like those monsters you were scared of when you were five, now there is something even scarier under your bed. journals from your past. you can’t throw them away. you can’t put them in the attic of your parents house, they’ll get lost or damaged from water, or even worse read by someone, so you keep them with you. throughout your moves from dorm rooms, and little apartments in big cities, and back to your childhood room and then to your first house with your husband and baby son. they’re with you. underneath your bed that your aunt gave you as a housewarming gift that makes noise when your toddler son jumps on.
your husband is working late and your son is sleeping. there’s nothing on television and your tired of your book. you peak under the mattress. they’re staring at you from their bin. you open one and slowly descend into a world that you left on your own years ago. a world from the start that was filled with such hope. such attraction. such excitement and fire. and then that slowly crumbled with stints of fury and bitterness. such happy words at the start of the little brown journal, happy thoughts and memories…
driving him home after a night we spent together. him getting out of my car and the white sky behind him. his eyes blue and clear. christmas eve with his family. meeting his grandmother and seeing the tiny christmas lights reflecting off her glasses. a blizzard in nyc, drinking whiskey and tea in that little bar downtown and kissing all the way up john street. showers together before work, watching the soap falling over his freckles and birthmarks, laughing loud. the competitions and bets and silly games. the drinking and passionate words he’d whisper on the floor of our apartment.
then towards the end of the book. after what seemed like twenty years together. the falling and the failing. the drinking. the hateful words filled with suspicion and doubt. the mistrust. the indecisiveness of where to go and what to do next. that one morning in brooklyn. that one sunday afternoon in the village when we screamed and yelled on the sidewalk and i jumped in a cab alone wishing the driver could drive seven hours west back home to my parents house. the late fights, our breath on fire with alcohol and grinding your teeth with anger. the slamming doors and the crying.
i snap myself back into reality. a sleeping toddler on the monitor, twisting out of his blankets with his little hand up to his mouth. a text on my phone from my husband done with work and on his way home. he calls me love and he means it.
i breathe a sigh of sweet relief. thank god we didn’t end up together.
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