She will share your bed in the tent I bought for us, at the festival we based our wedding on, in the sacred space that you used to say was reserved for me.
While you wear one of the many shirts I bought you with the jeans that I showed you how to wear,
Swap me out for her
Take the same choreographed photos
Say the same things, say you’ll give her everything
Your world is her now.
Your love, the most magnificent con.
Still, the greatest of my life.
It was so many things that you loved about me you said, especially my confidence
that you ended up stripping away year after year after year
until there was none, the right time for you to throw me away and never look back.
Even if, our “big event” was just a few months away.
Did you describe it as nothing?
Did you say that you had to erase the website we created, matching the art that a friend made as the save-the-date? As if it didn’t exist. Erase the site, erase the plans, erase the memory of us. You were done.
All those times we laughed when I joked that if I disappeared, you’d wait a few hours to find another wife.
You’re in a brand new “us” 28 days after you dropped me. Huh.
While you were there with her, at our friends home where we were getting married, did you think about that night we were there with the kids? The night it was confirmed with the loveliest supportive friends who were over the moon to put on the first wedding in their backyard. This was the magical location, perfectly suited with a music barn. We all beamed and huddled with excitement. The kids leapt. Just a month later, we marked up the yard with tape, giddily roaming inside the outlined tent space designated for dancing and family-style dinner. Benches would go under the perfect, leafy trees, our chuppah in the peaceful nook that we’d all walk to just before sunset, bars decked of course with Berkshire Brewery beer, gin and vodka from Tamworth Distillery, two of our regular getaway adventures we cherished at first instance over the last four years.
Let’s have a kids activities tent, their own food and games along the creek like a ring toss and fishing rods, I said.
You’re so amazing with my kids, you said.
The look in your eye when I shared my plan to meet the two of them half way down the aisle, and we’d walk together towards you, like the family we were. I was taking all of you.
Were they there with you and her?
All this time, I should have listened to your threats, conceded your hostility and incessant blame. Watch it, he’s sensitive. Don’t upset him.
What about our musician friends performing all day in our “festival of love?”
Who from your faithful community whispered amongst one another while you walked around and nestled up with her? You, the upbeat, friendliest professional by day, rockstar accordionist by night, could hardly go anywhere in and near Boston without being recognized.
Did any of them show concern, wonder if I was OK?
Had you mentioned my week in the psych unit?
Certainly, you reminded them that I was the unstable one, the unhinged woman who should have been perfectly hinged after you coldly withdrew yourself in a blink. You were the victim, as you always have been, I’m simply another woman who wronged you.
Has anyone made your girlfriend uncomfortable? Do you tell her that none of that matters now?
Bravo on going ahead with the same things you’ve ever done – untouched, unscathed, like we never happened. Still smiling.
While I have to avert my eyes from a piece of clothing I can’t wear yet, a banal moment, rush to change the station when a song comes on, not return to one of the zillion places of *ours* that left an indelible series of moments in my heart. Moments that you’ve recast in a different color, an altered version, a new story that better suits the one you gave the world, that one you shared while I was on suicide watch and researching the definition of a sociopath. The four years I was beside you, deep in our bright, shiny love that you put on display – none of that is what it was anymore. Thank goodness I’m out of your life now, you said. What a relief.
All those times you said
“Baby, I don’t want my life without you.” “You’re my home.” “You are mine, and I am utterly yours.” “To us.” “You are my greatest love.”
Oh, and “anywhere, nowhere, everywhere,” our custom mantra inscribed in your ring to honor us. That ring you slammed on the counter in a moment of ice-cold detachment.
Just words. Words said over and over and over and over. Until the very final hours you left me for someone else to clean up.
Haunted by you in my dreams. And her. Both of you as you are – and me struggling to persuade you to be kind, love me like you say you did. You don’t budge. She has no voice, no response at all. This is how I start most of my days. My unconscious mind telling my conscious one to forget about forgetting about it.