This may be a difficult read for some. It is definitely a difficult write for me but one that I feel is necessary.
Most of the time Facebook’s memories section is filled with things I have often forgotten about; events I’ve gone to, pictures I forgot I took, things I wish I could forget I said. More often than not I simply scroll past the memories barely allowing them to scratch the surface of my conscience. But today that did not happen. Today a memory stopped me in my tracks and brought me to tears and the feelings that washed over me took me on a roller coaster ride that I was unable to get off.
These are the thoughts that followed…
Today a picture appeared in my memories…the picture of you, me and our friends at brunch. This brunch followed a night out that I planned specifically for you, to offer you a reprieve from your life for a short while because I thought you deserved the break. I thought you could use a night off from being the sole provider for your children. I thought you could use a night off from your grief, knowing full well it would not be forgotten, but perhaps somehow diminished for a few short hours. I remember every detail. I sat in bed next to you talking on the phone with my best friend and decided that we were all going to get the hell out of dodge, get dressed up and go out on the town, like grown ups.
I booked two rooms in a nice hotel and I made VIP reservations at a club just a few miles from the hotel. We arranged for a baby-sitter for the girls and packed up our bags and headed south. I remember getting dressed FOR you, picking out an outfit I knew you would approve of, allowing you to place the necklace around my neck, a symbol of being yours.
I remember…I remember wanting to look especially beautiful for you, because I wanted you to be proud to be with me.
I took great care in doing my hair, my makeup, my nails and toenails. I waxed every inch of my body and made sure I was wearing your favorite perfume and of course matching lingerie underneath my clothes. I wanted every detail to be perfect for you. That night was filled with laughter and dancing, drinks and chemistry. I remember you pulling me towards you as I got up to go to the restroom, grabbing the back of my neck and leading me to kiss your waiting lips and I remember swelling with pride as you kissed me passionately there for everyone to see.
That night ended amazing and lead seamlessly into the next morning which started off amazing and then we went to brunch. We were all a little worse for wear from the night before so we ate and drank a little more “hair of the dog” and began the trip back to reality. I didn’t want the moment to end. It was one of the few times that we were able to be “us” without the complexities of your situation looming unspoken over us. To be honest, I felt a twinge of sadness on that drive back knowing I couldn’t protect you from the inevitability of the harsh truth of your grief.
When we finally arrived back at my house, you sat with me on the couch and you did something you had never done before. I can still feel every bit of what I felt then, even now with all the horror between us.
You sat on the arm of my couch and held my face in your hands and looked me directly in the eyes and spoke the words I had longed to hear…you told me
“I want you to know, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and the girls. We are so lucky to have you in our lives, I love you. I feel like you’re the woman I should have been with my entire life and I feel so guilty for saying that, but it is the truth”
I stared at you with tears in my eyes not sure what to say or do because it was everything I ever wanted to hear and yet I knew it pained you to say it. And I believed you. I believed you because I couldn’t imagine those words would be spoken with carelessness.
And you lead me into my bedroom and you made love to me in the most tender, passionate way and I was over the moon in love with you.
When you left I text my best friends in a group text to tell them what had happened and they were happy for me. They kept telling me that I had never looked happier, that I deserved you, because you made me happy.
That is the last time I remembered being happy for almost two years. You see the next day I reached out to you like I always did, the standard “good morning babe” text that went unanswered…
and all subsequent texts went unanswered, for four months. Not an explanation, not an email, a text, a call. You simply stopped existing in my world and I was left with a hole in my heart that was all consuming. All I could see was darkness. I sank into a state of depression that I never knew could exist. I could not wrap my mind around a man who would say such things to me, who would make love to me, who would reach out to my friends to organize a walk for me and then vanish without a word.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t get through a single day without grieving the unexpected loss of you. I romanticized it for my own survival. I decided it had to be because your guilt was so overwhelming that you couldn’t face the love you said you felt for me without being haunted by the memory of the wife you lost. Because nothing made sense then. Friends reached out to you, strangers who were concerned about me reached out to you and it was met with deafening silence.
I scrutinized every text, every email, every voicemail from our prior conversations and I hypothesized every possible scenario with anyone who would listen until it was time to accept the absence of you.
I can’t even begin to describe the void that took over my life.
And then one day as easily as you disappeared, you reappeared and wanted to talk.
Just like that.
You sent an email saying you wanted to talk to me. I happened to be out of town when the notification appeared on my phone and I sat staring at my inbox for what felt like hours before opening the email. I cried. I cried and I cried and when I didn’t think I could cry anymore, I cried.
The very next weekend I was in your house listening to you explain, listening to you make excuses for ripping my heart out of my chest with not so much as a glance back. And that hole filled back up with my infinite love for you and I forgave you, because I loved you far more than I could be angry with you.
I was a fool.
I see that now, but at the time all I had in my heart was forgiveness and love. From the moment I allowed you to suck me back into your life you lied, you cheated, you deceived, you broke promises, you dragged me into your hell and wouldn’t let me go. You would say all the things I wanted to hear over and over again yet your actions were contrarian.
Even the times we would “end things” for good you would find a way to send me funny memes or comment to me on certain movies that we had agreed to go to together. You would leave breadcrumbs for me to follow and I always did. My core, the thing that held me together, the thing that I expressed to you so many times before was the very thing you used against me. A masterful manipulation, I will give you that.
You see I romanticized every single thing you did…because when we would talk, face to face you would look me in the eyes and tell me that you did love me and care deeply about me but it was complicated and I would eat it up, hungry for your affection. You relied on that to continue your mistreatment of me. I was always someone you knew you could turn to because I had made a promise on my core beliefs that I would always strive to see the very best in you despite any evidence to the contrary. And I did. I always did.
This brings me to my present day situation. Where we are is so far removed from any place I ever thought possible. I spend my time trying to deconstruct all the ways I held my feelings for you together. I looked at that picture in my memories this morning and my world crashed down around me. Knowing the crime that exists between us, that you were so willing to take every bit of kindness that I extended you and that you couldn’t leave one ounce of humanity between us breaks my heart wide open. It is wound which feels impossible to heal.
This waiting for justice is taking it’s toll. I want more than anything for you to be held accountable for the crime you committed but I also want to be able to look at you and ask you the questions myself, because I feel for the first time that I am not blinded by love for you. I feel that for the first time I see you for what you are, or at least I desperately want to see you for who you are.
I looked at that picture. I studied it. I looked at the genuine smile on my face and felt such an overwhelming sadness for where we are now. I still can’t believe that THIS has come from that moment in time.
That we could be so far removed…and then I think about the reality of that picture…
I was happy. I was in love. I was hopeful for a future with you and you had been lying and cheating on me even then. Our earliest memories are tainted with betrayal, only I didn’t learn that until almost 2 years later.
I was a fool.
I am left living in this pain today. Today is a rough day, but like all things, this too will pass.
This is me & my best friend from that night…
I was so happy.