Life never lets anyone have it all. Even the truly happy have dark corners in which they fear to tread. The best you can hope for is that the balance is in your favor. Heaven forbid that the scales should tip in the other direction. The last year had been the most difficult of your life, but you felt cautiously optimistic that things were going to work out.
When Heather told you she was moving out it obliterated your hope. You hardly heard a word she said. The blood rushed to your ears. The sound of your pounding heart drowned out the muffled words as they left her mouth. You thought you might pass out. The pressure was so great. You sat at the kitchen table motionless, speechless until long after she had left.
It surprised you that you were not angry. Instead the pain manifested itself as nausea. No one at work doubted you when you said you had to go home because you had the flu. You went home and curled up into a ball in your bed, gently rocking back and forth, trying to soothe your discomfort. You hovered all day between awake and asleep.
When you dream everything is fine. Your mother is alive. Your father is happy. Heather loves you. When your eyes open your stomach cramps with so much force that you gasp for breath. You clutch the pillow to your face to stifle your groans as you wait for slumber to return.
Noise in the hallway causes a panic. It’s late at night. There are several voices talking and the sounds of objects banging around. This is your fear, that all of this is real. Your back is to the door as it slowly turns open and a slender beam of light stretches across the room.
Heather whispers, “Mark, are you awake? I brought some people to help me get my things. We’re going to need to get in here. Can you get up?”
You turn to face her but she is silhouetted. “Okay,” is all you can muster to say before her darkened face retreats.
You find yourself standing in the living room in your shorts and an old tshirt while strangers you’ve never seen before place items in boxes. You do not even check to see what it is they are taking. That is not what you care about.
You only get to see passing glances of Heather. She is deliberate in her attempt to not look at you directly. She has decided you are no longer part of her life. There will be no reconciliation. You won’t be friends. The coldness causes you to shiver.
You find yourself fixating on one guy. Your eyes follow him everywhere. You see how Heather looks at him as they pass. You strain to hear as they speak softly to one another. Is this the guy? She never said she met someone else, but you know she did.
This is your anger. He did this. She did this. You are standing all alone half naked as your house is stripped clean. She is just going to go on with her life as if none of this ever even mattered.
Heather’s voice rings out, “I left the keys on the table.” The door shuts behind her and she is gone. This is all she had to say. You cry for the first time all day.