I drove towards home in a daze. I was in a vacuum. Traffic noises seemed to be an echo in the distance. People walking on the sidewalks or crossing the streets were illusions, not innocent fellow human beings worthy of trust. They would do unto others as they would not like to have done unto them.
Home would now have a different meaning for me. It would no longer be a place of reconvening of our bond to each other. We spent most of our time together, except when we were working. I had switched to home-based physical therapy. The separation was vital to our stability. Joni René’s happiness was a tangible representation of our bond and commitment. Our family unit was a platform still vital to her well-being.
Thinking of her sent a crescendoing twinge from deep within my chest. My tongue clamped against my palate to hold me back from bawling where I sat. The blubbering saliva seeped from the corners of my mouth. I clutched the steering wheel tightly.
Oh, Joni René doesn’t deserve this… None of us deserve this. We were so immune. We were doing everything the best way we knew how.
For a moment, I felt sorry for him. It was as though my loving adorable mate had inevitably become weakened. He had fallen victim to this highly contagious affliction of people. My next thought straightened me up from wallowing in my despair. For how long has he been doing this? I scanned my memory for all of the tardy evenings he had had lately. There weren’t many, but there were some for sure.
I had arrived home without realizing it. I grabbed a tissue to wipe my eyes. I stayed in my parked car to regain my composure. I backed out and deliberately parked down the street. The baby sitter and certainly Joni René should not see me like this. I took a series of deep breaths as I walked down the sidewalk to the house.
Stay tuned for part III.