I leaned against the counter in the kitchen, the envelope in my hand. She took a sip of water and tossed me the bottle. “I don’t know where your mouth has been,” is what I said. Maybe I said it to hurt her but she just smiled and raised her middle finger.
Hating her was what I wanted to do, she told me she needed time in a room full of the most important people in our lives. All the nights we talked about children and our futures and love and she needed time? No matter how much I sat up and tried to see her side of things I always came back to the same conclusion.
I just wasn’t good enough.
“Open the envelope.”
Her voice was cracking and my hands were trembling. Whatever was in this envelope was enough to break the strongest woman I’d ever met. Unfolding the paper, the single sheet, I read the words and slid to the floor. I read them again and again and again… But they stayed the same.
“Why wouldn’t you tell me?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
She fell to her knees in front of me, my arms wrapped around her, my tears soaking her t-shirt. I prayed to God that it wasn’t another man in her life. I prayed that she thought I was good enough. I told him I couldn’t live without her and if he gave me just another day with her I’d spend the rest of my life being a better man. He granted my prayers and gave me the day I asked for. The envelope was a letter from her doctor telling her that she should get her affairs in order. The cancer spread to her brain and to operate would be making her a vegetable. 3-6 months to live is what they gave her, the letter was dated 4 months ago. “How could I accept your ring knowing I can never give you the life you want? You always said you want your first wife to be your only wife. I’m dying babe and I wanted you to remember me as I am not as a shell of what I was.”
They say prayer works… I just wasn’t expecting it to work literally.
Pulling her face to mines, kissing her as if she’d just said “I do,” I picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. Four days without her felt like an eternity.
“Tonight we make love until we can’t anymore. After that we plan a wedding. Tomorrow night I’m making you my wife! Fuck those doctors…”