The Distraction Is Saving Me – by: Odette

It is Saturday morning, about 5am. I couldn’t sleep at all. I’ve literally been awake all night…so now I’ve given up trying. I really have nobody to tell, and if I get it all out through writing this, then maybe I’ll be able to rest. I cheated on my husband 2 days ago and I’m still trying to feel bad about it.

It was so random I almost wonder if Meliah had something to do with it.

I was on a walk just to get the heck out of the house, looking at the trees, looking for Meliah. The leaves were glinting and golden in the evening breeze that was starting to pick up; a breeze that promised summer storm clouds were on the way. Meliah used to pull back her soft, dark blonde curls in a low ponytail. She was getting a few wrinkles around her mouth and laugh lines by her hazel eyes.

This time last year, only a few days before her car accident, Meliah and I went on this same walk together down my street. She was excited about her son. He was kicking inside her lovely belly, and she let me feel the min-blowing thumps. We walked slowly past all the quaint student houses accessorized with cobblestone paths, fairy lights strung messily between trees, and lawns littered with cars parked on the grass, beads dangling from their rear-view-mirrors. I told Meliah how strange it was to be the mom with the little one and the husband on the college party street. She told me I needed to get the hell out of this neighborhood and live in a “normal” suburb where I didn’t have to put white noise on to keep Zoe from being woken up by college parties. I said I didn’t mind the energy. We brought her prissy little, but surprisingly loud, dog, Lika, on our walk. Now as I pictured Meliah laughing and grumping about her work, tugging Lika back on a hot pink “Legally Blonde” leash when she tried to chase a cat, I was utterly aching for my sister who was never coming back.

I looked carefully at the swaying leaves, wondering if Meliah was somehow a part of them like I had promised our younger sister she was. I closed my eyes with my face to the sky and just listened to them rushing and rustling…sometimes calm in the breeze, then suddenly wild in the wind. My clothes and my hair moved with them. I wasn’t worried about anyone seeing me standing there with my eyes closed. The streets have been so empty and quiet this summer. It’s been a ghost town.

I heard a dog bark and I was confused for a second because I thought instantly of little Lika, even though of course it wasn’t her. Then I was blindsided by the loud thud of something hitting my head. I had to catch myself and kneel to the ground with pain.

The endorphins kicked in right away and the shock stung more than the pain. I supported myself on the grass with my hands and looked around me to see what happened. There was a large stick next to me on the ground. And now a very freaked out guy was hurrying, half stumbling towards me while his crazy dog was running around his legs and barking. The trees were blowing harder now and I wondered if the branch that hit me blew from a tree. But then this guy was shouting “I’m so sorry I’m so sorry. I didn’t even see you there!” and I guessed that he had done this somehow. The shock was then eclipsed by anger with a tinge of embarrassment, and my immediate reaction was to shoo these loud busy figures away from me so I could recover. But when he kneeled down in front of me, fending off his excited dog with one hand and holding my arm with his other, I saw through the haze of head trauma that I definitely wanted him to stick around.

It is pretty crazy what happened next but l’ll have to tell you tomorrow since I can hear Zoe singing in her bed. But I will say this. I’m buzzing because the guy was the kind of good looking that you see in movies. The kind that you don’t even think exists outside of a screen or a story.  His name is Jake and he seems to have some sort of a crush me. To be honest, I’m used to guys liking me but I also know that I’m probably some sick bet with his friends, the MILF down the street. I don’t know and I don’t really care.

I won’t say right now exactly what happened, except that it was INSANE…and I’m totally excited and utterly horrified at the same time…but more excited.

I can’t tell my friends what happened because they all love my sweet husband, Chris and they will hate me for doing this. My younger sister will tell me I am making a huge mistake and will probably try to “help” me. But what I don’t think I could make anyone understand, is that everything has just been too stagnant lately and too depressing to be ok. Constantly trying to cope and cope has been exhausting. But that now that things are suddenly way too exciting to actually be OK, the distraction is literally saving me. Meliah would have understood. She never judged me.

I’m going to let myself feel more joy than guilt because I need this.

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