We met in school, early enough in life to be excited, but late enough in life to know what we each wanted. I won't say it was love at first sight, but I don't think many hours passed before we knew there was something special about our bond, and that we were meant for each other. We each decided, first in an unspoken way, and later spoken many times over, that we would spend the rest of our lives together.
The next few years were filled with happiness, change, silly laughter, challenging moments that strengthened us, and a few heartbreaking moments that threatened to divide us. While others around us left, focused on different things, we stayed together.
As years tend to do, years passed by, and another color was added to our world together. My partner in life started to look around, finding other people to spend time with, other activities preferred over those I offered. I was startled, of course, but not overly concerned. I chalked it up to a seven-year-itch sort of situation, only the 20-year-itch version.
But when it became clear that those dabblings meant that my partner in life had found and chosen another partner in life, that new color started to overtake all the wonderful colors I had come to know and love and need.
It started as a fear, but not a fear of anything that could really take anything from me. Plans began to be made, and fear became sinking horror, reality, knowing...they are leaving together. I have been asked to leave the house. I am packing my things. I am sad. But we are still partners, aren't we? Aren't we still irrevocably intertwined together in the eyes of God and in each other's souls?
Time has passed and the color is gone now. I make a phone call when I need to be renewed or when I need a laugh or a memory. I hear the voice on the recording of the one who stole my love away, telling me they have no time for me now. If a conversation happens, it is brief and shallow, telling me without telling me that my partner has untwined from me, irrevocably, permanently, no matter how deep my need. My thread waves aimlessly in the occasional breeze, longing for another thread, but all the threads are woven by now.
I live, I am, alone.
Bet you never thought I'd been divorced, did you? I bet none of you even thought I'd ever been married. I haven't been. Fourteen months ago, when we were both nearing 40 years old, enjoying an adulthood of childless singleness, my best friend got married and moved away.