|"She wondered if he remembered."|
I just got home from talking to Leonard. I don't know what I expected to happen exactly...but I never would have thought in a million years that it would have went like it did. All of these words kept flying out of my mouth and I was thinking the whole time What are you doing? What are you saying? Then it was all over and I came home...and I feel like a completely different person...better and lighter somehow.
When I called Leonard, I asked him to meet me at Wautaga Dam. It's still cold up there, so I knew we would have some privacy. I have a hard enough time saying what I really think. With a bunch of people around, there's no way I could have done it.
Just like always, he came through for me...he pulled in barely a minute after I did. The parking lot was empty and I got out of my car and went and sat with him in his truck. I know it must have been chilly there on the mountain, but I was so nervous I didn't really feel it. I was shaking so bad from nerves, though, that when I climbed in the seat and shut the door, Leonard jacked up the heat.
He asked me if I was OK. "No." ...it was all I could do to reply.
"Did something happen?" I nodded. He said OK and then he waited for me to start. I almost didn't. I was so scared...shaken up by the dream, and afraid of what his reaction might be. But, as crazy as it seems, I was more afraid of what would happen if I didn't tell him about it.
Finally I spoke up. I told him about the dream, about how real it was, and about how I couldn't keep it to myself. I half expected him to pick on me about getting so worked up over a stupid dream, but he didn't. He just sat there listening to me...
After I told him all that, I asked him if he remembered, years ago, when Andy and I still lived at the old house. Did he remember? He nodded. I was shaking so hard that the whole truck was starting to rock...
And did he remember being at the house a specific Sunday morning when, while Andy was sleeping off one of his binge nights, I was standing in the kitchen drinking tea and he snuck up on me, took the cup, set it on the counter and, in one movement, pushed me against the kitchen wall and kissed me...did he remember that? He smiled slightly in the corners of his mouth and nodded.
And did he remember, a few months later when he was about to go back out of town to work, asking me to go with him and that I said I couldn't...I couldn't be that person...it wasn't right...it wasn't moral...it wasn't fair to Andy...Did he remember what he said to me then?
"I said if you ever changed your mind to call me, no matter where I was, and I would come get you."
And I asked "Did you mean it? Do you still mean it? Because I changed my mind. It's taken me a long time...maybe too long...but I finally see it. I don't want to live my life and you not be a part of it. I don't feel that way about anyone else. As much as I've tried, I don't. I've fought so hard to feel that for Andy, to be a good wife to him, but I just don't feel it and I can't fight anymore. So did you mean it? Do you still? Because I've changed my mind and I want to go with you."
He didn't answer me right away. For what seemed like a long while, he just looked at me. And I thought I'd made a mistake telling him all of it. That things were different now...that it was the past...that he didn't feel that way anymore...
Then, without looking away from me, he took my hand from my lap and wrapped it with his.
"Have I ever lied to you?" I shook my head no...it's always been one of my favorite things about him...that he's always told me the truth, even when it was something I didn't want to hear.
"Don't you remember what else I said to you that day? I told you: I will always feel this way. I will always come back for you. I've never once lied to you. I meant it then. I still do. I loved you...and I've loved you for a long time. Quietly...secretly...I kept it to myself because I knew you were trying to do right by Andy...but I couldn't help loving you. I feel the same today as I did then and I will always feel this way. I will never not love you."
And that was all I could stand, I guess, because I started to cry...hard and uncontrollably. Leonard held my hand until I had calmed down enough to talk again.
"What do we do now?" I asked. And we talked it over till we figured it out.