laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 2nd, 2017 02:56 pm)
We're in for a spate of severe weather today, a spate so severe that the sheriff is recommending that we sleep in basements or inner rooms with no windows and stay away from trees. Hahaha. As if. This is the rural South. Basements do no proliferate, and a fair number of people live in mobile homes. Some live in campers. Almost all of them are surrounded by trees, pine and oak, mostly. The oak are hardy for the most part, but pine has a habit of snapping like an overtaxed pencil. Guess which tower over my mobile home?

So I might be cowering in a Walmart tonight. Walmarts are reportedly rather unsafe in the event of a tornado, but there are no trees in the immediate area, and frankly, I'd rather take my chances in a reeking Walmart bathroom than be crushed beneath the rubble of my pathetic particleboard and fiberglass hovel.

I looked up my ex last night. It's something I've done now and then in the years since I was summarily dismissed from his life. For years after, it was because I hoped to find him in abject misery, to discover that the woman for whom he so merrily left me had left him in turn. I wanted to know that karma was real, and that someone had hurt him as deeply and viciously as he'd hurt me when he said that he never loved me. For years, I found nothing at all. It was a relief. No news meant I was free to imagine him as a man haunted, dogged by regret for the way he treated me at the end, for the brutal unkindness of that admission.

I found him. On Facebook, naturally. He lives in the same state, funnily enough, and yes, he's still with the woman for whom he left me. They have two children, and he works as a successful carpenter with his own business. In short, he has everything he ever wanted, everything he was sure I couldn't give him when he sat in that truck in the park and told me he was finished, that because I couldn't walk, I couldn't cook or clean or give him babies, I couldn't give him the life he saw for himself. I could only cry then, snot on my upper lip and the air rushing from my lungs in a betrayed howl that went on forever and rendered my incoherent and furious and ashamed, because wasn't I just proving his point? Christ, I sounded disabled.

It took a long time for that betrayed howl to fall silent. Months. Years. Sometimes I'm not sure it ever truly did. Sometimes I think I hear its echo on the bad days, when nothing has gone right and I wonder why I bothered to throw back the covers and put my feet on the floor.

Dime que me amabas.

Stony silence.

Dime que me amabas. A silence that stretched on forever, final and merciless and worse than any blow.

Fourteen years later, I sat staring at a photo of him posing in front of the state line sign a mile from my house, a little older than my memories, but smiling, unblooded. And still with the one he wanted.

I didn't contact him. I won't. Too much time has passed, and what would I say? That I spent years hoping that life would break him as he broke me? That every now and then, I still have dreams in which we bump into each other somewhere and he apologizes for the way things ended? That it turns out he was right? I can't cook and clean, and I could never have given him the life he has with the one he chose? That what he said that night has never left me and has left a hurt that has never truly healed, a scar that pulls and tugs and throbs all these years later. That his silence still rings in my ears?

No. It would do no good. If he doesn't regret it now, he never will. Let him have his peace. Maybe one day, I'll find mine.
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