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Life changes.

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You were my cup of tea, but I drink vodka now. Literally. I drink to forget you, but it’s never enough. I drink enough to slur my words and stumble around town, but never enough to forget the sound of your laugh, the touch of your hands, or the smell of your hair. I hoped you’d call, but you never did. How could you? You were gone. You weren’t coming back. There are days when I don’t think I’ll make it. Days when I wonder how I am supposed to handle this.

I used to believe I was going to be married to you forever, and now I’m never going to speak to you again. How is my heart supposed to stop hurting? When does it stop hurting? I used to cry and scream and curse the world for hours. Now I just sit on my floor, clench my chest, and stare blankly at the wall hoping to feel nothing at all. I sit at the kitchen table at 5:22 p.m. every night waiting for you to open the front door and pick me up and spin me around like you haven’t seen me in years. The door never opens. You never come home.

I stay up at night watching my favorite TV shows, waiting for you to change the channel to some sporting event. I’d wrestle you for the remote and we’d end up kissing and falling asleep in each other’s arms. The channel never changes. You don’t kiss me goodnight anymore.

Make enough breakfast in the morning for four. I set yours across from mine, waiting for you to stumble into the kitchen half asleep. You never come. Your food gets cold and goes uneaten. Our dog sits at the front door; she stares at me, confused because you haven’t walked her in weeks. I don’t have the heart to tell her that you aren’t going to walk her ever again. Our daughter lies next to me in bed where you used to sleep. She doesn’t talk to me the way she talked to you. She doesn’t understand why you’re gone. She only ever says how unfair it is. I can’t comfort her because I don’t even know how to comfort myself. She misses you. We all do.

Our son sits on the curb in our front yard. His glove on his left hand and yours lies next to him. He waits for you to come home to play catch. I try to play with him, but he says I don’t throw the way you do. He drinks out of your favorite mug because he wants to be like you. We all wander around the house like zombies in the silence, wishing you were here to fill it with laughter. I tuck the kids into bed by myself, and you aren’t here to wish them sweet dreams.

I still stock the pantry with your favorite snacks. The kids don’t have the heart to eat them because they don’t want them to disappear as you did. We all cry ourselves to sleep at night, pretending not to hear each other.

I flinch every time the phone rings. I get flashbacks to that night, the call when I knew you were gone. I wasn’t sad or mad yet, just scared. We drove to try and make it in time. We held your hand and begged you not to go. Begged you to hold on and stay with us. You couldn’t, and we knew that. So we let you go. At 8:30 p.m. you were pronounced brain dead and at 9:45 p.m. I decided to pull the plug. You wouldn’t want to live as a vegetable.

We went home and sat in silence, the kids and I. Finally, our son let out a cry, your daughter followed, then me. We cried for a long time until we passed out from exhaustion. I drink to forget you, but it’s never enough. You were my cup of tea, but I drink vodka now.
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