My Funny Valentine
The clock chimed 3am. She was in town. The woman Zach spent half his life loving. His wife. No his ex-wife Shannon. The woman he owed so much yet, gave so little of himself too. Shannon. Standing at the window looking out, the falling snow reminded him of the nights he and Shannon spent sharing ice cream sundaes and making snow angels.
Those were the days he longed for when the relationship went sour. They were also the reason he waited so long to commit to Meredith. He’d been happy once and then suddenly one day he woke up and the love was gone. Walking out the door never seemed to be an option. He was a man in a marriage that wanted his freedom. Staying did not make any sense.
He remembered the day he came home and the closet was empty. He was relieved that she was leaving. Relived that she not him had the courage to walk away. Sometimes he thought he knew the day the loved end and sometimes he was not sure. What he knew for sure was the last two years of their marriage it was a struggle just to come home at night. Looking over at the dresser he saw the plague he had made the day after she left “a house divided cannot stand”. Abraham Lincoln was right. Their house was divided before she left. Divided, not standing, but sinking in a river of misery.
It was his fault. He’d insisted on the marriage and moving back to Centralia. Shannon wanted to wait to get married after she finished her masters and start their new life somewhere else. He’d gotten his way and they married a year earlier than expected and she’s finished her masters as his wife in Centralia. Maybe they could have made it if he had been more flexible and listen to her with his heart instead of being hard headed, stubborn or determined to have his way.
It was the reason he sent Jay to the divorce proceedings. He could not face her. He remembered the morning she left. He’d kissed her good bye and never looked back. The divorce was his fault. He’d made their lives miserable. Two years of a miserable existence and he could not even face the woman he’d loved more than life itself at one time.
In an attempt to atone for his failures in the marriage he did what he could to easy Shannon’s way as she started a new life. One night while making snow angels she said it was her dream to live in Paris and teach art to American school children when they retired. That’s why he bought her a house in Paris and pulled a few strings to get her an interview at an American school teaching art. He even hired a PI to keep track of her and make sure she was happy and settling into her new life. He was sure if she made it six months she would stay forever.
He waited 6 months before he started to write her. He was still angry with himself for the way he treated her. His first letter was an apology. She never wrote back. But that never stopped him from writing month after month. Then out of the blue after two years she wrote back. He she said should could never forgive him but she could admit her part in the marriage going sour. They both were responsible in some way for the dissolution of their marriage. They wrote to each other for years by snail mail though they did often use email he still loved to send and receive letters in the mail.
He was glad when she met Peter an American Business living in Paris. He had his PI check him out to make sure he was good guy for his Shannon. The first time he saw Shannon in 5years was when he went to Paris to give her away at her wedding. Unconventional for most but for the two of them it was right. Over the years they’d developed a deep and abiding loved that was more than what they had when they were marriage. This was the real deal friendship they never had while they were married.
The clock chimed at 3am. This was their time to share. Zach and she use to get up late at night and make ice cream sundaes and talk until sun rise. The first year she spent alone in Paris she would wake up and think of Zach and cry. It took sometime but she was finally able to sleep after she married Peter. They now had their own special time. Mornings were the nectar of the Gods that she and Peter shared.
She was worried. The tingle in her back was growing worst and Zach could not sleep. Something wicked was coming their way and she was sure it was directed at she and Zach’s relationship. Pretending she was sleep she rolled over as Zach got back in bed and pulled her close.
There was a problem and she was not sure what it was as she snuggled closed to the man she loved. Listening to his heart beat she smiled. It took 4 years for Zach to finally come around and accept their relationship. Now in one day it seemed something had shaken it to its foundation.