Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Then and Now
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.
Posted by Jemima at 6:29 PM