Monday, February 7, 2011

Still

I jump out of bed violently, confused about what just happened.  I replay the events in my mind...  The e-mail.  The sad look in Ray's eyes.  The way I felt as I ran away to that other man.

I can't breathe.  It's all too much to bear.  How could I have done that?  I know I have given up everything in my life that I hold dear.  My eyes begin to fill with tears, and suddenly I realize...

It was all a dream.

A horrible nightmare that felt oh so real.

I pull on my yoga pants and tennis shoes and smooth my hair into a ponytail.  I step outside into the crisp morning air and I begin to run.  Jerry Jenkins begins speaking to me about the importance of putting up hedges in my marriage.  I guiltily wonder if he somehow knew about my dream, but then realize how silly that thought is.

Thirty minutes later, sweaty and out of breath, I step back into the warmth of our home.  The quiet welcomes me, and I pull my damp clothes off.  I wash the moisture from my sweaty body with a bad feeling.  I remind myself over and over again, "It was a dream.  Just a dream.  Not real."  But it won't leave my head.

I turn on the iron and glance over at the pile of wrinkled clothes.  I try to remember what color he likes to wear on Mondays.  Tuesdays are green.  Fridays are red.  I can't remember what Mondays are so I decide to just iron the whole pile.  Blue, white, blue, black, green, red, green, blue, gray, green, black...  With each shirt comes a prayer.  A prayer for the one who is laying on the other side of that door.  A prayer for his protection, for his day at work, for purity of his mind, for his safety...  The steam from the iron presses out the wrinkles in the clothes, and the prayers press out the wrinkles left on my soul from the nighttime torment.

I hear him get out of bed and begin his morning routine.  We don't see enough of each other, and a few minutes later he gives a quick hug and is out the door.  I didn't even notice what color shirt he chose.

I nurse the little one and pour bowls of cereal for the others.  I start the laundry and answer a few e-mails.  And then I see it.  "I still love you."  As if he knew what was whirling through my sleeping mind just a few hours before.  I read it again.  And again.  And I smile, knowing it's true.

He still loves me.

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