Boiled eggs sit in a cold-water bath. A baby squirrel plays with a flock of tiny birds. The air is October crisp, and my loved one is already gone.
Our love has always been about traveling. Six months after we met I flew back to the Midwest to finish up school, not knowing if he would follow me. I almost missed my flight. I thought I’d die if I got on that plane never to see him again.
Then he called from Santa Barbara, a trip that he had planned with a friend. Then he called from Vegas, because he missed me. Then he called from San Francisco, standing at the cross-country Greyhound terminal. It would take four days of stopping every four hours, but he was coming because he couldn’t live without me.
Our wedding vows included, “I promise to never again let oceans keep us apart.” If we had only been speaking of physical ones—which we were at the time but aren’t now—it would have been easier, but even those have gotten in the way. The first few years of our marriage we went to the Midwest for Christmas and the U.K. for our summer vacation. Try that for a few years and see what it does to your marriage, never having vacation time without your in-laws. So we tried having vacations to ourselves, meaning that I spend Christmas in the Midwest, he spends a couple of weeks in the U.K. in the summer, we have an amazing vacation together at some point, but ultimately feel like we’re falling away from each other. When he doesn’t see my family and I don’t see his, they think that something is wrong. They’re not wrong.
I hear couples brag about never spending a night away from each other in the entirety of their marriage. I get jealous because I’m supposed to, but I don’t want a marriage like that. I spent a week in Mexico with my best girls that made me feel like I was fifteen again. That’s important to my marriage, too. (Are you adding up where the vacation time came from for that? We were falling away from each other. That’s all I will say.)
He is gone now, again, for work. I urged him to go. He needs it for his soul more than anything else, and that’s my job as a wife to ensure that he gets what he needs when he needs it. I already miss him but our hearts are close. Secret Six, Revealed. That is the difference.