Saturday, August 07, 2010

A dream where I didn't exist

This afternoon, after lunch had settled, JV and I lay down together for a nap, chatting before we dozed off. Maybe chatting is the wrong word; it was a very serious conversation, even though we were sleepy. We started talking about the last house we looked at; he wants to let the market fall even more before he makes an offer, sometime in October or so.

"When would you move?" I asked.

"Couple months after that," he said.

"So then when would we get married?" I asked. Trying to keep my voice casual with my heart in my throat.

"January?" he said. That, I thought, was promising.

"And when would we get engaged?" I asked hopefully.

He frowned. "Early September?"

I frowned. "Why? What else needs to get done?"

"Well, we have to get you a ring...." he began.

"No, we don't!" I said. "Well, eventually. But we can get engaged without one."

He was still hesitant. I asked why, and he told me. He's not sure when he'll feel ready to get engaged. Because he still has concerns.

"About the illness?" I asked. "Yes," he said. The word landed like a blow.

I feel helpless. And doomed. If being with me for almost a year hasn't shown him that I am strong and resilient -- and a fabulous cook and even more fabulous lover and stellar stepmother and daughter-in-law -- what will? What will ever make him feel certain that we should be together? And if he, who has loved me for almost 20 years, has reservations because of my illness, who else in the world would love and want me?

We fell asleep. And I dreamed I was in my sister's house, but not really, because nobody would tell me what was going on. She had a ton of guests over, adults and children, but nobody noticed me. Nobody spoke to me, told me the plan or schedule. I asked what was happening; no one responded. I might as well have been invisible.

My little studio apartment is newly painted. New sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. Maybe I need to settle back in there. Maybe I'm not going anywhere. And if he does decide he doesn't want to marry me, where can I go? I can't go back to the West Side community. Certainly can't go to Brooklyn. I don't know where I'll go, what I'll do. I don't know how I'll survive another abandonment. I don't know if I can rebuild my life again, on my own. I don't know how I"ll do it.

I almost wish he'd put me out of my misery already. "Set me free, why don't you baby... 'Cause you don't really love me, you just keep me hangin' on..."

I asked if he wanted me to leave; he said no. I just don't know what's going to happen. But if this relationship isn't going to end in marriage, I'm better out of it sooner rather than later.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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