Clinging to the Edge

Jet-lagged beyond exhaustion, I stumbled down the five blocks to the park in my neighborhood. I'd just essentially sleepwalked off the Ethiopian Airlines flight early that morning after the more than twenty-four journey back to the United States from Malawi. Determined to jump start my circadian rhythm and uphold my typical "good girl" standards, I joined my Bocce team for the playoff games at what felt like one in the morning to my confused, aching body.

There are so many "if only"s running through my brain, like on an iPod playlist on shuffle and repeat.  If only we'd played on a different court. Or if I'd only decided to give into the jet leg and fell asleep at 3 pm EST. Then maybe I wouldn't have seen him.

I recognized the sandals he was wearing, the ones he bought for our trip to St. Lucia where we'd spent a week in each other's arms. We'd spend the days soaking in the sun and drinking cocktails, and spent the nights making love in the moonlight rising in between the Pitons.

Now instead of me, she was with him. The girl who captured his heart nearly ten years ago. The one I'd never live up to. The one he longed for as I struggled to make him love me. I watched as they walked arm in arm across the grass, carrying a picnic and a blanket. Something we used to do back when I used to think he loved me. And then I saw him kiss her.

As I walked towards them, I saw that he was wearing the jeans I'd bought him for Christmas our first year of dating. They'd faded significantly from the indigo blue they were when I bought them. When we lived together I did our laundry, and  I always took care to wash them inside out and hung them to dry. Tender and gentle, even with the clothes he wore.

I shocked them, I know. But my confrontation could have never delivered the kind of continuous punch to the gut I was experiencing. When my mom reflects on her divorce from my father, she'll often say, "Everything I feared would happen....happened." Here was my biggest fear happening--he had moved on before I had. He has the girl he'd always wanted. And I have nothing.

How do you cling to the edge when there's nothing there to dig your fingers into?

8 comments:

  1. I am living this..and I always approach them, too..my friends always wonder why, though.

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  2. i'm sorry you had to see them, *hugs

    well, one day, someone would come along and make you grateful it dint work out with him

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  3. Ugh that's awful. I've always had a hard time when someone I loved moved on before me. It's always my biggest fear.

    Email if you need to talk hon.

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  4. This is a fucking nightmare. I would puke. So sorry.

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  5. Oh sweetie, this breaks my heart. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I wish I could say something to make it better, but all I can say is that you do somehow find something to grip onto and you somehow find strength to hold on long after you think your fingers will give way. Promise.

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  6. It's gonna get better. I am going through an even worse scenario but I guess i should count myself lucky he is in a different country but i doubt it hurts any less. It will get better

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  7. I'm going through this as well. I think the really hard part is it makes our whole relationship feel like a lie to me now. The whole time we were together he was still in love with her and that is unimaginably sad and heartbreaking. I firmly believe that time heals all wounds though and I'll eventually love and trust again and you will too!

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  8. Uh oh :( sorry I've been away from blogging for a while...)

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