Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Then and Now

writers' week


     The difference between then, when I said yes, and now, when I say nothing is 16 years, eight months, and 21 days.

     When I said yes, I said yes to whispered good-mornings and late night kisses.  When I said yes, I said yes to summer vacations at the beach and Christmases by firesides. 

     I said yes to cooking dinner, washing laundry, scrubbing floors, making beds.  I said yes to washing bottles, changing diapers, wiping noses, kissing boo-boos. I said yes to growing waistlines, sagging skin, graying hair, aching knees.

     When I said yes, I said yes to a life lived safely within the walls of only one person's heart.  When I said yes, I said yes to him.

     I knew these things.  What I didn't know (and how can anyone know?) is to what else I'd said yes.

     Yes, he'll notice my weight, and yes, I'll notice him noticing.

     Yes, he'll stay late at work and yes, I'll wonder.

     Yes, he'll flirt with the neighbor, and yes, I'll doubt.

     I'll doubt when he tells me that he doesn't regret getting married.

     I'll doubt when he tells me that he still finds me attractive.

     I'll doubt when he tells me he's just going out with the guys.

     And I'll doubt she exists up until the moment that I see her face and realize with a clarifying horror that all of my doubts were real.

     But I said yes, right?

     So then I also said yes to mortification, to fear, to public humiliation, to starting over without the confidence of a young love.

     But I said yes, and I meant it.

     So now when he's knocking on the door, sitting down in the kitchen, and telling me that someone else said yes,
     I say nothing.

     I can't say it again.

     Eight million, seven hundred eighty five thousand four hundred fourty minutes ago, I said yes.  And the difference between then and now is now while I'm watching him walk away, I'm silently breathing another word.

     No.                                                                                                                         

14 comments:

Emily Suess said...

Having experienced the pain of infidelity and divorce myself, I can really appreciate how you've managed to express your thoughts in this post.

Thanks so much for participating in the contest and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Great job my friend!!!

Renee said...

So well written, from your heart.

fairbetty said...

Very well written.

La Viajera said...

I'm so sorry. You have expressed feelings and thoughts very well. I can feel the agony and the disappointment.

Dana @ ReallyWWWThinking? said...

You did a great job with this. I didn't know what had happened and now I'm just hurting for what he put you through. You are so much better than how you were treated & how you were made to feel.

Good luck with the contest.

Anonymous said...

You may be "starting over without the confidence of a young love" but you will be starting over with the experience of a woman defined by knowing how to say both yes and no, and you will have the confidence to know the difference between the two. Best of luck to you, my friend.

Wendy said...

I traveled with you for a year and know that you have one of the purest hearts of anyone I know. I have just 2 words for your blog.....nicely done. It couldn't have been said better.

Megan said...

Wow-- this is amazing...
You've placed your vulernablity out there & created an incredible piece. Congrats- and take care!

Kathleen M said...

Very poignant. You have lived a full life, learned a lot from saying 'yes' and are wise for it by saying 'no'. This post is heartfelt and insightful. Thank you for sharing.

Jemima said...

Wow, such lovely comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave them. I feel loved.

Galit Breen said...

This is so gut wrenching.

Honest, true, relatable whether or not we've been there.

Hat tip, this is fabulous.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was really good. A wonderful piece of work.

Stacia said...

This was beautifully written. I've never experienced that pain, but I felt like I was able to see a glimpse of it in your words.

Say "no" as he walks away, but don't be afraid to say "yes" again later.