Real Food Rehab

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(More to the story: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5)

(We are at my favorite live food restaurant.  I don't go there very often because it is a little pricey and frankly, the service is terrible.  But the food makes up for it.  He has been unusually quiet all evening.  I chalk it up to a hard day at work.  Sometimes he doesn't feel like talking, and I don't mind at all.  We got a late snow fall and lately the public garden we like looks like a fairy land, with just the lightest dusting making everything look sparkling and clean.  We just hold hands and walk around the lake and look at the blue herons and the duck families.  It is kind of nice, not feeling like I always have to be "on" or think of things to say.  But tonight is different.  Something is definitely off.)

"Is everything ok?"

"Huh?  Oh yeah.  It's fine.  Just a lot on my mind."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"No." (pause) "Yes."

"C'mon now, what's up?"

"Julia called me."

"Julia, your ex-wife?"

(He nods.  Sighs.)  "She's not actually my ex-wife.  Not yet."

(blink. blink blink.  Slowly comprehending.) "She's not your--"

"She has a drinking problem, Heather.  She's had it for years.  I was done.  I filed the papers, I moved.  Closed my practice.  Everything."

"But it's not final?"

"No.  Not yet."

"And she called?  What did she say?"

"She said... she still loves me.  She said she's been sober for the last 4 months and going to meetings every day.  She gave me the number to her sponsor."

"And what did you say?"

"I...I said I love her too.  Twenty-six years Heather.  We have kids together.  I feel like I owe it to them..." (his kids are in their 20's) "There's no easy way to say this.  We've been talking for a while.  She's coming here.  We're going to try a fresh start.  I'm so sorry."

"I see." (why can I never keep from crying in public?  I have no control over tears.  I never have had.  Dang it just once, just once, I would like to have a poker face.  I swipe furiously at my eyes and will my nose not to run.)

"I'm so sorry.  I thought it was over."

"But it's not." (I can't look at him.  My nose is running anyway and I'm trying to remember if the mascara I put on today is waterproof.  I really, really want out of here.  I remember that we came in his car and a new sob chokes in my throat.  He puts his hand on mine.  I want to curl up in a ball under the table.  Instead I escape to the bathroom. Wipe my eyes.  And my nose.  And my nose again.  I splash water on my face.  Now my eyes are bloodshot, my make up smeared, my nose quickly on it's way to rivaling Rudolph's for reddest nose of the year.  I fix what I can and catch my breath.  Compose myself and  go back to the table.)

"Can we go, please?"

"Don't you want to wait for the food?"

"I don't feel much like eating."

"Ok sure. Let me tell the waitress."

(Driving home.) "I'm sorry.  I'm really, really sorry."

"I know."

(We don't say anything else.   Why did you have to take me to that restaurant to tell me?  Now I'm always going to associate it with feeling like a truck ran over me.  Or wishing one would.  I sigh.  We're finally home from what has become the longest car ride ever.)

"Goodbye Elliot.  Good luck with...everything.  I mean that."  (And I do.  He is a good guy.  Her good guy.  Of course.  And again.  Someone for everyone and nobody for me I think.  Nobody for me.)

"Can I call you?"

"I'd rather you didn't, ok?  I need a fresh start too."

"Ok."

(The snow is melted and the magic is melted away too, leaving mud and puddles and gray skies, and me.  And it's ok, really.  I am ok with alone.  Alone is an old friend.  I curl up on my bed, with both cats, my goofy little dog, and my laptop.  My fingers begin to type...)

 

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Comment by Zoe Sun on April 4, 2013 at 12:50pm

Please tell me this was a fictional story ... :>(

Comment by Deborah Grissam on March 9, 2012 at 5:48am

Now is a good time to start writing that novel or short story that turns out a little bit happier. My heart is broken for you.  I am so so sorry..... sometimes it feels like "Why did I even get my hopes up, when my heart is in worse shape than before?".....Just keep walking, one step at a time and take your pain and make it into something written or something wonderful...... Prayers and hugs sweet lady!

Comment by Jazzy Me on March 8, 2012 at 11:03pm
What the WHAT??? What???? Wait, did I miss something??? This man has a chance to have a beautiful fresh and new beginning with you, and he chose HER???? A four month recovering alcoholic???? Well my dear Heather, take however long you need to let your heart heal, then take comfort in the fact that you've just began a new and very lucrative career for yourself...writing! Keep going with this, never stop writing. Maybe this interlude you had with Elliott was not for the relationship, but for your creativity to be released and the beginning of a new life for you via a new career.
Comment by lisa hudson on March 8, 2012 at 7:47am

I am so sorry <3.  Becaues you are a giving loving person you will find your Good Guy in life.  He may not be the one but, there is one out there and he has your name on his heart.  All things in life happen for a reason and we are not always sure of the reason but your someone is waiting for you in life and he will love you like no one else.  

Comment by Healthy Kiwi on March 8, 2012 at 1:58am

Oh Heather, I am sorry. But, I'm happy for you too, happy that even if he does not come back to you, you have the wonderful memories that you have shared with us - and reminded us all about the wonderful power of love and hope and exciting possibilities. I love the picture that Susan has posted - you are totally not alone. You are a treasured member of this community and we are all sending you all the warm vibes we can because I imagine you are feeling cold to the core right now. Please take care.

Comment by Rena on March 7, 2012 at 8:54pm

:(  Oh, Heather! I'm so  sorry to read this.  I'm feeling very sad right now.  There's something better for you out there and it will come to you sooner than you think.  Yep, this was just a trial run. GoshDarnIt! 
I, too, love your writing abilities.  Please keep writing. I look forward to reading your post.

Comment by Bette Bliss Shaw on March 7, 2012 at 4:02pm

Heather, YOU did let the air out of his tires, out of his life.

He just missed the greatest thing that would ever have happened to him is my good guess!

Alot of people go back to a "history" together and often do not make it. It is a draw and a pull but theres alot to heal there. We do wish that for him, as it is his family and his responsibility. He truly IS a gem for having that integrity. You picked a winner! Like you said, just happened to already be somebody else's and you didnt know.

How will it be working together now?....hope it can all be ok for you both.

Comment by angela usher on March 7, 2012 at 3:31pm

Oh sweet Heather I am soooo sorry things turned out this way....you deserve better and it will come one day.   Just remember we're all here for you.....even though I appear to be a load of old garden tools (I am real)  : ) : ) : )

Please keep up that writing! You really are good : )  Just look at Jo Rowling......okay different genre...

Lots of love Angela XXX

Comment by Bette Bliss Shaw on March 7, 2012 at 1:54pm

Hmmm this appears to me to be a practice run for the real thing! Great job! You aced it my dear!

SWISH SWISH, you have been saved from a whole lot of trouble!

Onward and upward my friend.

Yes, book writing may be in your future for sure!

Comment by Marjorie Burnett on March 7, 2012 at 1:43pm

Heather, you have a wonderful ability to write. Remember the real joy you recieved and what you have learned. This man really was fortunate to meet you. You introduced him to raw food and who knows how, but probably many lives will be changed by that! You were brilliant in the way you kept your integrity and stated your intentions right away, so at the very least you do not have a physical relationship to regret! 

Get out there ASAP with the green smoothies again Girl! You kissed a toad and Prince Charming is right around the corner! Strangely enough, I feel sorry for this man. His future with a recovering alcoholic wife is not going to be a bed of roses.  Be very careful, he will definitely miss the sweet and uncomplicated friendship you had. Be strong!  You are a sweet and beautiful person and I think many of us, especially me admire your journey with raw food to date and look forward to meeting you.  How many raw food rawmance writers are there in this world, LOL!

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