Obituary of the woman I was when I was in love

 

*from the writing prompt-write your own obituary.

On a cool Thursday evening, Emily slipped away peacefully after a tremendous fight of loving the same man since she was 19. She basked below the crosses and felt the wind on her face; so still, so resolute.

She met him years ago, the man who changed her. Almost overnight, she became a kind of Goddess, answering questions about spinal cord injuries. A consistent teammate who waited patiently. She stayed quiet and let people give their thoughts, she always felt excited by their questions, lucky to know the answers. Yet, she encountered many who looked to her with eyes that rested as though they screamed, “she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” and girls who walked away from her as though they knew something she didn’t.

She didn’t invent the process nor was she the first to love someone who couldn’t walk, but she fell readily into the intimacy and it was natural, meant to be. She guarded their world, treaded lightly never revealing too much.  She left quietly, after becoming an expert on love as worship and a constant surrender. He made her feel so special.

She wasn’t earth shattering, she barely wrote at the time, but she accomplished so much in knowing him and this home. She found she felt more interesting, she worked two jobs, she paid her rent, she went home to him and wrapped her arms around him. At the time she didn’t meet anyone going through the same thing; Emily met a wife once and her heart pounded, she knew immediately of the unspoken sacrifices. She saw how the eyes of his mother fell, how he wouldn’t let her help, she knew the excitement in the voice of his father; the steadfast gaze of his grandparents, the hopped up rush of his aunt.

That night she heard his voice and it sounded unrecognizable, like he was a different person, as though they’d never even met. The way he said, “baby,” finally rolled over her, as though it was a matter of fact word. Whereas before, for so long, it was everything; it was a Bengal cat, a first kiss among sail boats on grass in a secluded court yard, an iced coffee after 2 years, canal street nail polish, his mother’s backyard, his lips and then smoke, the heavy exhalation, the familiar sequence of how he put his wheelchair together, midnight shopping sprees at WinCo, her hands in his hair, visions of little shoes.

It was a good fight, a battle that arose from the kind of love where she laid down her whole self. She was finally ready to move on. She is survived by her stories, the experiences she is chronicling of her life with him and the aftermath of going on far away from him.

 

 

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