Home » A Wasted Life » Leaving Ten Years Of Our Lives Behind

Leaving Ten Years Of Our Lives Behind

I had finally talked J*** into selling the house in C*********, just to stop the bleed.  I was going to move into the house in A********.
We got it sold and took a huge loss but we weren’t the only ones who got hit by the housing market crash.
Before I began the tedious chore of packing up the house, I decided to make something for S***.  I made him an avant-garde wall hanging, which reflected my impression of his brain tumor.
K**** and B***** and then N**** came up to help me pack and did as much as they could before they had to get back.  The rest of it, I had to do all by myself and it was almost overwhelming at times.
We had been “toting” around J***s’ massive collection of newspapers and work paraphernalia for years.  I wasn’t going to take it with me and he didn’t have room in the condo where he was.
I was going to cull as much as I could.  I found spreadsheets from three or four newspapers ago, budget figures and lists of salaries of former employees.  I was tossing them in the trash and I happened to spot social security numbers.  I hesitated for a minute and then decided that I wouldn’t want my social security number vulnerable so I started shredding the papers.  I burned out one shredder and had to go buy another one.  It took days to get through it all.
I had never seen so much stuff!  I went through copies of emails to and from him.  I remember S*** telling me once that J*** told him that he always made at least three hard copies of his emails.  Boy!  He sure did.
There were lots of emails from  J*** to his mama and daddy and there were several from S***.  I read one of them.  S*** had visited us and had emailed J*** to tell him that he had a wonderful time.  Then he said “tell P**** that she is my one true friend.”
I got through the papers and then came the personal stuff.  I found an email that he had sent to L**** C********.  Apparently, he had met her on one of his trips to C****** and they were at the airport together.
He told her that “with a little encouragement, he would have asked her to miss her flight.”
She responded that if she had known, “she WOULD have missed her flight.”
It was followed with a lengthy email from J***.  One line read, “the truth, while never to be denied or hidden, doesn’t necessarily have to be divulged in all relationships.”  How true that was.
I think what he meant was that the truth NEVER had to be divulged to his wife.
Then, I found the Christmas card she sent him.  It talked about “once in a lifetime meetings” and the “hours they spent together” and signed off with “let us hold each other close.”
“Who is this man?”  That is going to be a recurring question.
We sold the house and I hired movers.  That house in A******** wasn’t going to come close to holding everything so I had to get a storage unit.
So, our big house in C********* was gone.  His high-powered job was gone.  My job was gone.  And we were gone.  We had lived there for ten years and now, all of those things were going to become just a distant memory.
J*** and I made a trip to F****** to see S*** and our girls.  On the way down, I asked him about the emails and cards.  He tried to feed me a line of bullshit about how I knew he had always wanted to write a novel and he intended to use those as content.  WHAT?  I’m sure he thought it was a believable explanation and again, it was perfectly believable…if I was an idiot.
We got to S***s’ house and it was beer drinking time.  I gave S*** his wall hanging, which I intended for him to use as a foot warmer.  He wanted to hang it on his wall, instead.  I was worried that it might offend somebody due to the title, which was clearly about his tumor.  I think he liked it.  It could have also been interpreted to be what somebody saw while staring into the sun after a night of drinking.
S*** asked J*** if he remembered how every day, he, J*** and L***** had left work around five to go to the bar across the street.
J*** turned around and angrily said “THANKS A LOT, S***. ”  He left and went outside.
S*** said “I didn’t mean to make him mad.”  I told him that J*** just didn’t like to get caught.
S*** said he used to look at J*** and think “what is he doing here with L*****, when he has that beautiful wife and those beautiful kids at home?”  I told him he did it because he could and he could because he had a trusting wife who  believed that her husband was working long hours.
He said he asked J*** if he wasn’t worried about driving home after he had been drinking all night and J*** said “I take the back roads.”
S*** had heard the “rumors” about J*** and L*****, and J*** and D**** and he even knew about R******* (the woman who wanted J*** to spend the night with her.)  He said that R******* was a “real tramp” and so was L*****.  He started telling me stories about them and the stories were pretty remarkable.
I laughed and said “well, all of those escapades were ‘innocent’ and were only to provide  fodder for the novel he wants to write.”
S*** was responding well to the treatments and his prognosis for long-term survival was hopeful.  He was still able to play golf and socialize.
S*** enjoyed discussing things with me, I think.  I understood the jargon and I knew what his drugs were for.  It was difficult sometimes, though.  He would ask me if I knew what something meant.  I felt sure that he already knew and maybe he was looking for a different answer from me, but I never lied to him.
I asked him if he thought he was going to die.  He was a little surprised and asked me why I asked him that.  I said because you could be the one person who beats the odds.  You could be the one person who proves the medical statistics wrong, but you have to believe it yourself.  He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye (the twinkle that sadly,  would slowly disappear in the months to come) and said “I think I can beat this thing.”
J*** went back to A******* and I went back to A********.  There was so much to do in that house and I worked from sun-up to sun-down.
J*** was regularly sending me flowers and he would come see me as often as he could.  It would go well until I made the mistake of interrupting him while he was reading a book, or when he was on his computer.  Then, he would violently lash out at me.
One time, I asked him to do me a favor.  I asked him to pretend that I was his fucking mama because he would never talk to her the way he talked to me.  He sat there like a stump…..just like he always did.  He didn’t have an explanation as to why he continually talked to me like I was an animal, and he kept doing it.
I told him that I didn’t want flowers and presents, I wanted him to take my hand and tell me that he understood how badly he had hurt me.  He reached over and took my hand and quipped “babe”….
I jerked my hand away and said “NO.  I don’t want it to be disingenuous and I don’t want it to have to be prompted.”  Maybe he thought it was a joke but I didn’t.
He came to see me for Christmas and had a car full of presents.  I hadn’t gotten him anything and I felt terrible.  I hadn’t decorated and it was almost surreal.  We had lived with every inch of our houses being full of decorations and now there was nothing.
He had stopped buying jewelry for me.  There would occasionally be a small necklace included with the flowers he was sending me and I would wear them when he came to visit.  I don’t think he ever noticed, though.
Even though every time he visited, he would invariably reduce me to less than garbage, I was always sorry to see him go.  I would immediately miss him.  I would watch him drive down the street until I couldn’t see him anymore and I would whisper a silent prayer that he would be safe.

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