Around the Bend

“Wait, what?”  I said into the phone.

It was December.  R and I should have celebrated our first wedding anniversary a week ago, but instead, we both ignored the day as it passed in silence, neither of us reaching out to the other.  It had been several weeks now since I’d spoken to him and his parents to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.  R had been released from the hospital with a prescription for Prozac and a schedule for appointments with a new psychiatrist; he seemed more mellow, more even since.  But still, we hardly spoke.  I was tired from single parenting again, growing resentful of the bills piling up that we’d budgeted two incomes for, and wondering if were ever going to be happy to be near each other again.

“OK, I’ll say it again.  I’ve been offered a job in Wisconsin, north of Milwaukee.”  R’s voice was calm, with an edge of excitement.  He was excited about this.

I heard the words and immediately thought:  well, I guess that’s it.  That’s the sign we’ve been looking for.  “I see,” I said noncommittally.   “Well, what do you think about this job?  Is it a good job?  Is it worth you moving all that way?”

“It is, it’s a very good job.  It uses the training with a program called Oracle that my boss sent me to earlier this year.  It’s a big raise, more responsibility, much bigger company with room for advancement.”  He paused.  “It’s the kind of job we’ve been waiting for to turn our lives around.”

I digested that for a moment.  “I’m sorry, did you just say ‘we’?”

“Of course I said ‘we’.  We’re a family.  I’m not calling you just to get your opinion.  I’m calling you to ask if you’d be willing to move to Wisconsin with me for this job.”

The words hit me like a ton of bricks.  Move?  Now?  I was in the best job I’d ever had, enjoying every minute I was at school, loving the lessons and the response from the students.  And, it wasn’t like R and I were exactly happy with each other at the moment.  It’d be one thing if we were insanely in love right now; that might make giving up my wonderful position a little more palatable.  But in our situation with our history?  “Well, the answer is no, if you’re seriously asking me to move with you.  We haven’t lived together for months, we’re no where near a reconciliation; I’m not going to drop everything and move my son away from everything he’s ever known with our footing as shaky as it is.”

I waited for the anger, the hurt, the frustration.  But that Prozac had to be well in his system because it didn’t surface.  “Don’t feel like you need to answer right away.  Maybe give it a week or two to think on it.  They are willing to pay all the moving expenses, we won’t even have to pack a single box; they do it all.  The cost of living is so much lower there, we could buy a house with a big yard.”

I was curt in my response.  “I won’t change my mind in a few weeks, R.  With our current situation and circumstances, I am not prepared to move with you for a new job.”  I knew I sounded bitchy, but it seemed insanity that he would even think any other answer would be realistic.

“Well, what do you think about me taking the job, then?”  R asked.  An honest request for my opinion; it had been a while since we’d had a discussion without hurt and anger and fighting words.

I didn’t have to think about my response.  “If the job is as good as you have described, it sounds like you’d be a fool not to take it.”

“And what about us?” came the obvious next question.

“I wish I knew,” I answered.  “But maybe the distance will be a good thing.  Maybe it will give us both the time and space we need to heal and figure out which path is the best way forward.”

I hung up the phone a few pleasantries later dumbfounded.  I wasn’t sure at all what this turn of events meant for our futures, but I was sure that we’d just reached another fork in the road of our lives.  I couldn’t see around the bend, at all.

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One Response

  1. Those damn forks keep getting in my way too. Great post.

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