I remember in those early days when I still struggled to breathe. I remember feeling like I was underwater, like the whole world was behind the waves.
Will it be like this for always?
Honestly, I hoped it would be.
And then came Liam.
I was a single mother by choice. I purposely hadn’t had a relationship in years. But damn it, Liam was just my type. And despite my brokenness (or maybe because of it?), he wanted me.
And for a second, everything was beautiful.
I think everything that followed was me trying to hold on to that beauty.
I met Liam only months before Adrian’s first birthday. We were thrown together by circumstances, and I was still only focusing on the things right in front of me—eat, sleep, breathe. I was taking steps into the world, but they were tiny. And it was literally weeks before I noticed Liam was noticing me. And he still had to finally, bluntly come right out and say it.
And it was like someone turned on a light.
Normally I hate these cliches, a bright light in a dark room. But in this case it fit. Because there I sat, blinking emotionally. Rubbing the sleep and the grief from my eyes. Is this what it means to be awake again? Is this what it means to be alive?
And holding on to those moments of pure joy in the beginning—am I even allowed to find happiness again?
I certainly tried.
And I think if this had been a fairy story, there would have been a happy ending. It’s a thought I often come back to. If my life were a movie, we would have been married. But real life doesn’t work that way, and our too-quick relationship imploded, and then petered off into nothing.
And one of the things that hurts most, is that my grief over this silly thing for a while subsumed the much greater grief.
And so Liam was the person I was grieving in those early days. Liam was the person I had to push out of my mind. And I hated it; hated how he had taken over what had felt heavy, yes, but also clean. I hated how he brought me back to life again, only to leave.
I both hated and yearned for him to leave.
But damn it, I wish he hadn’t taken so much of me.