My alarm goes off, yet again, for the third time this morning. I have already pressed the snooze two times and I know that I have to get up. I have work today and people are counting on me, or so they say. With a deep sigh, I let my eyes adjust in the early morning dawn light. I rub at them hoping it will help me focus, but the darkness seems to push in from all sides. The silence of my apartment is all around me, so thick that it feels like a heavy weight is sitting on my chest.
Slowly, I turn and let my legs hang from the side of the bed, my feet not quite touching the floor.
I rise up and steady myself against the wall just a mere six inches away. My apartment is small and the too-big bed takes up a lot of room. I had thought about leaving it with her and getting a smaller one, but, I just couldn’t handle the idea that she would be using our bed with him. I lower my head, my chin resting against my chest as the tears begin to fall. I sit back down on the bed as the sobs fill my very being.
After several long minutes, I draw in a deep breath and several short ones hoping to settle myself. It doesn’t take much these days to get me bawling my eyes out. I guess in some ways she was my safety net. What was it she had said? “This is too much for me. You are a wonderful man, but not knowing what I will find when I come home is… just too much.” I didn’t blame her. Some days, I didn’t know what I would find in the morning when I woke up either.
I get up again and slowly drag myself into the bathroom to get a shower and get ready for the day. Some days it can take quite a while for me to get ready, so I usually start earlier than I need to. After my shower, shaving, and brushing my teeth, I walk back into the bedroom to get dressed. One of the things my doctor has suggested is that I pick out clothes the night before and force myself to accept them, to not change my selection. Today the navy blue slacks and plain white shirt fit my mood.
I walk down the short hallway to the kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee. The smell of the fresh brew reminds me of days when I cherished my first cup. Now, it is just one more chore that I have to muddle through. My doctor told me that doing these types of small chores consistently would help me return to my old self. While I wait for the coffee I check my cell phone. No texts and the handful of emails are of the upcoming weekend sales. No party or night out invites for me. Nothing for me to do or read here. Just nothing.
I sit down heavily in one of the two chairs at the small café-sized table. Some days I just can’t see the future at all, like the winter dawn barely breaking outside of my windows. It all seems very dark. I can feel myself slipping back and closing my eyes, try to reach for the ledge. I remember his “tricks” to reach for the next rung on the ladder. Not to look up at the top – just to look at the next one. Just one. Then one more. But with my eyes still closed I try to remember happier days gone by. I know they were there because she and I had been happy once upon a time. I can remember every detail of her. The way she smiled so easily and laughed all the time. The way the sun lightened her long brown hair and made her hazel eyes sparkle. I swipe at the tear as it begins to slip down my cheek. Damn! It is going to be one of those days.
I focus on the scent of the fresh coffee and manage to open my eyes. Standing up I lift my travel coffee mug and place the lid tightly on. Turning to leave the kitchen I pick up my backpack, which contains some tissues, a few pens and pencils, and a journal. My doctor says every day I am supposed to write down something positive and then share it during our sessions. Some days the best I can say is that my coffee tasted good. I know it’s not much, but it is something.
He says finding something positive every day means that I am doing well. I guess a good cup of coffee is better than nothing. And that also means that I got out of bed today, that I was able to get dressed, get through my morning routine, able to take a breath and keep breathing.
Like football players who smack the champion sign on the way out onto the field, I have my own sign. ‘They say I am doing well’ it says, with butterflies and flowers all around it. Do I look like a flowers and butterflies kind of guy? No, I don’t think so. But as I pass by the sign, I run my fingers across the words, trying to pull them into my soul, into my heart, and most importantly into my mind. Maybe that will help. Today, I need all the help I can get.
As the door closes behind me, I say it over and over in my mind – they say I am doing well. With a deep sigh, I put one foot in front of the other and then another and another. Maybe they are right. Maybe I am doing well. I hope they are right.
David E Gordon © 2016
David E Gordon is a suspense writer, his first novel called Cutter, available on Amazon.
Thank you so much for taking part David!
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