Every night, when I close my eyes and allow myself to drift off towards sleep, I find a way to forgive you. It’s become a bit of a nightly ritual now. Slowly I peel back the onion layers of my soul, until the core is laid bare, pure, raw, stripped of sorrow and pain and disgust and self ridicule. Only when this hazardous task is finally complete, do I whisper to the night sky the words of forgiveness. Only then can I finally release myself into the depths of the dream world.
More often than not — too often, in fact — you are in my dreams. In my dreams, we are whole. In my dreams, we are one. In my dreams, we are a Rockwell painting. We are a white picket fence. We are you and me, your daughter and my son, and maybe one more that belongs to us both. We are pets playing in the backyard. We are apple pie cooling in the windowsill. We are me by the grill and you in a hammock, the scent of freshly cut grass and lemons heavy on the breeze. In this dream, there is no sorrow or pain. There is only the joy of knowing that the perfection we’ve always been searching for has finally been found.
In my dream, just before waking, we have finally put the kids to bed. We are finally alone in our bedroom. Your little spoon is set perfectly in my big spoon. You turn your head to look over your shoulder, staring as intently into my eyes as the first time you told me loved me. You pull my lips to yours. You breathe into my ear “I love you.” It has never been better.
When I wake, the onion layers have moved back into place. I am lonely again. You are gone. The last remnant of your involvement in my life can only be found in my bed, and in the few items that you have left behind to pick up at some yet undesignated date. This used to be our bed. But all you’ve left is your hair. Your scent has long since dissipated. I sleep on your side of the bed now. It’s the only thing that makes me feel close to what we were once.
There was a time that this dream seemed a possibility. I wanted it more than you could possibly know. You threw it away. The fact is, you loved the way I made you feel, more than you ever loved who I was as a person.
When I wake, I am angry again. I wake to visions of all the other men you slept with while you were mine. I wake to the sharp stabbing pain of your lies ringing in my ears. The sharpest pain of all, from your words begging for forgiveness. But the forgiveness you want, I can’t give. You weren’t sorry because of the pain you caused me. You were sorry for the way telling me made you feel.
Someday, I’ll be able to forgive you. Someday, I’ll be able to find the closure within myself. Someday, I’ll want to love again, to trust again, to feel anything but this overwhelming sorrow that comes with the morning.
Today isn’t someday. Tomorrow might not be, either.
Someday will eventually come. And when it does, I will forgive you.