THE FIRST TIME YOU STAYED OUT ALL NIGHTSeptember 10th, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized
I walked the floor, eight months pregnant and dead tired, jumping
each time tires on the gravel road broke the silence, peering out the
window through the darkness at the slam of a car door only to discover
it was a neighbor coming home. We had no phone so you couldn’t call.
I had no friends in whom I could confide. It was so cold outside and
that old furnace would clog so I’d have to bleed the lines like I’d
watched you do, my big belly squeezed tight in that small hall space
trailers are known for.
You never came home that night nor the next day. It wasn’t until the late
show with Johnny Carson signed off that you came ambling in as if it were
just an ordinary night and you hadn’t been gone for two days. There was
no anger in my voice, at least not then, only relief. You hadn’t been in an
accident after all-my worst fear. I believed your explanation, so lame in love
with you, your explanation so lame it’s not worth remembering now.
And that summer day I spent washing clothes and had put that shaggy blue
rug down in the hallway fresh off the line you came home late again,
saying you’d had a rough day and going straight to bed. I stopped dead in
my tracks at the sight of that tiny sparkling earring lying on the rug, one I’d
never seen before in my life. I pondered where it could have come from
the rest of the night.
Or the day when I had to borrow your car and I put groceries on the back
seat and found that small plastic toy on the mat behind the driver’s seat that
obviously belonged to someone else’s child. I spent the whole day trying to
convince myself there must be a reasonable explanation because you would
never cheat on me. Would never cheat on me. Would you?
And there was that motorcycle accident mentioned in the local section of
the Wheeling newspaper, an accident which left your right knee tore up so
bad that to this day you still have a scar. You could have knocked me over
with a feather when I read your name and the fact that you had a companion
with you listed only as female, twenty-two.
The first time you stayed out all night I should have known. They say that
hindsight is twenty/twenty. They say love is blind. They say life isn’t always
fair. They say love hurts.
To this I can attest. Even after all these years… love hurts.
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