"Let's go for a drive," he said.
The new bypass opened in our town. This is big excitement for us. We are old.
It's okay though. It's okay to be old. It's okay to be excited by little things.
During the ride he tells me three stories about various things he's seen on television. He sings me a song he made up for me while I was at Zumba. He tells me two things that I told him last week, but he says them both in a way that I know he truly believes he is giving me brand new information. His memory is not so good these days.
He reminds me that in a few weeks we will have known each other for twenty years.
"Can you believe it?" he asks me.
I breathed one breath and it's been twenty years.
He says, "I need to tell you something that I didn't want to tell you" and then he has another story for me. This one is about his doctor. His doctor whose brother has epilepsy. Had epilepsy. The brother died. They checked and it wasn't a drug overdose and it wasn't a heart attack. It was Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
It was my greatest fear.
You can't worry, he tells me. It's going to be alright.
We talk about the assault, about that awful, terrible night that our lives changed forever. I hold out no hope anymore that the man will be caught. It's been four years: the anniversary was what prompted the conversation. Things will never be the same. There will never be justice for what happened to him or for what was taken from us and our family.
Our life together is actually quite beautiful.
When a traumatic event occurs you can fall apart, or you can fall together. We fell together. Professionally I just had the best year of my life. My stress is down 900 percent. I genuinely love what I do for work. We have our routine down. Financially things are better than they've ever been. Our family is intact and strong. We laugh a lot. A lot.
Sometimes the stress and the fear and the worry of it all get to me. Sometimes I sit in my car in the garage for a minute and finish up a cry before I come inside.
Usually when I come inside, he's at the stove, finishing up dinner. "How was your class?" he'll ask. "I missed you," he'll say.
It's really lovely.
It's not what I intended, but it's where I'm supposed to be.
"Life is hard," he tells me. "This has been a tough year."
I nod, silently. It has been a hard year. Hard years can be good years. It can be both. This year has been very hard on him, very hard on both of us.
"I really have had a charmed life though," he says. "I know I've had some hard times, but really. I'm the most blessed person alive."
He isn't though.
But I think I am.
I loved this.
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