At The Tips of Our Fingers
How did I get here?
I am sitting alone on my couch in a small townhome. And I am 7.34 miles exactly from my beach house that I have shared with Spencer for nearly 8 year, 6 of which included my little blue-eyed boy and four of which included my little brown-eyed girl. And all of which were the greatest years I could imagine living.
And now here I sit, waiting patiently for 5:00 p.m. so I can go to the house and pick up Bo and Lyla for my "parenting time."
Parenting time. Really?
What kind of stupid person came up with that term? When I lived at the beach house, all my time was parenting time. It was not carved out or divided up or made into a perfect little schedule. It just was.
I glance at a photograph on my end table. I see my little boy sitting in my lap, and my little girl sitting in her lap.
I feel my heart sink into my stomach as I look at her face in the photograph.
How did we get here, Spencer?
I am talking to a picture, and not to my wife. And the pain I am feeling at that realization is beyond anything
I mean, nowhere in the time I have been with her, save a few stupid months in high school, did I ever think I would know what it felt like to live without her. And I don't want to try to figure it out now.
I have loved Spencer for eighteen years. Since I was sixteen years-old. And I am thirty-four now, and there are so many years left in my life to love her.
Loving Spencer is almost painful at times, because I cannot imagine loving anyone, save my children, more than her. She's impossible not to fall in love with. Sometimes I sit and look at her and wonder how not everyone in the entire world didn't fall in love with her too. How was it only me? How did I not have to compete every day of my life with all the people in this world who should have fallen in love with her like I did. Or maybe they all did but I just didn't know it because she only had eyes for me.
She's perfect. She's easily the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. I know I am nothing to sneeze at. I know I am an attractive woman. But Spencer is classically, perfectly, and painfully beautiful. She has the most flawless skin, the silkiest hair, the biggest most kissable looking lips that can form a pout that can knock the wind out of you and send you to your knees. She can stop you in your tracks in sweats, jeans and a t-shirt, or a fancy dress…and oh god, when she's wearing nothing at all. She wears every look, every hairstyle, everything with such style and she always looks just effortlessly and perfectly beautiful.
And those eyes.
Those big blue eyes, with the slight droop and the long lashes and the perfect sparkle. I got lost in them the first time I looked at her and I am still trying to find my way out of them.
And I swear we have the best marriage, the best relationship, the deepest love. We have so much fun together, we have amazing kids who we are loving raising together, we have a beautiful home, and more passion for one another than two people who have spent eighteen years together would expect to have.
So why am I sitting here, alone in a townhome, 7.34 miles away from MY home and MY family, counting the minutes…no, SECONDS to 5:00?
Well, here's how I think it all began…
"Bo, Lyla, get your shoes on. Mommy will be here soon!" I yell up the stairs at my children, hearing them shuffle around and then their footsteps pounding across the hall until I see them appear at the top of the stairs.
Forcing a wide smile, I beckon them to come the rest of the way down to me so I can help them get their overnight bags completely packed. They rush down to me, one after the other, and come to a grinding halt at my feet, Bo first followed closely by his little sister.
"Hey, you too. Slow down!" I tease as I bend over to kiss them both on the tops of their blonde and brown heads, respectively.
"Mama, can I bring my Nintendo DS?" Bo asks hopefully.
"Of course you can, Bubba," I assure him as I scoop Lyla into my arms. "Punker, you want to bring your dolly?" I whisper as I kiss her rosy cheek.
"Mama, why do we hafta go see Mommy at hew new house?" she inquires innocently and I feel my hear break inside my chest.
How did we get here?
Why am I packing my children's things and sending them off to some strange townhome 7.34 miles away from here to be with their Mommy? Why isn't Ashley here with us…with me?
I mean, I know we have had some problems over the last two years, but my God the first eighteen were practically perfect. And Ashley and I were not meant to live apart and try to juggle kids back and forth, we were meant to be together, and we've known it since we were sixteen years-old.
The sound of her name in my head literally makes me want to throw up. Not because it makes me sick to think of her, it makes me sick to be without her.
I cannot imagine loving anyone else the way I love Ashley. I've been so head-over-heels over her for so long I don't remember a day I did not love her.
How can you not love Ashley? You take one look at her and you are hooked…drawn to her and you cannot go back. I mean, everyone had the hots for Ashley. Look at Aiden. He had this great girl, smart, talented, beautiful, and totally into him, but he wanted Ashley. And it took him realizing her heart was with me to move on.
Even Madison's obsession with her ran deep. No one knows this, and it took Ashley years to tell me, but she and Madison had this "almost-thing"…and as soon as Madison realized she had an unexplainable 'thing' for that beautiful, sexy and charming brunette, she went screaming in the other direction for years and years and years.
But Ashley was mine. She was mine eighteen years ago, and she loves me as much as I love her. I have no doubt about that.
So how did we get here, passing back-packs back and forth between houses, going to bed alone at night, crying ourselves to sleep, and missing each other so much, but still living apart?
Well, I think it may have begun one day a couple years ago…