Ana looked around the rustic cabin, her home for the last seven days. She had packed her bags and now sat at the small, handmade kitchen table with pen in hand trying to collect her thoughts enough so that she could express them to her estranged husband. With no luck, she decided just to start writing and see what came of it.
December 14, 2015
Ana here, in case you thought it was someone else. I think I’m writing this more for myself than for you, but that remains to be seen until I finish it.
We’ve definitely been through a rough patch these past few weeks. Both of us are to blame. I think it’s more you than me, and you think it’s more me than you. In reality, the conclusion I’ve come to after a week here at my Dad’s cabin is that, like every other dispute, the truth is in the middle of what we both feel and we are equals in the blame game.
Our (failed) attempt at an open relationship, even if only for one night, means one thing to me. We chose the wrong path for finding fulfillment with each other. We thought we could take “a night off” and come back fresh, but we didn’t really take anything off, besides our clothes, and now I’m up here, and you’re down there and that speaks volumes. Our grand decision drove us even further apart physically, not to mention emotional impacts.
I know I said I would come home after a week, but I really don’t know if that is what I really want to do. That makes me sound like a horrible mother, because how can I not want to come back to, at least, my children and give them the best Christmas possible? What am I lacking inside that has me want to drive anywhere but home to you and the kids? These questions haunt me.
I feel as though you and I will never be happy again. But what is happy really? Is it just being in a state of comfort with hope for the future and something to look forward to? Is it just the opposite of being sad? Is it living with the absence of strife or conflict? I don’t know anymore.
I’m looking around here and thinking how simple life is. There is nothing tearing me in different directions. Nothing to do but “just live”. It might be the comfort I feel here is due to nostalgia from when I used to come up here with my Dad when I was a kid, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. But those days were thirty years ago and I have built my own life with you and our kids and I also have smiled thinking about when we came up here last summer as a family.
I’m not sure how anything will ever go back to normal, but “normal” really doesn’t mean anything anyway. I woke up on my second day here and saw one of tire ruts I made with the jeep when I first arrived. Was that rut a normal part of the driveway? Maybe over the years, someone might have made that particular track, but also maybe not. It made me think, every day is new and we change every time we wake up and live another day. Normal is just a word we use to be able to describe things outside of our routine, but there really is no “normal”.
I don’t know if this letter will arrive before I do, because I won’t know where I’m headed until I get back on the road in a few minutes. If I see you before you read this then I guess writing this whole thing was for me and I will try and explain it. If you are reading this and I haven’t arrived, know that I am eventually coming back and I will let you know when. That’s the very least I owe to you and the kids.
I am sorry for how we have failed each other this past little while, but like everything in life, failure doesn’t exist if you don’t give up. I know that I don’t want to give up. I just don’t know when I’ll be ready to start with that.
She gave the letter a once over, folded it, and placed it in the envelope. Ana addressed the front and put a stamp in the corner, then placed the letter in her coat pocket.
She gave the cabin another once over, grabbed her bags, walked to her jeep and packed everything away.
When she got to the end of the long, unpaved and tree-lined driveway that ended at the highway, she stopped and eyed the mailboxes. The tips of her fingers grazed the edge of the envelope and then she found them back on the steering wheel. She looked to her left and saw no traffic, before turning right and heading south.