Category: Bethany Jarmul

Here I Am Again

Sep 28  |  Bethany Jarmul

Here I am again, dear husband, sitting on this park bench with your memorial plaque beneath my bare feet, wiping tears and snot on the sleeve of my sweater, blubbering to the squirrels as they scurry by. But this time, it’s because of another man.

Tom cheated on me with his boss, after seven years together. He was always so busy with work. But not too busy to rip off her white blouse and that pencil skirt she wears. As soon as he told me, I ran to my SUV. I drove around in circles for an hour, beating my head off the steering wheel. Finally, I decided to do the sensible thing—to go talk to the dead.

Here I am again, trying to tell you something I’ve never told anyone. When you got sick, I held your hand through chemo treatments, cleaned up puke, brought your favorite slippers, made you tomato soup. But when you slipped and hit your head, you started to lose yourself, becoming meaner and more hateful every day. You became less and less like the man who I married—the kind librarian, eyes blue as the sea—well, I had to get out then, so I wouldn’t drown. I moved out as the caregivers moved in, determined to keep on living. I hoped you’d understand.

Here I am again, trying to tell you something important. Two days after I moved out, Tom and I went out for drinks after work and ended up at his apartment and…well, I imagine you don’t want to hear the details.

Here I am again, dear husband, my toes tracing your name, finally telling you the truth. Your heart was still beating when I moved on.