I sit curled up on the love seat, tears flowing. Staring at the far end of the room, I ignore the shadows cast on the wall by movements outside my window. My mind is in turmoil. I look around the house; five years and I hoped I’d still be counting but I’m not sure now.
I caress my wedding band, turning it around on my finger. I remove it and hook it to my necklace, like a pendant, close to my heart.
What will it take to make it work?
I remember when it all started; I just knew this was what I wanted. Barely out of the university, I was so eager to marry Steve. I believed he was everything I wanted. Mum thought it was too soon. We had only been dating for six months.
“Hold on for one year and you’ll be blessed many times over.” she had said.
Should I have waited? Would it have helped? Would things be different now if we had wedded after Christmas like we originally planned?
The questions swim in my head.
I switch on the television. Too much thinking is making me sick. I flip through the channels; nothing good on a Wednesday evening.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a child, I muse. Steve loves children; I see it when we have Derin’s kids over. But that’s not my fault. The doctors say we’re both okay.
The tears keep flowing fast; I blow my nose hard, feeling a slight headache in my temple. I rise from the seat to turn off the lights in the room. My eyes catch something as I sit back down. I see a flicker of light from the table where I have my keepsakes. I move towards the object, bending down to pick it up.
Its a little velvet bag with a shiny logo. I open the bag and let out a soft sigh. Relief washes over me like a wave. No longer able to stand, I drop on the floor, crossing my legs.
Inside the bag are little red beads, hundreds of them.
My mother gave it to Steve and I on our wedding day, with a little illustration. She had us remove a bead and return it.
“Shake it together and remove the same bead from the lot.” she said.
We looked at each other and burst into laughter.
“That’s impossible, Mum.” I said, still laughing.
“Good. Now that you know, when you feel like giving this all up, remember it can only be over when that lone bead turns up,” and she shuffled away.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My sweet wise Mum. I close my eyes and lean on the bed, thinking how impossible it is for me to give up now.
Steve should still be at work.
I shuffle over to the computer and begin typing an email. I pour my heart out in a few words.
I’ll be waiting today so we can have a heart to heart. This is really hard but I’m willing to make it work. I’ve decided giving up on us is not an option, at least not for me.
I love you,
I click send and sigh, hoping he at least catches it on his blackberry.
Back on the bed, I fall asleep almost immediately.
A few hours later, I wake to see him at the foot of the bed, head in hands, weeping. I move to his side, and start rubbing his back slowly. I know he likes that. He looks at me with tears in his eyes, his nose running. His gaze reaches right into my soul and I see in his eyes what I’ve always known. He loves me.
We sit in the dark for hours, in each other’s arms. Today could have been the end but we’ll start all over.
I fall asleep again, right where I should be, unaware of the ten paged document from the divorce courts, the forms completely filled, lying on the bedroom floor….