Or maybe I just slid out. It didn’t actually happen all at once, but I willfully ignored the few scattered clues that the attraction was lessening. Looking back, I guess it was inevitable. There was never any real compatibility. But it was comfortable. That is what drew me. I thought, in the beginning, that it was love at first sight.
We moved to Fairhope together and I had a glimpse then it wasn’t a good fit, but it still felt good. I felt warmed and comforted at a time I needed comfort. Friends commented gently about the unlikely pairing, but I defended my choice. I had chosen solid, sturdy, not based on appearances or even mutual style.
And I enjoyed the relationship. I felt hugged and cushioned, but there was never any real commitment on my part. I made disparaging remarks at the same time I professed my love.
It’s been three years and we made the move to a new house together. I questioned the wisdom of staying together when I bought my house, but I thought I could make it work. Night after night I took comfort, yet always with an eye to something better.
Then tonight, like I had peeled back a skin, or ripped off a mask, I really saw. Stark reality. The flaws I have overlooked are insurmountable to me. Or at least I don’t want to be blind to them anymore. I hate to be shallow but I can’t believe I was ever attracted. So. . . big. Shapeless. I know I’m not dainty myself, but still.
I won’t be rash. I won’t make any changes right away. I don’t look forward to the “I told you so” of my dearest friend, although I know I should have listened to her. And I will have to eventually deal with the empty place if I say good bye. But I know I will fill that space. I will fill it as quickly as I can. But this time, I will go in with my eyes wide open. I will choose wisely because I want to be happy, not just comfortable. And I want it to last.
So I turn away and whisper an unheard goodbye. With still a touch of affection, I add, “You were a comfort, my friend.” Then I turn out the light and walk away from that big, green overstuffed recliner.