Looking back, it all seemed like a big messy blur – like a smeared dream happening in a fitful sleep. Dorothy forced herself to pack, with her heart growing smaller and smaller under the stress. She gave up her plans of carefully sorting and organizing things as she packed – she just needed to get her stuff into boxes!
Sunday night dinner with Victoria was probably the heaviest thing she ever went through. The air clung to her like black tar, and she could hear every little tick of the silverware hitting their plates. The entire meal in silence, except for Victoria asking if they’d be meeting with the lawyers on Thursday morning. Dorothy answered, “Yes.”
She fulfilled her duty to Victoria as no other wife could – she loved her for these last two days under the same roof. Although she had betrayed her for the past seven years, she came home and was true to her for these last two days. A small token. Sometimes it is these small things that matter a great deal.
By some miracle she gathered her wits enough to put most of her things into boxes by the time the movers arrived early Monday morning. She knew she would return to the house over the coming weeks and could collect small things – which was a relief to not have the pressure of packing EVERYTHING for Monday! And well… maybe there was part of her that just couldn’t bear to completely separate from Victoria, and leaving a few things at the house brought her comfort – and a reason to return.
Dorothy’s thoughts began to return to Alexandra as she started to emerge from the weekend. She knew Alexandra was not the most stable woman, so nothing was for certain. Alexandra was paranoid about Dorothy’s safety. It’s true… Victoria lost it a couple of weeks after Dorothy said she was leaving, and was raising her fist saying crazy things like “I’m never going to let you go. You’re mine. I would lock you up if I have to, so that no one else is going to have you! And I am serious!” Ever since then, Alexandra was inconsolable. She could understand that Alexandra loved her and cared about her, but it infuriated Dorothy that Alexandra refused to trust her ability to handle Victoria. Undoubtedly Alexandra’s paranoid mind was going wild over the weekend.
She didn’t know what she would face with Alexandra today. All she knew Monday morning is she felt awful – emotionally and physically – and did not have any energy to reach out to Alexandra. It would have to wait until later – after she moved. And she just hoped that Alexandra would still be there – especially since she was disrupting both her’s and Victoria’s life horribly so she could be with Alexandra.
Despite feeling miserable, everything went smoothly with the move. The movers were on time, and it all happened quickly. Dorothy’s head was spinning as the movers left her new place just before 1:30. She felt in shock, and there was profound silence as she stood surrounded by boxes… everywhere. She just stood there, a tiny woman facing a very big future.
Dorothy picked up her iPhone and sent a text to Alexandra. “I am moved. Going to go get some lunch. All is well.” Alexandra responded formally, “I am relieved to hear your move went well. Let me know when you are ready to reconnect. I love you.” Dorothy replied, “I love you too. I’ll be in touch again later today.” She started to feel a little space around her heart to breathe, and she went out in search of a place to get lunch in her new neighborhood.
Although the skies were clear that morning during the move, they clouded over in the afternoon and a great storm descended. It started with rain, and that rain grew more and more intense until a great flood was rushing through the streets sweeping bicyclists and even cars off the side of the road. Dorothy quickly finished her lunch and had to practically swim to get back to her place.
She closed the door behind her, dripping and headed up to her bedroom to find a box with dry clothes. She flipped on the switch in her closet only to find the power had gone out. She realized she had no source of light – not a a flash light or candle. She leapt into action and drove back over to Victoria’s to get a flashlight.
She hadn’t expected to return so soon. In some ways it was a relief to return back to the place she had called home for so many years. And in another way it felt like walking into a coffin. Victoria was visibly unnerved by seeing her, so Dorothy quickly grabbed the crank flashlight she wanted and left.
Sitting in her car she thought she’d better text Alexandra so she wouldn’t feel totally neglected and go into one of her paranoid fit. “Oh My God!” Dorothy exclaimed. Her iPhone was almost out of juice! So she texted Alexandra to let her know she was at 10% power and wouldn’t be able to call her later – she had no way to recharge with the power out. Alexandra was not pleased! She could understand, but there was nothing she could do!
It was almost 5:30 and Dorothy headed back over to her place. It took over 30 minutes to get there when normally it should take around 5 because the roads were a mess and traffic wasn’t moving. What was wrong with these people?! It’s just a bit of rain, and they lose their friggin’ heads!
Dorothy finally made it home and took the precious flashlight upstairs. The storm made it dingy dark, even this early in the evening. She found the box where she put her sheets and she made her bed by the glow of her little crank flashlight.
She sat in the middle of her bed, a little island of sanity, and looked around her room. Chaos! Boxes everywhere!
What had she done? Was this the greatest mistake of her life? Wild thoughts of doubt and self-criticism shot through her heart as she sat in the dark, alone.
She had specifically told Alexandra she wanted to spend the first night at her place alone. And now it felt like she was facing her worst nightmare with all her weakness starting to creep into her skin like a dank fog. Dorothy just sat there – facing what she had done.
After a while she started to feel a little better. Something started to turn, and it actually felt good to be in her own place, even if it was in shambles. In a way it was like camping out, especially since all she had for lighting was the flash light. Today she was beginning a new life… and her heart beat just a little faster. The fog started to lift. She had taken the leap out of a dead marriage to Victoria. She was choosing life. She was choosing to love again. She was choosing herself. And that felt good! It was as if a gentle warm sun was starting to rise up and evaporate the darkness of her fears through its warmth.
She suddenly realized she could charge her phone a little bit off of her computer, which still had life in it’s battery. She texted Alexandra, “Hey, I plugged my phone into my computer and it has life. Are you able to talk for a little bit?”
“Yeah” Alexandra replied, letting go of the pregnant anxiety of the last few days.
Their first conversation after the long weekend apart was tender, even tentative. A new beginning – charted out of the courage and love of both women.