I took two whole days off from life. And it took me two days to think about what has happened in the past four.
Trey took over house duties and worked from home and Jacob took me away for two nights, up to a tiny cottage on a lake with so much privacy he was the only person I saw for 48 hours.
I'm sure behind my back they called it Operation Mental Institution since my Friday night breakdown was so gloriously relayed. That doesn't happen. I don't lose it like that.
I am calling it the last days on earth.
I very shakily started my weekend. When Jacob got ready to leave around lunchtime on Saturday I almost fell apart again. I couldn't keep doing what we were doing. I'm having a hard time keeping it together all day long for the kids and then dealing with the emotional rollercoasters all night.
So Jacob made some phonecalls, he helped me pack a bag, and we stopped at his house and he packed up some clothes and food and then we drove for a couple of hours up to the lake. It's still so cold at night so it was very quiet up there. He made a fire in the woodstove and then made me eat a sandwich and then we cuddled up in the big easy chair with a blanket and didn't move for almost 15 hours. I slept most of it. He thought a lot, prayed a lot and kept me safe. Safe from my own thoughts even.
Sunday I felt like a human being. We took a long walk in the woods, we sat on the front steps and drank tea and we talked. We both cried. He's leaving. He's leaving because I won't ask him to stay because he won't ask me to go. He held me so tight for so long. I don't want him to ever go anywhere but I will never say that to his face. God comes first for him and I can't/won't break that bond. He tried to break it and it held and he's relieved and remorseful and yet he and I both got to experience something we'll never ever forget or get over. All of each other.
And you know something? We both know that he'll be back someday soon. Maybe in a year, maybe two, maybe less. And when I see him again with my own eyes on my front porch I'm probably going to go through this all over again. The rollercoaster, the needs that well up out of nowhere. The needs I have fulfilled anyway, but for some reason being with Jacob everything is magnified by a thousand times and yet I still can't look him in the eye and tell him I need him to be here for me. That would be selfish. I threw everything away for him and I'm going to let go anyway and then I will land in the safety net and climb out and walk away. The high-wire act is finished for now.
I have been selfish enough.
And he's still cracking jokes. He said his muscles weren't big enough. He said if I bite my lip once at the airport he's not getting on the plane. He said I make him want to be stronger. Okay that wasn't a joke. He was twirling my necklace around my neck in circles as we lay in bed one night and he looked at me and he said that and kicked what was left of my heart into tiny fragments. Without trying he fixes everything only to wreck it all again. Day after day.
And then he brought me home. Home to Trey, who isn't leaving again. They shook hands. Jacob told him to look after me. That was all I heard. I walked straight through the house and out the back door and I didn't stop walking until I hit the back fence and then I sat down in the wet grass and closed my eyes and I prayed. You should know I don't even pray that much, and I'm probably not as eloquent or riveting as Jacob is when he prays. And I probably didn't even do it right because I'm pretty sure praying for him to stay without having to ask him isn't something God can really help with but I gave it my best shot.
I won't see him again before he goes. I won't be taking him to the airport. His house is for sale.
We used to joke about being so destructive together. That we would devour each other and then there would be nothing left to continue on. That we would breathe each other's air and die from lack of oxygen and that the whole thing would burn so blisteringly it would explode. That we weren't even remotely prepared for the type of infatuation we held for each other.
We were right.
When I think about places he touched me on Sunday and the way he makes love to me I forget my own name. When he tells me he loves me I can't speak. The intensity of Jacob I can't put in a box for safekeeping. He's my free bird. He traced my bottom lip with his thumb and he whispered that we would be alright but it wasn't our time. That is the picture I keep playing in my head.
Tomorrow maybe I'll have the courage to write about life after Jacob. Life without Jacob. Life like it used to be. Life strangely comforting. The only thing different is me.