We’ve been separated now for two months. There is a reason why we’re not divorced yet, and that reason is twofold. 1) Because as much as D wants to be single and live by himself, he is not ready to fully take responsibility for his actions. And 2) because I’ve been deluding myself the entire time, hoping that his reluctance to proceed heralded him rethinking this, that maybe he would undo what had been broken, and maybe — just maybe — we didn’t have to do this.
That’s not true.
I cried last night (this is nothing new, I cry all the damn time). I cried because everyone is right; certainly, he is dragging his feet, but I am not forcing him to face up to what he has done, what he has destroyed. I am not facing up to what he has destroyed. There before me, on a funeral pyre, are all the dreams I had for myself, all the unfulfilled promise that we had when we met, aged 23 and 24, so ridiculously in love, ready to embark on this great journey of life. We were going to be different. I know that nobody goes into a marriage planning on divorcing. From day one, we said that divorce was not an option. And then…it was.
They lie there, on this mythological pyre, so many memories and dreams and plans. I turn them over in my hands before putting them back down.
Lazy summer days at Hampton Beach, watching the sun go down, laughing at chubby-legged infants being bounced in and out of the waves by their proud parents, imagining bringing our own chubby baby with brown curly hair here someday.
The way he would languidly grab my waist when I tried to get out of bed on Saturdays, dragging me back in, begging for just ten more minutes of cuddling before we actually had to get up and face the day.
That wonderful afternoon we spent at the reservoir in Lawrence, rolling down the green sloping hill, throwing new fallen autumn leaves at each other, kissing, always kissing. I never imagined a day when those kisses would stop coming. I never knew they had a finite end, that within five years I would not be able to coax a kiss from him again.
The future — the dreams we had. The house in Wakefield, Massachusetts, with a finished basement and an office for me. Children, a boy and a girl, hopefully, that we would send to private school, that I would teach to ice skate, that he would play catch with. A husky puppy. Growing old together, just like his grandparents, two people in mutual love forever.
All of that changed the day he texted me at work, the day he told me he felt nothing for me anymore. It’s been a year and a half, almost. And although he has stripped the memories, the dreams, the hopes, even the love, bare, and laid them on the pyre, I haven’t been able to set the pile alight. Because you see, he won’t. He won’t do it. Only I can do it. Because he never will.
He left them there and walked away, he thinks I can never bring myself to end what I never wanted to end. To light all of those dreams on fire, watch them melt and run together and evaporate into thin air.
He doesn’t realize that once they are burned, once they are gone forever, once I give them up…I can start dreaming again. I can hope again.
I just have to find a way to strike the match.
Lord, help me find a way to strike the match.