Monday, 28 August 2006


 Tonight feels like a million miles away
    And these times just won't change
    Life just stays the same
    I'd give anything to see the light of day

The bad stuff. Because there's always bad stuff. Especially when you haven't been home in years, and you arrive with a chip on your shoulder and a brand new husband. And you realize half the people you came to see have no fucking idea exactly what the past few years have been like for you, nor do they have any clue how you really spent your spring because it was glossed over.

It explained a lot, anyhow.

I had to let it go. Who cares, anyway? Water under the bridge. Bridget drowning in pain and fear and no one took notice, no one stopped to pick up any of the shrapnel along the way except for one and damn if she isn't going to keep him close.

Or shove him off the cliff while he admires the view.

I blindsided Jacob before we caught the second plane. Because I knew exactly what to expect. I made the easterly part of the trip a liquid voyage of courage, having cocktails before getting on the plane and then yet another on board. Fully medicated. So by the time we arrived I didn't really need to be afraid and so I wasn't. I was having a hard time standing up. I looked Jake in the eye and measured his disappointment with an unsteady gauge.

And since drinking is a really bad idea while taking anti-depressants, I chose to stop taking the pills altogether. Alcohol has always been a better friend to me, and hey, I can save the need until the kids have had a full day but once they're asleep look out.

Jacob pointed out quite brutally that I have a drinking problem.

He's right. I do.

He asked me to stop and I said no. Not on this trip. I needed it for this trip because I couldn't do it under my own sailpower. I couldn't put that box over the side without some sort of assistance. He said he would be there, that he wasn't leaving my side. It wasn't enough and it didn't matter. Once again I hurt him but I had to leave it or I would have lost everything that day. I went cold and I got through the whole ceremony of burying someone that took me to hell and just left me there alone, with no way to get back.

And very briefly I lingered, taking it in, reliving the worst and ignoring the one with the map, waiting patiently to show me the way home. Briefly. Then I took his hand and ran away fast and I didn't look back and I won't look back, ever again.

I got completely trashed that night, and Jacob took me out of the restaurant, I don't believe my feet touched the ground and he got me into bed and didn't leave me. He held me tight and he was there. Just there and it means so much I will never ever forget what he put up with on that day because I was in a dangerous place. I told him this wasn't and could never be our fucking honeymoon because we deserved better than this.

The next morning he held my face in his hands and told me he loved me so much it was criminal.

I couldn't agree more. He is everything. Everything.

And then very patiently he took us to the beach. Every single day until it got better and I smiled more and I spoke and I played with the kids and sat and watched them get to know the ocean and we turned the nightmare back into a dream. A new chapter in our own bestseller, a quietly successful pageturner. No more trashy horror stories here, knock wood.

He said nothing as I waited out the kids each night before pouring a large glass of wine. He didn't interrupt as I wrote volumes with a pen and a notebook as we drove. He didn't ask if things would be different when we came home. The morning of the flights home I woke up, took my pills on schedule and straightened the hem of my dress and smartened the fuck up. I asked him to take the pills and give them out at the right times. I promised him I would never drink again and he promised I would never hurt again. He threw out some ideas for a different trip. A trip somewhere new but with beaches. Not much further away but different. A real honeymoon. Just for us. When I am better.

It's a deal, sweetheart.