It’s further than it looks
This time of year, years ago, I moved into my first “home” with my then-husband. It was an A-frame at a camp in North Carolina.
We were newlyweds, fresh off a terrible honeymoon on Anna Maria Island. I love the island, but it was a rough week. **
I felt a sense of dread as we pulled into the driveway, strong and bizarre enough that I still remember it. It didn’t make sense. I was thrilled to be married. My body knew things my mind would not understand for a long time.
I was proud of unpacking quickly, getting the place to feel like home. He bragged about it to his parents.
We started working less than a week after the wedding.
He picked the side of the mattress he wanted. He did that in every single place we lived. He never asked which side I wanted.
Years passed. We got divorced. He had already moved on to his new person before I knew that he wanted out.
I remember how empty the bed felt. I started letting the dog up on the couch. I can’t remember if I let him on the bed, but probably I did.
But I do know that I stayed on my own side.
Habit. But not just habit.
Hope. Hope that there would be someone else there, VERY SOON.
Part of me was aware of how trapped I had felt. My most private self had often wondered if I could find someone else, if he ever died. Divorce wasn’t really an option in my religion.
At first, I thought it would happen fast. After all, I deserved it. I had been faithful, worked hard, been present, taken care of myself,
Women had stories of finding good men after bad marriages. Surely, I would be one of them.
I stayed on my side of the bed.
Occasionally one of the girls would join me after a nightmare or during a storm.
I went on the occasional date.
No one ever made it to the stage where we could share a bed.
No one ever darkened that side of the bed.