Number thirteen

Number thirteen

Today is my thirteen-year wedding anniversary. It is also my last. For number twelve, we celebrated big. We had the entire day together, childfree. We took a mini road trip, had dinner and drinks, and went to a show. It was one of our best dates ever. This year, we are alone, in our own homes. We will individually be looking over the details of our separation agreement, making sure everything is right before we submit it to the powers that be. Of course, nothing really feels right.

I feel like I am living in a dream state. I am caught between two worlds, dangling precariously between the past and the future. Neither of my names fits me now- I can’t really go back to who I was before I took his name, and I can’t keep it because it feels like a weight. I am like Alice, unsure of which door to choose, unable to explain myself because I am not myself.

Yesterday I looked at my hands and I noticed there is still an indentation on my left ring finger, the space where my wedding ring used to reside. I haven’t worn it for a few months now and I wonder how long will that mark be there? I don’t want to see this physical reminder of another loss. When we told our daughter the news, she asked me what I was going to do with my wedding ring. She cried, begging me to please not get rid of it. Later that night I slipped it into her jewelry box. I don’t know if she has discovered it, but I sometimes picture her sitting in her room, caressing the diamonds with her tiny fingers, as if it is some sort of talisman protecting her fragile heart.

My husband, if I can call him that, has moved on. I do not know if he will notice the date and remember how we promised ourselves to each other all those years ago. He would likely think, perhaps rightly so, that my acknowledgment of our anniversary makes me overly sentimental. I can’t quite help it, though. I live my life by a different sort of calendar, dividing my memories by a series of losses and celebrations. This time, it will be no different. This is the year the day went from joyous to sad and I will add it to my timeline, knowing, somehow, I will continue moving forward.

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