I walk into my house and I am surprised that the front door was a left a little ajar. I know my husband is a lot more careful than that and he would never leave the door open like that. “Hello?” I call out as I enter the house and take my coat off. Another thing that I notice immediately is a peculiar smell, a mixture of roses and some herbal spices. My house never smells like this, I think to myself. A clatter of dishes comes from the kitchen as I approach the living room. There is definitely someone in the house, and it is not my husband! I panic. I go into the garage and come out with a heavy walking stick that grandpa left the last time he was at our place. I steady the stick and walk cautiously into the living room, getting ready to smack the prowler as soon as I see him or her. I edge closer toward the kitchen wall and stand behind the door, breathing heavily. This is it, I think to myself, I have to rush in and surprise the intruder. I am about to run in when I hear someone singing from inside the kitchen. “Richard, is that you?” I call out. “Yes, honey. Come on in. I have a surprise for you!” Relieved that it was in fact my husband in the kitchen, I drop the stick and walk into the kitchen, only to be amazed that the dining table is all set out, with flowers and candles, and my husband standing there in my apron, cooking me a lavish dinner. “What's all this?” I ask. “Surprise! I love you my love!” Richard says and I cannot help but run to him and kiss him on his lips.
It is amazing how much things can change in one year, I think while driving back home from the courthouse. Everything was so good and we were so happy. I wonder what happened and how things turned out like the way they have. I wish I could view the last one year of my life like a book and try to understand exactly what went wrong and where. I take a right turn into the street where our house, my house, is and a slight tear begins to roll down my eyes. I console myself as I park in my driveway, telling myself that some things are just not meant to be. I wonder if this is true and I wonder if things would have been different if I had acted out differently.
We had only been married three months and we were happy as any married couple could be, or I thought we had been happy. I now know that Richard was not as happy with our marriage as I had thought he had been. I think maybe it was his friends or his elder brother who influenced him so much, whatever the case was, he suddenly started feeling that he had made a big mistake by getting married. He had this idea that marriage was a big trap and that he was slowly losing his independence. He thought that he was going to end up being a useless and ugly part of this society if he continued to be married and kept on living as he was living. I tried to talk to him but he would tell me that it was not my fault and there was nothing wrong with me. He said that I was the best wife in the world and it was his own fault. He told me that he just felt very constricted and that he needed some time off from me.
Some time off from me. Those were his exact words. I remember that exactly because my heart broke that day. I remembered how we used to be before we got married. Everything was so simple and easy. Richard would tell me how much he loved me and how much he wanted to have a home with me. He would tell me his dreams of being the most successful investment banker in our part of the world. I would tease him and tell him that he already was the most successful investment banker I knew in the whole world. So what if I only knew one investment banker? We would laugh and talk all night. Sex was wonderful. He told me that he loved me, wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, grow old with me, and have children with me. I told him that I loved him too. After three years of dating, he proposed to me at the beach as we were having margaritas and pina colada cocktails. I immediately said yes.
And only after three months of marriage, he was tired of me. I said it was all right if he wanted to take some time off. He said he was going to New York for a business meeting and he will be back after two weeks. He told me that he would not call me all this time and we would not be in contact for this stipulated time. I said that was fine. I will be here waiting when he would come back. Those two weeks were the most terrible fourteen days of my life. I could not sleep half the nights, other time I would sleep throughout the day. I took the week off from my job and decided to stay home and contemplate over this whole situation. I kept thinking what he would say when he would come back. Would he want to leave me or would he tell me that he had made a mistake. It was torture, those two weeks.
I heard the taxi pull over in front of our house. I heard the car door open and slam as I heard Richard step out. His steps were fast and hurried and he almost ran into the house. I sat on the couch, tears in my eyes, waiting for him. He came to me, and sat down at my feet. “I am so sorry darling. I do not know what came over me. I was not thinking straight. But spending these two weeks away from you has made me realize that I really do love you. I was a fool to think that I had a mistake by marrying you. Could you ever forgive me?” I looked at his face and tried to say something but my lips could not move. All I could do was point my right hand over to the coffee table. Richard looked confused as he picked up the manila envelope from the table and opened it. He looked at me and said, “Are you sure?” And all I could do was to nod my head. Richard then said to me, “I think I understand. I am sorry.” And he walked out with the divorce papers that I had initiated and signed the day before.