My mother always said that everything happened for a reason. She also said that sometimes the reason is unclear and before we can understand the reason, we have to understand why it was happening.
Truthfully, that never made any sense to me.
Reason is unpredictable, it’s an event set in motion by a person’s actions and my actions are what led me here today, back to the place where it all started and staring into the chocolate eyes of the one person I’d hurt the most in my entire life. I never thought I’d see him again, didn’t expect him to still be here after all these years, but there he stood, staring at me like a man seeing the sun for the first time.
I turned away, turning my back on him – again, clinging to my two whining children. I glanced down at them. Focus, I ordered myself, focus on the kids, he’s the past, this is your life now, not him. I couldn’t stop the tears that pricked my eyes, stinging, making it hard to see anything but the shimmering memories of the past.
How different my life had been then, for those two short weeks I was someone else, someone I didn’t recognize, someone I wasn’t and would never be again.
My story is so many women’s story. It’s the story of the things we sacrifice, the pieces of ourselves we give away for someone else’s happiness, the things we do to please others while we ourselves are so dissatisfied and discontent it pushes us to the edge of insanity – a place where things happen that we never envisioned happening. Choices are made; events are set in motion, the consequences of which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
I risked a glance over my shoulder. He was still staring at me, tears shining in his eyes, silently begging me to come back to him, to come back to the life we could have had here in this tiny seaside town on the coast of somewhere beautiful.
I felt my heart breaking, tiny slivers of pieces shattering in my chest, spiraling down into the depths of the darkest part of my soul.
“I’m sorry,” I mouthed at him and turned away. Looking down at my children with a voice full of false cheer I said, “Who wants an ice cream cone?”
Maggie and Grace looked up, eagerly nodding. “I want a chocolate one,” Maggie said, her tears instantly drying. “I want a banilla one,” replied Grace.
I clasped their tiny hands in mine and with my husband by my side, walked away from the greatest love I’d ever known.