I’m listening to Cat Stevens song, “How Can I Tell You.” I’ve poured a double shot of tequila and reflecting on my conversation with Rebecka and Gracie about their father. That is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do thus far in my life. I’m mentally exhausted, and I have to be up early to get the girls off to school before I go to work.
Joel has been non-existent and is bothering me more all the time. I sit here at the table staring at my fingers gingerly moving the full shot glass in small circles. I am thinking about contacting Joel again and telling him I finally told his daughter’s about why we split up. Maybe it’s time he steps up and faces his daughters like a man and interact with them. Help them understand and love them the way a father should.
So, I sit here wondering ‘what if’ how much my life would be different if I had not gotten out of bed that one early morning after Marshall and I broke our promise and had sex. Maybe we could have talked through the one-time compromise. On the other hand, if life had turned out differently for him and me, I would not have Rebecka or Gracie.
I listen to Cat Stevens poetic words, and they sink deep into my soul,
“How can I tell you
That I love you
I love you
But I can’t think of right words to say
I long to tell you
That I’m always thinking of you
I’m always thinking of you
But my words just blow away
Just blow away.”
My path is set, and I cannot get Marshall out of my mind tonight. Choices we all make determines whether our memories are good or bad. Sometimes a poor choice leads to long-term guilt that never goes away. The only way is to confront the situation that causes the guilt or live with it for the rest of your life. I can’t live with this for the rest of my life, just like I could not continue protecting Joel’s leaving us and not telling the girls. Tonight, that stress is gone. So now I need to find Marshall and apologize to my best friend for being an idiot and dropping him out of my life in one quick decision. Sitting here listening to Cat Steven’s song I start to cry. His song is digging at my soul, and every word is my life. Then it dawned on me I did the exact same thing to Marshall as Joel did us, his family.
Sunday nights are the worst for me. Everyone I know is at home with their wives and getting kids ready for another week of school. I being single become trapped in my home with nothing but silence, so the television becomes my family. I flip through stations trying to take up time. I stop at a station long enough if something catches my interest. It’s a way of numbing my mind to my loneliness.
I flip the television over to the internet, and I turn on Pandora. One of my favorite stations is set up as a Neil Young station. I click on that one and one of my favorite songs, starts to play, “Heart of Gold.” I identify with this song like my life, I’m always searching for a “Heart of Gold,” but actually I’m searching for a woman that will love me, a family. I want to be like all my friends. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I am lost.
I think about the past few years. Girlfriends have come and gone. The last one, Noemi I thought after a year of dating we would take the next step, and I was prepared to ask her to marry me. I tried working up the nerve one night at her house, and then I didn’t do it. I suspect that Noemi would have said yes, at least that is what I tell myself now.
Now that I sit here and I can admit to myself that Joel has done the same thing to his family as I did to Marshall. That changes a lot in my mind. I feel horrible now as I think about it. Maybe I should try harder to find him. I don’t know if he would even talk to me, but it would be an attempt to apologize to him.
I’ve had a couple of offers for dates, but so far I cannot say yes. Our divorce was final six months ago, so I am single. Now I sit here and wonder if maybe now is the right time to start dating. How would it affect my daughters? Perhaps in light of what I shared with them about their father being gay and in love with a man this evening it might not be the right timing to bring a new man into their lives. I probably need to wait and see if Joel does decide to be a part of his daughter’s lives and makes contact with the girls first. Yet, I sit here by myself and lonely and my spirit slipping into a deeper depression. I’m afraid if I’m not careful I might not come out of it into the sunshine. I am beginning to hate me.
Noemi, when I close my eyes and listen to Neil Young, I see her smile. I can remember our trip to the beach. Her blonde hair floated in the sea breeze and with her green cotton dress moving in the wind. I watched her arms outstretched and barefooted in the sand. She was free if it were only for a few minutes.
I sat on the sand propping myself up with my arms, and my legs stretched out and crossed over each other I watched her move in the breeze. I was happy. She twirled in circles and then ran into the sea, and the small waves tugged at the bottom of her dress. I cannot forget her it is more than a memory for me now. When I close my eyes, I see every moment as clear as if I were there on that sandy beach with her. I wished I could be as free as she was that day on the beach.
Noemi loved me, and I loved her. It was her smile. Oh, I loved her smile. Her eyes were full of life, and she told me how much she loved me just with those eyes.
So, I sit her on the couch by myself on Sunday evening trying to wait out tonight so at least I can go back to work. Work is my sanctuary and the only reprieve I have from the dead silence that screams at me when I’m alone.
It dawned on me I have not seen my parents in quite a while. Maybe I should take Rebecka and Gracie to see them. They are getting older, and my dad’s health is not the best. I think tomorrow I will book a flight for us and go home for a week. The girls are in school, but I can take them out for a few days. A trip home could do all of us a lot of good. Maybe I can slip away and see if I can find Marshall if he is still there.
How could I ever know that just a week later after our few days at the beach it would be the last time Noemi or I would share any more memories together. Noemi was in a terrible car accident. Some drunk asshole plowed into her car.
I sat in the hospital with her day and night holding her hand whispering to her, hoping she could hear me. Begging her to come back to me. Her lovely hair just a week ago, dancing in the breeze was shaved off, and a bandage replaced it. Staples and removing part of her skull to relieve the swelling brain.
I promised her if she came back to me I would ask her to marry me. All I heard were the monitors working non-stop to keep her alive. I could only hope, she would wake up and say, “I will marry you.” The doctors were optimistic at least for the family. I prayed, oh I prayed a lot. I cried and played music she loved. I promised her of more trips to the beach.
Nothing could be done except wait. Noemi slipped away from us on the fourth day after the accident. I know she fought, but her injuries were too much. I held her hand it was 2:30 in the morning and her mother and father left to get some sleep, and I said I would stay until they got back. She took a deep breath, and there was no more.
I can only hope if there is a God somewhere that He has given Noemi a beach to dance in the waves for all eternity.