It was nearly 1am when we got back to Goose’s house. We’d been in the process of learning each other’s routines. Waking up routines.. as Goose wakes he turns on his radio in the diningroom.. He turns it on loud. Then he goes into the bathroom to shower and shave. Out of courtesy when I’m there, Goose will close the bedroom door so that the radio isn’t too loud to keep me awake. Goose thinks I should sleep in. But I’m not a sleep in kind of girl. I’m a morning person, and a late night person. I dont’ know how I got so lucky to be both. I generally get about 5 hours of sleep a night. Usually twice a month or so I’ll stock up with an eight-hour stretch of sleep. So once Goose is in the shower, I’ll get up and make my coffee, check my email, etc. The things I routinely do at home. This morning was different though. I stayed in bed. Right through the loud music.
It felt crowded here this morning. Me and Goose and the Minneapolis Girl. I could feel her here between us. It made me angry and sad. I didn’t want to rush to a choice. I knew it would be a critical decision for our new relationship. I wanted to make it wisely. (I didn’t want to admit it at the time, but I was wanting to go back under the covers. Like a baby wrapped in a soft warm blanket, I wanted to wrap myself in the Quilt of Denial. My sad vulnerable little self wanted to go back in time to before I asked. I didn’t want this information. I wanted to believe that I was happy. Just for a little while. I didn’t want another loss. I wasn’t ready for another loss. Because I already knew the truth.. he already hadn’t chosen me.
I snuggled down in to the bed and pulled the denial quilt up tight around me. I know when I call Michele and Tammy.. I know they won’t let me have the comfort of denial. I just wanted close and comfort and warmth for a little bit longer. Tammy and Michele don’t know how alone I am sometimes. On the weekends when my son is with his dad, I can go three whole days without talking to one person that I know. I know they’re doing a lot to be supportive and encouraging of me. But everything about my life has changed. There have been sooo many losses. I knew there would be. I knew that leaving my marriage was my choice. But I didn’t realize how many people would stay on the other side once the lines were drawn. Now with Goose, I had finally found some comfort and kindness. Some companionship. I had allowed the empty places in my life be filled with texts and phone calls from Goose. The weekends without my son were being filled now with companionship, and activity, and closeness. Not just with road trips by myself, to eat in restaurants by myself, to stay in a hotel by myself to see the Bridges of Madison County by myself. I just wasn’t wanting to lose what I will lose when I let the denial quilt fall to the floor.
The bedroom door opened. Goose came over to the side of the bed… I slid over as he sat next to me. His arms stretching around me, holding me. I think he wanted me to stay under the quilt too. Warmly, Goose began, “I have to leave for work. Call me later when you get home so that I don’t worry about you on the roads. It snowed last night, so drive safe.” He hugged me tight. We both knew that what ever came after this, would be different from before I had asked the question.
As Goose left the bedroom, my tears began to fall. They kept falling while I showered. They fell while I dried my hair and took my things from the closet where he’d made space for me. I packed up my laptop and loaded my car. As I let the car warm up, the dogs and I had a talk. I asked them to watch after Goose for me and to put in a good word with him on my behalf. I told them I was falling in love with him. They promised they wouldn’t tell anyone. They each hugged me and wagged as I drove down the country black top back toward my life.