I turned off my cell and threw it in the trunk of my car, where I hoped I would leave it for the rest of the weekend. I put the key in the ignition and rested my head on the steering wheel where it stayed for 15 solid minutes while I cried so hard my nose started to bleed.
I knew I was doing the right thing. I had to be strong for both of us. He couldn’t do it, and I knew it. My stomach churned like I’d stepped aboard one of the Pirate Ship at Six Flags. All afternoon I thought I would puke from the stress, the loneliness, and the crying.
This is withdrawal.
Mad with grief, I stuffed a dirty Kleenex up my nose and drove to my friend Heather’s house. She took one look at me and wrapped me in her arms, mothering me and sistering me all at once. I curled up on the floor of her study, writhing in physical pain that was really emotional pain. You’re going to be OK she cooed over me as I rocked in the fetal position, asking her rhetorical questions like Do you think he knows I love him? Is he going to be ok?
She made me soup and drew me a bath. I didn’t believe I would be OK. Not for one second. I was going to die a ward of the state, even though I was 30-years old. The only future I could see for myself was a lifetime of rocking on friends’ floors crying about this one or that one, while my happily married friends tended to me, along with their minor children.
I followed Heather’s directions, the reward of which was that I tapped into a pocket of emotional stability that allowed me to drive home. I left her house smelling like lavender and cradling a tub of homemade chicken soup.
Back in my car, I felt my phone pull me like a cocaine pulls an addict. I will not open that trunk. The only news my phone offered me was bad. If he’d called, I would be helpless against the urge to call him back, and the cycle would continue. If he hadn’t, I would be devastated, and I didn’t think I could afford to lose any more fluids.
At home I crawled into bed, holding my home phone, because he never called me on that number. I dialed my friends and each of them gave me a pep talk. You did the right thing. You had to cut it off. You have to move on. I gulped and nodded because I agreed with every word, but tears kept falling because it hurt to do the right thing and cut it off and move on.
I knew that I had to suffer through this no how much it hurt because I wanted to heal and end up in a marriage of my own– one just like his, except happy.