How to Live in the Dark

First find a snug place in the corner of the garage, clear from your husband’s parking spot. In fact, grab a beach chair from the shelves. Shut off the lights, sit in silence and then wait.

But before that, call your daughter who’s just started college. Express your pride. Remind her of the days when it was just the two of you. Before your boyfriend invited you to live with him. Don’t take her dismissal personally. See it as a win. She has no memory of living in dank apartments that smelled of gas. She lucked out. You lucked out. You got a good guy. You got to stay home and raise her, and she got a stepfather who treated her like she was his own.

But before that, block your supposed friend’s number from your phone; unfriend her in fact. Eliminate the drama. You don’t need some envious bitch shit talking in your ear. She’s jealous. You know her husband can’t keep a job. She’s had to watch you get everything you’ve ever wanted. When you asked your husband for a new car, you got it. When you wanted your daughter in private school, she went. When you wanted another child, you got a son–even when he was unsure of the idea. You got a good guy. Who wouldn’t be jealous of that?

But before that, find a hobby. Take up scrapbooking, aromatherapy, candle making. Go to the gym. Lose that thigh fat that you hate. Otherwise, you’ll go nuts waiting for your husband to get home from work. He says you want the lifestyle, but not the time it takes to pay for that lifestyle. Not true, but you can see how he feels that way. You don’t want that. You want him home, so he’s rested, not tired, so that he’ll want to have sex, and the two of you can feel connected. Finally connected. He might have had cold feet the week before your wedding day, but you reminded him that love is something you fight for, especially for a relationship like yours.

But before that, you need to put your doubts finally away. Stop gossiping with your friends. He’s right; you are paranoid. What does it matter if he sleeps with his phone? Are you really surprised that he picks fights with you when all you ever ask is who is he texting? Isn’t it always work? And stop wondering why he sits in the garage so long after pulling in. From day one he promised, “I will always take care of you.” He said that when everyone else only saw you as an unemployed girl with a baby. You promised yourself if you were ever lucky enough to find a guy–a good guy–you would do anything to keep him.

But right now, the garage is opening, and your husband is pulling in. He’s on the phone. You’re on a beach chair, in a corner, out of sight. The engine shuts off; the car lights go dark. Your ears tune to the conversation. It’s a female voice on the line, but you can’t make out what she’s saying. You’ve heard that your senses are heightened in the dark but as you sit there listening to a far-away voice and the even breathing of your husband, you realize that you’ve never known that to be the case.

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