I sit on the steps, holding a cat who doesn’t like to be held; she purrs while she tries to push vainly off my lap. I am quiet now, in this empty house, the last bits of detritus scattered over the floor. I do a mental checklist, and find it small, all of my paintings, the remaining tools, the pieces of furniture that won’t fit in my car. When he left he said, this will always be our little house we bought together, the words were a tolling bell, as though he was telling me that as long as I lived here, I would grieve. I go through a mental checklist of all the things his life broke in mine, in hers, his karma will be great and for a flick of a bit I feel sorry for him, I know how painful it will be.
I walk into the house, and go to him, I lay my head on his bare chest and sob. He wraps his arm around me patting my upper arm and kissing my forehead. Last night I told him that one of the worst events in my life led me to him, so in some small way God has made right for the heart break. I think of the handful of loyal and steadfast friends who have been with me on this journey, some whom that event brought to me too, one of those who led me to the man on whose chest I am crying now. I sigh, and he tells me, we can only hope for the best for them. I know I say. I know. What’s done is done. I saved you dinner he tells me, I ate out with them I say, but I will eat it for lunch tomorrow.
I realize, as I set the cat down on the brick colored linoleum, that even though I loved this house, I will not miss it. I run my hand from her head to her tail and she wraps herself around my hand and then walks away. I see a picture of the road ahead and the shared load of both the financial and work burdens seem like a giant relief. As I sat this morning drinking coffee someone else made because “we both drink it and it will save me the $2.50 I spend on it at the coffee shop every single day”, and listening to the sounds of the lunch he is making for himself because he “just doesn’t have the extra money to buy out this week”, I feel a profound sense of being in grown up man land. A place I have never been in before. I have a lot of work to do but I don’t ever have to ask him to take care of his own, and I don’t even have to do for him what he should do for himself, he already does. That alone seems enough.
A friend whom I made on my own calls me, how are you this morning he asks, ok, I say. What can I do? Just hope for the best. Did anyone go with you, he asks. No, I say, I put on my back brace and my big girl panties and a nice dress, jewelry and shoes, and put on my best smile. I have been facing this world alone for a long time, this was no different. I give you a lot of credit, he says, you are a strong woman. I know, I say. That I am.
I face my day.
Be careful what you wish for, it may just come true.