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Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Honey, I'm Home

Now that I laid a whole dire and cryptic attitude on all and sundry, I think I have good news to report. I'm back at the homestead, and so help me, I actually think Jamie and I are better for the gloom and doom.

I had to see her again either way, so we could get our taxes filed together. And much as I wanted to go home, reviewing the finances on my own gave me a brutal reminder why I had to walk out in the first place. Jamie called and we talked things over in the morning. I'd read her the riot act the day before, many times begging her to give me a reason to stay. That morning, on the phone, I got the reasons I wanted. And when we came home, she lived up to them.

I haven't felt this good about our future together, not in years. We put our hearts on the table for a while, clearing the air between us, and then crunched the numbers at the same table. I expected them to get grim. That was no surprise. After discussing options and the incoming cash flow, there was the slightest hint of a light at the end of the tunnel. I gave her my interpretation of the numbers, and also my reluctance to accept them so readily. Adding numbers up tells you how much you've got, but it doesn't tell you when and for how long. But to my relief, Jamie practically thanked me for pointing that out. None of those things had occurred to her before, and she wanted my input on how to nail those questions down. My God, we're actually a team.

When I came home, I begged--crying openly without shame or a shred of peace--that she wouldn't make me regret my decisions. I didn't want to go back to the old ways. No more power trips, secrets, or games.

And she didn't offer to change. She made the change.

I'd actually forgotten what hope felt like. I knew struggle. I know heartbreak. After yesterday, I know a hundred more nuances lie inside that one horrible sensation. And hope seems alien, almost an anticlimax, at the end of 24 hours. But I'll take it.

I knew there was a reason I love this woman....

Monday, January 27, 2003

Expect Me When You See Me

Just a quick note to let everyone know what's going on. I'm afraid you won't be seeing much of me for a while. I'll try to keep in touch.

I feel as if I've already fallen in shadow, and I don't intend to fall any farther.

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for daring to live on. I'm leaving the woman I love.