As I awoke it felt as if a freight train was actually traveling through my head. I immediately hugged the pillow again. ‘Too much wine last night’ was the main thought going through my mind. Of course, without all that wine, I probably would not have experienced one of the best nights of my life. Despite the freight train rattling around in my head, I smiled as I closed my eyes and relived what had happened just a few hours ago. The memory brought some relief.
When I came home from work yesterday, Josh, my boyfriend of 10 months, was sitting on my porch waiting for me. I ran up to him and tried to give him a kiss, but he pushed me away and told me we had to talk. Warning bells went off. Did he lose his job? Did someone die? Looking miserable, he sat back down on the porch swing. Giving him a moment to compose himself, I joined him on the swing.
“Baby, you know I love you. This is really hard for me to tell you this.”
He took my hand in his. He looked to be in agony. My thoughts went to his grandmother, who we both loved with all of our hearts. Did something happen to her?
“Is it Granny?”, I asked with rising panic in my voice.
“No..no..I …shit, hon. This isn’t working, me and you. I love you, I swear I do.. but…”
I went half numb with shock. I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with Josh. He tried to explain why he couldn’t be with me any longer. “. No matter what he said, the words “We are through” was all I could hear. He tried to ease my shock some, no doubt, but in the end, he simply walked off of my porch and out of my life.
I sat there staring into space for a while, the reality not really hitting home. As I stood up and walked into my now “empty” house, overwhelming pain seized me along with denial. I looked around and some of the memories of our relationship began to relive themselves in my imagination. I needed to blank this pain out.
I went inside and grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge. I laughed ironically, remembering that we had bought this bottle together, planning on toasting mushy sentiments to each other in front of the fireplace one evening. Anger began to well up inside me now – “Well.. fuck.. I can’t let this go to waste now, can I?” I had started the fire and drank from the bottle as I stared into the flames. I must have sat there for hours, ignoring everything but the sweet warm liquid as it erased my pain and reduced the anger temporarily.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and dropped the bottle. For a split second I thought that maybe Josh had had second thoughts. Turning around, I saw my best friend Cheri close to me. She took one look at my face and dropped to her knees, pulling me close to her.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?”, she had asked so softly, her question tinged with fear.
I couldn’t talk; reality came swarming back. The tears that I had so successfully managed to hide for the past few hours suddenly surfaced again. I just curled into her, feeling so small as she wrapped her arms around me.
“Talk to me, hon. – I saw your lights on but you did not answer your phone. I was so worried.”
She told me that she had let herself in with the key I had given her because I had not answered her knocking at my door either.