As he slid the metallic, hollow circle over my knuckle, I was surprised how comfortable it felt on a finger which had been naked for so long. Thin band of white gold with a solitaire in the center. Had time passed so quickly since David died, or was I just really ready to take this step? Four years is an eternity to sleep alone after being together for what felt like a lifetime…but maybe seventeen years is just a drop in the bucket of lifetimes…?
“How does it feel?”
I looked up from watching the light catch the facets of the diamond and into his eyes, realizing I was probably lost in thought again. I really didn’t mean to be so distracted. He was so gentle, so caring. So different from David in stature and mannerisms, but so similar in personality. Perhaps that was the attraction. That, and the children seemed amenable to him.
After David’s death, I invested the insurance money, bought a house, and worked on web designing and social media marketing to make ends meet. I resisted the desire to date, the desire for touch, the desire for noise in the quiet of my bedroom without the snoring sound David once made while lost in dreams.
Sometimes, in that same quiet of night, I would scream silently into a pillow…David’s pillow.
On the year anniversary of his death, I threw it out with the trash. Not that I didn’t want to remember him…but I always said that a year was long enough to mourn.
My body felt it, too. I would watch sappy rom-coms to feel connected to love, to life, to relationships. But I wanted touch. I wanted my bed to be warm during the cold Wisconsin winters. I wanted someone to take my hand as we walked into a store together.
And, he had done those things…except for the bed. My bed is still cold. We agreed, because of the children, to wait. I wanted them to continue their moral education, and no matter how much I longed for him, we set boundaries. And I knew I would never forgive myself if I crossed them.
I had done it again…wandered in and out of thoughts, of memories. I wondered, if I am creating a new reality with him, here, now, why can’t I get my mind out of the past? The feelings flooded more freely lately, like a deluge of emotion I never saw swimming in a sea of obligatory, perfunctory actions.
But this was right. I knew it.
And as I looked up at him again, I said, “Right. It feels right.”