I awoke to the feeling of nothing.
This is good.
He called. I knew he wouldn't ask for me. I fell back to sleep, I think. Waking a second time to nothing.
It began to creep up on me. I tried to focus on my mental check-list of tasks I could accomplish for the day. The phone was ringing again. Our four year old came to me with it.
"Daddy wants to talk to you."
"Are you sure?" He has a new habit of making things up.
I took a very deep breath and said a silent prayer. Of what, I don't know. He shared some logistics about the kids. I had my civil, non-emotional persona on and gave short, curt answers. Maybe he's forgotten. That might be best.
"Uh...well, this feels a little awkward but...Happy Anniversary." He remembered.
Here it is. The tears burst forth. I sniffled.
"Bye," I whispered. I laid back down,
burying my head under my blankets.
There was an email later. Two paragraphs. Two paragraphs long, which was more than I had gotten in nearly as many years. It wasn't mean. I'm sure he might have even thought it was kind, if he thought anything about it at all. Unexpressed implications filled the white spaces on the screen. My heart felt it much deeper than last year.
21 years was worth two paragraphs. That might possibly be more than a standard Hallmark. Two paragraphs worth 21 years. 21 years, four children and three separations later, our marriage is old enough to drink.
I responded in the only way I had left in me to respond; I didn't.