have a home, and responsibilities.  I have a job and I have a plan.  A plan for everything.  A place for everything.  The person I want most in my life just doesn’t fit.  He doesn’t fit anywhere, doesn’t belong anywhere.  I guess that’s what drew us to each other…neither of us fit.  Neither of us had a niche, had a flow.  Neither of us had anything except each other.

He had his guitar, and I had my pen.

He had me.

Oh, did he have me.  From the moment I saw his skeptical little half-smile, I handed my heart over.  The first words I should have said to him were “Here.  Have it.  Really.  I don’t even need it anymore.”

I remember yesterday.  I remember the love letters.  I remember the sleepless nights and endless days.  I remember the staircase kisses and hiding from our friends away in the band room.  I remember talking for hours on the phone, and hanging up just to write a novel for the next morning. I remember catching my breath the first time he kissed me, and blushing furiously.  I remember thinking, “oh my god.”

I remember “oh my god” a lot.

Every time his hand brushed mine. I remember dying inside a little every time we had to say goodbye.

I remember the way his fingers sounded when they fell against his guitar.  I remember the strange roughness of his face, that clashed with the silkiness of his hair when I put my hand on the back of his neck and pulled him in for a hug.  I remember how soft his black hooded sweatshirt was.  I remember the way he smelled, like floor and leather jacket.  I remember the way his breath tasted.  I remember the way his voice sounded… smooth but kind of gravelly, at the same time.  A little whispery, like he didn’t want to be heard, just understood.  I remember the paths his veins took in his pale hands.  I remember the way that Sharpie marker stood out on his nails.  I remember drawing “x” on our hands because we thought we stood for something.

I remember standing for him.  I remember all the whispers in the halls, that I shouldn’t be hanging out with the dirty kid, that he shouldn’t be hanging out with the weird slut.  I remember the eyes that rolled every time I said anything about him.  I remember thinking, “if you felt like this, you’d know,” and then thinking again, “but you’ll never know what this feels like.”

I was such a disappointment.  I was an awful letdown.  I was a promise so broken, you couldn’t even see the pieces that used to be there.  I was someone who was supposed to stay cool.  Instead, I turned around and made stupid decisions that led to horrific mistakes that I couldn’t turn back time on.  I said words that never should have been said.  Words like, “Don’t.  Don’t kiss me unless you mean it.”

I don’t care if he meant it or not.  Just kiss me again.

No, that’s a lie.

I cared.

More than he’ll ever realize.

I wish I had that chance to say something about it.  I wrote so many “last” letters that I couldn’t even count them on my hands.  But by the time three days had gone by, I couldn’t stand the ache that seemed to be eating away at me from the inside out.  I had to apologize… though, many times, I think he wished I would have just stayed gone.

I should have.  But I couldn’t.  It wasn’t my fault.  That’s not me putting the blame on anyone else…that was just the fact.  I couldn’t stand to live without seeing him shuffle past me, hearing him laugh from down the hall through the open door.  I couldn’t stand to live without getting a hug each morning and living off that scent for the rest of the day.  I couldn’t stand the thought I got every time he kissed me…”is this the last time?”

I hate more than anything in the world that the last time…was the last time.

***

 

I wrote that in my diary when I was 20, two years into a marriage I never should have been in, one that I had entered with half a heart and twice the stupidity, naivety, immaturity and blind faith as any sane person. It took me a long time to dig myself out of the grave I’d thrown myself in. I grew tired after five years of living through the dare I’d set upon myself at age 17. It was time to call it a day; I’d given it the old college try. I’d felt more shards of broken promises than anyone should have to feel, and I’d betrayed my true heart for far too long.

I found my fair ginger lover like a sweater in the back of a secondhand store. He was smelly, frayed, an irregular fit, but he kept me warm. Later, when he found me, I was tattered and worn, stretched and faded, but I was soft against his skin. Together, we make the perfect ridiculous hipster outfit. It took a long time and sometimes I stop and think about how lucky I am that I lived to see it happen. There are a blessed few who are given the chance to retell their fairy tale. Maybe it was just the faith that got me through – and maybe, because I finally just sat still and let the Universe take control of it, Karma brought him back.

There have been some thoughts running through my head for a few weeks and they haven’t all been pleasant or welcome. I sometimes forget that mental illness never really goes away, it is merely managed. I have done so well with managing it because, frankly, his presence in my life eliminates 99% of my episode triggers, but lately, I have seen a recurrence. Maybe it’s that I’ve hit 25, maybe it’s a little existential crisis. Tonight, maybe it’s just that I’ve worked six days in a row and I’m simply tired.

But it is Friday, and I am so excited for this weekend to belong to us, to belong to me. I plan to use this weekend to remind myself that I belong to no one but myself, and I am free to choose to share myself with others, but am not obligated to anyone outside my husband and my children. But mostly, I’m going to use this weekend to remind myself of how I contribute to me, and that, in general, I’m good with who I am.

I am not who, at seventeen, I thought I would be. That is perfectly fine with me, because, as it happens sometimes in my life, usually when I most need it, I rediscover that well of blind faith.

It’s all good, ya’ll. ❤ Thank you for reading, please leave comments, and enjoy your evening.

– xoxo : )

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