Sitting on the side of the tub I felt the whole world crashing down. Tears were streaming down my face, and no matter how hard I pushed the palms of my hands into my eyes, the tears came anyway. My nose ran as quickly as my tears as my face warmed from the release of emotion. I stood to grab toilet paper being careful not to make a sound, afraid if he heard me he might start the questions all over again. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. "Ughh" I sighed internally, taking full stock of what was looking back at me. My eyes and nose were a deep maroon, and my mouth and cheeks were contorted in a way that truly did not seem human. My hair was a mess and I can not remember the last shower I had taken, was it yesterday, the day before? I ran my fingers through my hair and reached for a scrap of toilet paper with the other. Whipping the tears and snot, smoothing my hair, made me at least like a resemblance of who I was or at least who I used to be. To tell the truth, I cry a lot these days. I sleep on the couch of my two bedroom apartment and cry. A week ago was our first anniversary, and like most marriages we were beginning to look like one of many statistics. When Steve and I had married, it had been ok, but my dirty little secret was that even as I said I do, I wasn't quite sure. I was in my gown, hair and makeup done watching my bridesmaid and my maid of honor walk out and right then, as I realized only my father and I were in the kitchen, time froze. My arms were tired of holding up my white dress in the dingy kitchen in the back of the venue we were to be married in. My feet felt tight and cramped in the white payless shoes I thought would work so well and the three inch heel I had bought only make up for some of the height difference between myself and my 6'3" tall husband to be. The metal pans hung from the walls and the ceilings alike, and for a moment the words came to me "I don't want to do this" followed quickly by an internal voice "Are you serious?!?". The monologue lasted for the briefest of seconds but there I was, discussing this with myself "Where were you months ago?"
"I don't know but I know that this is a bad plan!"
"How sure? Sure enough to tell dad, sure enough to turn tale and run? Sure enough to cause humiliation to yourself and him in front of everyone?"
After a long pause "Well no...."
"Then couldn't this just be cold feet? Couldn't this just be what everyone else goes through? Could this just be a panic attack? People are waiting chicka move your feet."
My father is a sweet man and if he noticed a pause he never gave a hint to it. We walked down the aisle, I listened to the man asked for our vows, and I behaved as I ought to behave. A philosophy of life that I had had ingrained in me, but as I said "I do" out loud, a voice in my head kept saying "Well don't worry darling marriage isn't permanent and maybe it will work out after all."
As I looked at that woman in the mirror, I was unsure of what to do next. In a few weeks we would be on a plane to Christmas in Montana with my family, and I, at least was currently miserable in my current state. Work was thus far providing relief and structure I was not aware that I needed but winter break for a high school teacher provided none of what I needed. The girl staring back looked like her whole world was ending and in a way it was. We had just had another fight about my work. I had taken to volunteering at the high school I worked at; staying later; making phone calls home and he hated me, or it, for it. I'm not sure if my marriage to my work flourished SI my marriage to Steven failed, or if my failed marriage was becoming worse and worse that I began to create a love affair with my job. Either way you look at it, it wasn't fair to either of us. I waiting for the lightings in the apartment to be turned off, I crept out of my bathroom safety and onto the couch for yet another sleepless night.