What had been a blood red sangria earlier now was a light red mixture of melted ice and soggy apple balls. After mindlessly staring into the mixture for what seemed like forever, I pushed the glass away from me and traced the circle of water it left behind with my fingers. I look up at the clock behind the bar to see it was only nine thirty. The night was passing so slowly. I just wanted this day to be over with. I just wanted everything to be over with. And it was, sometime today it all ended.
I covered my face with my hands and sighed a deep sigh into it. All my sorrows and emptiness were supposed to end today. I was released from my shallow marriage, why didn`t I feel any better? My chest ached like the pen of my freedom had shattered in it, and now the millions of shards were stuck in every inch of my bleeding heart. I would slowly but surely, die from the poison of the jet black ink that I had been so tempted, so anxious to use. Wasn`t this what I wanted? Why did I feel so bad about what we chose to do today?
I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned to see my best friend Nora. She looked lovely with her short, brown curls and large, black rimmed glasses. Her eyes were a big, beautiful blue, perfect with her tiny, pink heart shaped lips. Nora and I have been friends since our freshman year of high school. We were both in the book club, and both competed for head of student council. As much as we have competed for the same thing, it only made sure that she was the sister who I never knew I had. We had so much in common, it was impossible for us not to be friends.
"Hey Katia, come here," she immediately opened her arms and hugged me.
I let myself fall into her arms, and laid lifelessly in their comfort.
"I`m so sorry baby. I wished I could have been there with you," she whispered in my ears.
I knew she would have if she hadn`t been in Ohio for her dad, who is in the hospital.
We eventually break from our hug, and she took a seat beside me at the bar.
"Did you see him?" she asked as she looked at me with her large eyes full of concern.
I gently shake my head no. "I-I didn`t want to be there. I couldn`t see him. I didn`t want to change my mind anymore."
Nora nodded her head knowingly. "You made the right choice Katia, and I don`t want you to doubt the decision you made today for a second. Things are only going to get better from here, it is going to be hard, but you have a second chance at happiness."
I nodded my head. "I know. I keep telling myself to be optimistic… I just…I just miss him so much," I look up at Nora, "but I know if I go home, he`s not what I`m looking for."
I forced a small smile at her, and she took my hand. "You`re right….and you`re going to be okay."
The door finally opened and Emerson walked in still dressed in his suit and tie. His tie was undone around his neck, his hair looked like it had been ran through several times. He looked like he could use a good, long bath. His eyes flickered over to mine but he doesn`t stop. He walked straight into our bedroom.
I nervously wringed my hands, not sure of what to do. He looked like he`s had a hard day, do I even tell him that he missed dinner, again? Do I even tell him that I waited for him until dinner got cold, and finally decided to eat alone again? I take a deep breath. When had our relationship become so boring and routine? When had it become so lifeless and empty?
From the corner of my eyes I see a figure and turned to see Emerson leaned against the wall with his arms crossed in front of him. I noticed the bags underneath his eyes. What has he been doing to himself at the office?
"…I missed dinner, I know, and I know you`re wanting to talk about it. So let`s just do it, get it over with. I`m tired and I`d like to go to sleep."
His words cut me deep. What was the point of talking, when it was just a routine conversation that would mounted to nothing? What was the point of trying to make things work anymore when he barely wanted to try?
I took a deep breath and look up at him. I felt the tears brimmed to the edge of my eyes but I refused to let him see me cry. It doesn`t matter to him anymore when I do, as a matter of fact, I know it annoys him.
"No, I don`t want to talk about it," I whispered.
"Come on Katia, I know you, you need to talk about everything."
"No, I don`t want to talk about it. If you made the choice not to come home for dinner, than that`s your choice to make."
I looked up at him to see him staring at me with dark, brooding eyes.
"Fine, I`m going to shower then sleep. Don't say I didn`t ask to talk about it."
Was everything this hopeless?
"Where were you?" I quietly asked right before he turned to leave.
He stopped. I could see his shoulders heaved as he took a deep breath.
"I was at the bar."
I moved everything into Nora`s house a month ago, when Emerson and I started to live apart. She insisted that I lived with her. It would be like college all over again, us in our own apartment, going out on Friday nights, and doing whatever we pleased. She hated how Emerson was so strict, and wanting me to be the proper wife all the time. Nora never liked Emerson, which was funny because I thought they were very compatible. They were both success driven, very intelligent, and serious. I always told her that she was just jealous of him.
I wondered if things could ever go back to the way they were before. After being in a marriage for this long, could I go back to being a young, and carefree person? I worried that the hurt and growth of life had taken away a part of me that I could never get back.
Nora`s second bedroom that I was staying in felt empty. My life`s possessions were lined up against the brick wall in brown package boxes. In the middle of the room was my blow up air mattress. I looked around the room and felt that haunting emptiness sink in even more. When would the day come, when I would wake up and all this despair and darkness would just not be here anymore? I took a deep breath. It felt like that shadow was here to stay. I don`t even know the first step to moving on.
There was a soft knock on the door, a few moments later Nora`s head popped in.
"Comfortable?" she asked.
I took a quick look around, and took a deep breath, "yes," I smiled gently at her.
"Can I come in?"
"It`s your house Nora," I said as I pulled back my blanket to make room for her on the bed.
"We should go shopping for furniture tomorrow," she said as she sat on the bed.
"I don`t want to impose Nora," I said.
Nora took my hand. "Katia, you are not imposing. I love it that you`re here. This apartment is too big for one person. I love your company. It`s just like old times! We can watch TV marathons, paint our nails, and get face masks!"
I smiled at her. Nora is such a kind hearted person. She has been really good about cheering me up and getting me through this.
"No Katia, it`s final. You`re staying here," then she narrowed her eyes, "don`t make me have to chain you in."
I love her. She genuinely makes me happier.
I stared at myself in silence in the mirror for the longest time the next morning. I felt different. I knew that I didn`t look any different than I did yesterday or a month ago, but I felt different inside of me. I guess it was reflected outside as well. Whether this feeling was a good or bad one, I couldn`t tell. Part of me was happy that I made it through another day, the other was tired of another day without him. I keep asking myself, if this was what I really wanted, why wasn`t I happy? Shouldn`t I feel liberated? Shouldn`t I be content?
Nora came in a few minutes later to find me still in my pajamas, my hair a mess, red-eyed, and bawling.
She didn`t say anything to me, just sat beside me and wrapped me in her arms until I stopped crying. I don`t know how long that was, but by the time we finally got out of the apartment it was already noon.