Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chapter One

Its cold. Well I didn't expect it to be warm. it's the middle of January in Kentucky. I have felt it grow colder every day. Tonight its not as cold as it has been. The snow from a few weeks ago has melted into a continuous slush that has a nasty way of soaking through the hems of my jeans. Every night, by the time I get home, my pants are soaked clear to the bottom of my knees. I've gotten used to it in the last three years. That first winter was the worst. I almost broke down and moved back.

Back. Once upon a time I thought I would never leave. I thought my whole world was there. I had great friends. My family was there. I found true love there. Everything was great. I didn't have a care in the world. Ok I had your standard cares. I was considered low income. I was on housing assistance and day care assistance. But I was working full time. It was one of those crazy spirals some people find themselves in. But it was ok because I had my friends and family and my true love.

I had it all. More than anyone could hope for. I wasn't wealthy but I was rich. I lived like that for three years. I was so sure things were going the right way. I knew he was going to ask me to marry him. After all we had been dating for seriously for close to two years. We had been friends for a year before that. We liked each other's friends. We had our own hobbies. We had a damn near perfect relationship. Oh we fought of course, but what healthy stable relationship doesn't involve the occasional argument. My son loved him, I loved him, my family loved him.

Then it was gone. all of it. How could life be that cruel?

There was an accident at his work. He did construction. He was a foreman on the Strip's biggest resort project to date. He oversaw everything. He was so involved in that building. I used to joke that it was the "other woman". They still aren't sure exactly what happened. Somehow a beam fell from the top of the building. It landed on him. It fell 35 stories to land directly on his head.

They had to use DNA to identify him. There wasn't even enough left of his body to get him a casket. His family decided to have him cremated. The memorial was beautiful. Everyone treated me as if I really was the widow. I cried. I cried so much those first few days. Then I stopped crying. just like that.

I thought I was ok. I thought I was moving on. I was still very sad, but I wasn't crying anymore. It was hard trying to explain death to my 4 year old. Everyday I had to sit down with him and talk him through why The man he thought of as a father would never be here anymore. I told him all the old tired cliches. I told him that if we hold on to the memory of the ones we lose then they never really go away. I told him that after death there was a beautiful place where people to go to rest and reflect on their lives. I told him that Keith would be watching us from this place for the rest of our lives.

I hadn't shed a single tear since that first week. About a year later I began to notice that people were not calling me as often. My friends and family weren't inviting me to outings anymore. I was curious. I called the woman who had been my best friend before all this.

"Hey Jane its me Sara"
"Oh wow, um, hi Sara"
"Hey how are you doing? I haven't heard from you in ages."
"ehhh, well, I'm doing ok. Hey look I've got to go I'm right in the middle of something. I'll call you later, ok?"
"uh sure. Hey don't be a stranger!"
"um yeah ok bye"

weird. We used to be able to talk for hours on the phone about everything. I tried more people. I called friends, and family. I even called the people from Keith's family that I was close to. Every conversation went almost the same way. It was like they couldn't get me off the phone fast enough.

Jane never called me back. None of them did.

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