Walking Away

I woke up at 6:00 on Saturday morning because I knew you would be here at 8. I got up at 6, drank some coffee and got in the shower.  I did my hair and makeup- my eyebrows looked perfect, my hair was long and wavy and down around my shoulders the way you like it.  I put on a new summer dress, bright orange and strapless that showed off my beautiful bare and sun-kissed shoulders that YOU like to kiss so much. The perfect summer beach look, and I was sexy and radiant.  

You got there right on time and I didn’t even hear you, my dad let you in and made some small talk before I realized you were here.  The sewing machine was a little heavy and you carried it to the patio for me, trying very hard not to limp on your injured foot.  I know you are supposed to be wearing that boot again, your foot has gotten infected from blistering that you didn’t take care of, but you’re not about to show me you’re sick.  And that last 10 lbs that I recently lost?  I think you may have found them.  I guess you can’t blame me for your health problems this time, and I know you think I don’t know about it, pretending  to be just fine. I know you, though, and that gray cast to your skin tells me a lot more than you think. With your foot as bad as it is, I will be surprised if they don’t start cutting again.  It’s like that with diabetes, you know that, and yet you still can’t take care of yourself.  

I didn’t make conversation with you, I just stood there while you chatted easily with my dad, and when you went to pick up your totes full of Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, you had to prove you could carry them both at the same time.  I cautioned you that they were heavy, but you were not about to make a second trip back into the house, so you struggled under your burden and loaded them into your car on your own.  When I came outside I’m sure you thought i was going to say something to you, and I could tell YOU wanted to say something, but this time I was the one to let you go, and I got in my car and drove away before you could even leave.  I have nothing more to say, and for my own peace of mind, I need to be finished.

How did it feel to look at me for the last time?  To smell my scent that you used to breathe in as I walked past you, to see the movement of my hips you once held so passionately, the curve of my breast that you used to caress, the wave of my hair that you loved to play with? To see me and to know that there is no one like me, and you let it all go.  What did you think when you went home to your new girl who is so unlike me?  I don’t even get that.  She really isn’t even your type- blonde and freckles, and looking so young and middle-aged at the same time, if that’s even possible. Middle-aged- the very thing you are running away from.

Is it because you always knew I was out of your reach?  Not  because of my looks, but because of everything.  You used to say I was the nicest and best person you had ever met, and I brought so much to your life- love, support, family, friendship- you couldn’t believe how beautifully I changed your life and gave you hope for a better future.  I guess you forgot all of that.  And then when you knew how badly you messed up and I was holding true to my word and leaving,  you needed someone fast- someone to cover your finances, your back-up plan in case they kicked you out of the apartment or when you lost another job.  It’s too bad, really, because she doesn’t know yet what her future as the new Mrs. F. will entail, but she will learn soon enough.

I can see it so clearly, like a road map in front of me- and YOU probably see it too- health problems will lead to disability.  You probably will lose what is left of your foot, so disability will be permanent, and you will be back in a wheelchair.  If she doesn’t leave you at this point because she feels guilty for dumping (and kicking out) a guy who just had his foot cut off, she will support you and want to make things better. She will try to cook for you, help you with your food choices, and you will go along with it for a little bit, until you can walk again (maybe you can get a nice prosthetic). It’s ok, you have disability rolling in- free money- you won’t have to work. Anyways, she’s young and can get a second job or work a bunch of overtime, maybe do some art jobs on the side to pay the bills.  Eventually when the excuses run out she will get angry and frustrated because the bills are piling up.  Maybe her family will give you a loan, but it’s not enough to cover that high car payment on your fancy car that you got to make yourself look good.  And if you have bought a house with her 401k, you will probably lose it, and she will be out a house, out the money, and have a husband who needs long term care because he couldn’t take care of himself in the first place.  She will feel resentful because all of the things you promised will come to nothing, and she won’t even have any kids as a consolation. You see it too, don’t you?   And this is ME telling you this.  Remember?  The NICEST and BEST person you have ever met.  How do you think SHE is going to feel?  Where will you go this time when she realizes that you have been chatting it up with other women, pretending to be such a man, while trying to escape the reality of your health and financial problems?  I almost feel sorry for you because that is your pathetic reality. I DO feel sorry for her, because unless she sees the writing on the wall and ends things while she can, this will be her very sad reality.   

When I found out about the other women, the emails and the text messages after you promised me it wouldn’t happen again, after the  counseling, after trying and trying (I would have kept trying), you just let me go.  You never said no, let’s try, I’m sorry and I love you and I don’t want to lose you.  When I loaded the moving truck three weeks later and you helped me move back to my dad’s, you let me hand the keys to you and you didn’t say wait, this is a mistake, I made a mistake and I love you.  And even when I went to the apartment we had shared just two months later,  the home we had made that was now half-furnished, to sign the divorce papers- you let me walk out the door without an I’m sorry, I loved you, please forgive me.  I THOUGHT you were walking me out, but then you hung a right and went to your desk as I stood stupidly outside the door.  I remember getting into my car and watching the rear view mirror, thinking don’t let me go, don’t let me go, all the way to the front gate I watched, wishing you would come out that door and tell me to wait, like a scene from some movie where the guy realizes what a terrible mistake he has made and wants to make it right.  But no, you let me just drive away.

Saturday I took my time- I got up at 6, and I looked perfect.  You finally looked at me and knew that I was everything you ever wanted, and now it’s over.  Your face was full of regret, I could see it clearly. You wanted to say something to me- maybe it was finally the I’m sorry, I loved you, please forgive me that I have been waiting for this last year.  Who knows.  It would have been important even last week, while I was still crying and overthinking the history of our brief marriage and wondering how things could have possibly fell apart so quickly when I was still so in love with you. Yesterday it became so evident to me how ironic this whole situation is- that ending my marriage to you was only setting me free to soar to greater heights, while you spiral ever downward.  And this time when you finally wanted to say something, I let myself walk away…

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