I know in my gut this won’t end well, but I’m still reeling. My 20 year marriage ended three short weeks ago after years of fighting to patch it together. I’m tired of doing the right thing, I’m tired of putting everyone else first, and most of all, I’m tired of trying to pretend to be someone I’m not.

I.don’ For once I’m going to just let things be what they are. For once I am not going to stress about every bad thing I see 100 miles down the road. For once I am just going to take the risk, trust the fact that I have good instincts, and I’ve learned to swim. The water here may be deep, turbulent, murky… but I’m a survivor and I don’t see danger. Risk… but not danger.

“Just start swimming, stop taking everything so seriously. That has never gotten you anywhere.”

Eventually I pry myself away, pleading family responsibilities. He tells me he needs a hug, and walks me to my car.

“I’m going to need those digits”

He texts me before we even leave the parking lot, but I don’t check my phone, I have reality to get back to, the reality nothing is ever going to touch, the reality I will protect with everything, from everything: My boys.

The next 24 hours is a whirlwind. Endless texting, and our first real date (of sorts). He knows what buttons to push.

“I want you to be the one who proves me wrong.”

“I need you. More than you know.”

“I’m not here to harm you in any way.”

“Can’t wait to see you, btw.”

And later… “I’m home, beautiful.”

24 hours. One short day away from that spilled tea, that first hug. That near instant transformation from distant to smitten. Me, the one who holds everyone at arm’s length.

He had my number alright. Me and my wounded baby birds… I will stop and help every wounded animal I see. Four legged, or two, it doesn’t matter. I can’t stand to watch suffering, pain, loneliness… I will see, I will care, I will love and nurture and heal wherever I can.

What he never knew is I also had his number. He never saw the walls until he hit them. He only saw what he thought what lay behind them.

Story of my life.

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