Next Lifetime

18. Recreate a memory you have

Why did I do that? Why did I let my boyfriend drive off with my best friend?

I asked myself that question so many times over the years. As much as I want to say I’d forgiven them both, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Something inside me was connected to something inside him, and it has never been possible for me to truly let it go.

Was it love? Maybe? I’ve never felt love from or for anyone else so I have nothing to compare it to. And there’s so much pain associated with it that even if it is love it’s tainted. But for the sake of argument we’ll call it love. And I’ve loved this man for my entire adult life.

So it’s no wonder I’ve found myself back here, in his arms. He’s watching animal documentaries, and I’m watching him watch animal documentaries. I’ve never felt closer to him than I do in this moment. He’s always been everything I want, but I know I fall short of his desires. I still don’t trust him. I still can’t give myself to him fully. And I know, if you’re going to go back to someone who’s hurt you, you better let that hurt go or leave that person alone. I can’t keep coming back here and bringing up the same old stuff. And I do mean old stuff—it was twelve years ago.

He asks me to refill his drink and it breaks my train of thought. In this moment I would do anything for him…except have his babies. I want to be right here, but something in the back of my head keeps telling me to remember that night. Remember the tears I cried and the yelling at myself. Remember how awful I felt. But I don’t want to remember any of that. I only want to remember this.

He asks me what I’m thinking. Nothing. He says he knows me better than that. True.

“Would you say yes to marry me if I asked you?”

Yes, without hesitation yes. MaybeWhy? Are you gonna ask me to marry you? He returns to his animals.

The show ends and he says he’s got to run an errand. He’ll pick up dinner while he’s out. He suggests I take advantage of the quiet to write a little. I’ve been distracted all weekend.


I went home that next day with an engagement ring on my finger. I know why I said yes, and then I don’t. But I was in it. It’s been a year since that day, four months since we got married. Most days I’m at peace, comfortable, sometimes even elated to be his wife. Somedays, though, I ask myself why the hell I let him drive off with my best friend.

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