Do you think he regrets it? Throwing it all away?
She struggled for a long time, trying to figure out how he could leave. Leave his kids, his family, his normal life.
Looking in the mirror, after years of seeing the rejection, she finally saw someone else looking back at her. She saw words on her face that faded as they registered in her mind.
Memories flooded in… words written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror… she didn’t wear lipstick, so whose lipstick was it?… when could someone have been here?… It must’ve been written when he was home during that weekend camping trip she took with her friends… phone numbers written on small pieces of paper in his car… why wouldn’t he throw these away?… “hello? who is this? have you spoken to _____? Yes? This is his wife”… Dinner is ready, on the table, where is he? Endless phone calls that rang straight to voicemail, again… cleared internet histories… guilt became the face he wore, daily. Denial was his reality.
She asked him these questions, daily, for two years. She tried to believe the lies, even though her gut told her otherwise. Her gut became her worst enemy. The last day of that two years, stuck on the floor, face down on the bathroom floor, she was drowning. She could hear the kids breaking things in the kitchen, spilling drinks on the carpet, wrecking the house. Her body was done. Her mind was gone. Her gut won.
He walked in the door, two hours after dinner was placed on the table.
“Where is your mom?”
“What happened in here?”
“Why is there chocolate pudding all over the couch and all the way down the hall?”
“WHAT IS GOING ON???”
She heard banging on the door above her head. “OPEN THE DOOR!” Bang. Bang. Bang. “OPEN THE DOOR!!!!” She closed her eyes until the noises stopped. She wanted the world to stop.
The next day, she decided she would make a call. The insanity had to stop. If he wouldn’t tell her the truth, maybe he would tell someone he respected.
A meeting was made.
He told all. Her gut was right. It was over.
Ten years later, the struggle behind her, as she looked in the mirror again, her mind whispered – “It wasn’t you.”
Her rejected self, and the words on the face she saw in the mirror… faded.
His choices were made on his own. It was his free will. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, but it was his choice.
… It wasn’t me.