It's difficult, you know? Wondering. Wondering if he'll come back in one piece. If he'll come back at all. He is strong, I know this. He has been in the worst of places, seen the worst things, has met the worst of people. But it has been a year now, and he isn't just some boy that I'm seeing. He is the man I love, the man who I live with, the man who I want to spend the rest of my days with. He is the man who annoys the ever-loving-fuck out of me when he leaves his dirty socks on the floor. He is the man who can't cook for shit. He is the man who leaves I love you's scrawled on post-it notes all over the house when he's away. He is the man who makes me howl with laughter just by making faces.

And yet, despite all that love, here I am. Alone. Wondering.

I wonder if he's okay. If he's alive. If today is the day that I get a phone call. If today he'll decide "You know what? I'm tired of this and I want to go home."

He loves his job. I love that about him. It makes him happy. It fulfills him. His work is beautiful, and of course I'm proud of him. I'm proud of the stories he tells. Of the art he makes. But my nerves are shot. Every time the phone rings I am scared. He tells me to stop. That I am worse than his mother. That I worry about nothing. We fight. Every single time he leaves. My heart hurts the second he walks out the door to leave for the airport. I always run out the front door, running after the taxi. He always stops at the end of the driveway, ready to forgive me.

I am sitting at my desk. Waiting. He should be back tomorrow. He hasn't called in 48 hours. I worry my lip. I can taste the blood when I bite down too hard.

The phone rings, and my heart stops. It's not him, though. It's one of my clients. When can they expect the proofs for their book. I sent it to them 3 days ago. I resist the urge to roll my eyes. Another call comes in, and the line beeps. I rush an excuse and switch lines.



"Bella, are you at home?"

My heart sinks.

"Bella... there's been an accident."

And that moment? That moment is exactly when things crumbled. When we crumbled.