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Surprise!

24 Jun

I walked out the door slowly. I mean, I couldn’t walk out any other way – I wasn’t really walking to get somewhere, I was walking to get anywhere. Anywhere that was away from her. She had mumbled the words at first, and I thought it was a joke because I didn’t believe the information from my ears. I laughed and asked her to repeat the sentence. She said it slightly louder, and I stopped laughing.

I couldn’t help reviewing the conversation a hundred times in my head. It was three sentences, but they would stay with me for years. I almost tripped after reaching the curb, but I caught myself. There was no way I was going to let her see me stumble from her seat inside the diner, not after how she had changed my life. I scurried across the street then hopped into my car, willing myself to keep control until I was away from her. I drove around the city for a half hour, then found a seedy bar on the South Side which I had never noticed previously. I went in and ordered a vodka and cranberry, light on the cranberry. I sat at the dirty bar and began to think.

I thought about her hair as it spilled out under the silly hats she liked to try on when we went shopping together. It was blonde, and because she was five inches shorter than me, I could only see a few inches peeking out around her laughing face. I thought about her with her son, the sweet boy who shared his momma’s brown eyes. He was only two, but already he had a toddler sass that never ceased to entertain. I thought about her turning to me as we walked together on our daily walks, laughing over some joke only the two of us understood. I remembered her teeth and how the bottom canine stuck out from the rest of the teeth; it was the only noticeable flaw in her otherwise perfect mouth.

I thought finally about the ring she had helped me choose. We went together and she giggled as we picked out a diamond for an engagement. I told her she could help me choose, but she’d have to wait for me to surprise her with it. I thought about her leaning  on the counter like a child, her scarf hanging over the edge of the display.

I began to review my sorted memories, marveling at the details I remembered over our year long courtship. I reviewed the past few months to try and find any clues leading to today’s statement that I might have missed. I truly couldn’t find any. My life was planned. It was plotted. We were going to buy a house. For the first time in years, I knew where I was going and who I was going with. I had life arranged according to a plan for us together. And with one simple sentence, she had changed all those plans, and she had changed the course of my life.

She had said simply, “I’m not gay anymore.”

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