Jake was out there on his hammock and I rode right past him and waved then went down some back little street where the University professors live. The “fairytale house” is my favorite.
I thought about how nice it would be if Chris and I could eventually buy an amazing house like this one. But then I remembered with a surprising wave of disappointment, that we don’t like each other anymore. When did that happen? Was it when the Playstation entered the house? When did it start to become normal for him to walk right out of the room rather than listen to the end of my sentence?
He just thinks I’ve changed because I don’t laugh like I used to. I do still dance when I put away the laundry but he doesn’t see that. He just sees my sadness. Honestly I don’t know if I am ever going go get joy back… not like how it used to be when music came on in the car and all there was in the world was me, the car and that song. Now it is only that fear that as soon as I let my guard down and enjoy the song while driving, that “something bad’ will happen. Who knows, maybe if I enjoyed this bike ride too much I might not make it home to my little girl.
I know this constant self-limitation is pointless and I know my despair is going to put me away if I keep it up. So yesterday morning, on that street, in that fancy little neighborhood, I spun my bike pedal around like I did as a kid and decided to see if Jake was still there. I pedaled fast, as though I might miss a piece of time that was waiting for me. I thought about what I was going to say to him then decided just not to think and just to see what happened…if he was even still there. I rode back to our street and there he was, sitting up in the hammock and when he saw me he practically jumped out, stumbling a bit and started to hurry towards me toward the street. So it actually would have been very rude if I had not stopped to talk to him.
“Odette!” He said with a big grin. “I love that name!”
“Hey!” I said, returning the smile and I stopped with one foot on the ground and the other on a pedal.
“How is your head doing?”
I pulled the hair away from my forehead and showed him.
“That looks better.” He said. I nodded.
It was good to talk to him. I immediately felt my body relax in to happiness and my heart start pounding with the excitement of just being near him. Just his smile and the way he held my gaze with intense sincerity made everything fun again. Maybe I was still beautiful.