His side of the closet was nearly empty. I arranged the few things that were left on the clothes bar to try to make it look full again.
“I don’t know what to do, Wendy,” How many times a day had I called her crying in the past week. “I can’t stand leaving the house for a few hours, so he can come and rip my heart out a little at a time.”
What would be gone this time when I returned? I would burst back into the house bravely to scan it over quickly. What’s missing now? But I didn’t always figure it out. Usually I would notice later, in a weaker moment–some DVDs, his protein, more shoes, a large stack of diapers.
I guess he couldn’t face me. Maybe that was best since I couldn’t hold myself together anyway. But it felt so much more cruel. I am your wife. When did I become your enemy?
“Just pray and breathe and stay calm, Emily.”
“Should I just spend my time boxing up all his things, so I don’t have to watch them disappear slowly? Would that hurt less?”
“Is that the message you want to send?”
“No. It’s not.” I didn’t want him to think I wanted him gone. I wanted him to stay. “…so, should I tape everything down with duct tape?”
“Hold on to it, and just pray.” We got off the phone.
I wrapped my arms around his remaining shirts. Oh, Demetrius, the clothes you don’t wear, they are soaked with my tears and prayers.
Clara was playing on the floor with a photo of Mommy and Daddy, actually the first photo we ever took together. I took a quick snapshot of her as she stared up at me concerned. I scooped her up and hugged her.
“Everything is okay, baby.” I don’t have the option to fall apart.
God, please help me through this, I am not strong enough. Please fast forward my life 6 months from this moment. I don’t want to feel every second.
I sprayed my perfume on his clothes. Held them. Prayed. Maybe you won’t face me, fine. Then you can smell me.
How did the heart of my husband become frozen, God? I grabbed onto his warm arms in this very bedroom, gave birth to his daughter in that very bathtub. How? And why? Which one is the real Demetrius?
“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” (Christine Caine)