A Tale of Like by Lois Hewitt

Our story is not an epic one.  We were young and ill-prepared for marriage. We toughed it our six years before throwing in the towel.  I was a mess as a teenager, crazed like a feral cat.  I wanted to calm down but did not know how.  Then one day at the bar I met him.  A few years older, not much though but stable.  We started talking and drinking, he eventually asked fir my number with no other intents for that evening.  

We actually went on a few dates.  It was fun and he was always the gentleman.  We laughed at each other and the feeling was very comfortable. Not long after that, we talked about getting married.  Neither of us knew what it would entail but we were heavy into like and probably a little bit of love too.  So we picked a day and got married at the local courthouse.

Marriage to us, at the time, meant that we could make out anytime, eat Oreos for dinner and buy stuff.  It was all light and breezy until the talk turned to children.  We both thought children would be a cool idea, besides our friends were starting families. So we tried, tried some more and tried again to no avail.  People we knew were pregnant almost the moment they thought about it but we had no such luck.  

The weeks turned to months and the months turned to years and still no child.  The lightness had left the marriage. Behind it was depression and what I thought was my own madness.  Due to my inability to control this situation I started to exhibit OCD tendencies.  I already had them, but the stress of infertility made them surface wholesale.  I started losing my grip on reality and he started to drink even more. He never drank at home only at the bar. 

He loved it when people found out he was married.  They never would have guessed it, they would say.  This was his way of having his cake and eating it too.  More years past as we languished in the infertility wasteland.  The love seemed to fall away.  We still liked each other but it became clear to me that might not be enough to keep the marriage alive.

We tried a weekend getaway to see if it could be salvaged and we both knew the end was approaching.  We talked about divorce and he moved out.  I proceeded to get the paperwork drawn up.  I wanted nothing from him and he nothing from me.  I cried for the loss as well as the failure. I liked him and he liked me but that was not enough to fill the cup of marriage.

We both went our separate ways. Certain songs made me think back in time. I would see him around town and we would speak.  Genuinely concerned how the other one was. I remarried, he did not. Apparently he wasn’t alone too much, and that was good.  I don’t think he was cut out to be married and that’s ok too.

So I start a new life in a new place and I get a message in Facebook that he has passed away.  I rush to the phone to call the person who sent me the note.  We talk at length about what happened and how he passed away.  I sat there alone crying uncontrollably.   My marriage is great and strong, we conquered the “dark years” and came through the other side. No. I do not cry for any regrets, or any misgivings.  I cry because he was a good and decent person who suffered. My heart breaks not for missed love but because he passed away so young. 

I remember the laughs, the late nights, forgotten are the childless years for they do not matter now.  I remember his smile and always the kind word. I am imagine I drive him crazy with my bad temper and mood swings. He never let on to me though. He seemed content those few years so much time ago.  I hope for a brief time he found some happiness with me and longer spans of happiness after me.

I’m sorry our love story was not an epic one. I’m sorry our love was not the kind to last through time.  You deserved better than that. I’m sorry you left your family and friends so young.  But thank you for taking the time to give it a try.  Thank you for honesty caring and for trying to understand those things about me I did not even understand. You were a good and kind man. The world is better for your time in it. Rest well now with no more pain. 

Good night, dear Pete, good night.

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