Something About Jamie is Off

Something about Jamie might be—well—off.

He is my husband and I love him. I know he loves me, too. We have raised two beautiful teenage girls who have left for college. Ever since the two of them left, it's been just him and me, and it hasn't been that way since before the twins were born. I suppose that's why it's become so obvious this September, because suddenly there's nothing to distract me from every nuance and every moment and every word. And there is definitely something so off about his behavior.

This hasn't started just recently. The more I think about it, the more I come to the stark realization that this has been going on for a long time. It's been going on since before the twins left for college; before the twins were even born. It's been going on since before we married twenty-two and a half years ago. Before we started dating. Before we even met. Now, and only just now, as I sit across from him in our living room, does it occur to me that this has been going on before he even knew it was going on.

I quip about it as if I don't know. At this point, it's unspoken. It doesn't need to be said. Still, even though I'm positive of the reality, and I'm positive Jamie knows I'm positive, it has never been confirmed or denied. It's not something we need to talk about or discuss.

He looks up and smiles at me. His smile is off. But—it's the same smile it's been for the past twenty-two and a half years, and his eye has the same charming glint it's had for the past twenty-two and a half years, and it's the same dimple in his cheek that I have always loved throughout the twenty-two and a half lovely years we have been married.

He is my husband and I love him.

I am his wife and he loves me. But, it's not the same love I have for him. It is a different kind of love. It is a "like" kind of love. It is a "best friends forever" kind of love.

He won't tell me. He won't ever tell me.

We will continue with this charade until we're both long gone, buried next to each other on the shared plot of land we purchased in the cemetery.

I give him a smile back. The same smile I have always given him for the past twenty-two and a half years.

It's his secret. He can have it. I won't be the one to take it from him.

My love for him is too engrained, even if he is not physically capable of returning it.

Scary, though, how very off this secret makes him look and how very off it makes me feel about him.

But, really, something about Jamie has always been off.

A/N: Thanks everyone who read my first entry! If you haven't already figured it out, this is another entry to the contest Write the Wrongs. I actually won the first round (yay!) and we're in the next round with this entry here. The requirements were to write a 500 word MYSTERY drabble. Very difficult. Hope you enjoyed it! (PS, can you figure out what is so off about Jamie?--that's the mystery, of course.)