When she made the decision to clean out her things and call Seka, the cab driver, she didn’t make it lightly.
The problem had been developing over the year that they had been together. She’d pretended not to see the signs. Not to see herself slowly become a thing, slowly wither, but there comes a time when one must stop blaming the universe and take the reins of their own life.
‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’ so the good book says. If she didn’t love herself enough to save her dignity then how could she love others? Did she deserve to be loved at all if she didn’t love herself?
Her mind wandered a bit. It was a cold evening and he’d want coffee when he got back. He’d want pastries with that. Out of habit, she’d baked some for him-cookies that he called snow flakes because they were white, small and soft. She imagined him munching them and smiled fondly.
She loved him.
Was it love though? She frowned.
Is that what love was?
Depending & clinging and not being able to breathe without another person? Was love like fear then?
She had tried leaving once before, no, twice it had been. Once she had even reached her sister’s home. The other time she, well, the other time she made the mistake of calling him to say goodbye and he’d talked her out of it.
Her sister said that she was crazy but her sister had always been so judgemental.”Why don’t you get off dating for awhile? ” she’d say or “Why don’t you settle down Beth?” And then she had moved in with Patrick. Gambling, charming, narcissistic oh so handsome Patrick. She had liked being with him; being needed,serving him, having someone want her, having someone at all.
He called her names and shouted in her face, he never touched her-he had sex with her but he never touched her, not affectionately, not like he used to.
It wasn’t the bruises on her body,or the two miscarriages that made her finally decide to leave… Patrick had taken something from her, broken something in her. She had looked at herself in the mirror and seen it. Death. She had died and not known it. Even though her family and friends had tried to get her out of this pit, in that moment she knew she was the only one who could revive herself. She’d be reborn.
Beep. Beep. Seka’s hooting startled her. She hoisted herself off the front steps and waddled to his car. Amara stirred. That’s what she was going to name her. Amara. Life.
At thirty six, hers was just beginning.