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The International Writers Magazine

Love Story: A Narrative
Amber C Wisniewski

It is 5:30 a.m. and my husband lies alone in our bedroom unaware of my absence. I cannot sleep. How could I possibly think about closing my eyes when every image I see is so disturbing that I am driven to nightmares? I feel the sudden urge to create something, anything, for a release from the threshold which has now overcome my thoughts.

That is why I am here, telling you this story. Last night I was told some gut-wrenching, heartbreaking news. Truth be told, I have a flair for the dramatics (that is part of the reason why I dance), but my reaction to the disturbing news I received from none other than my husband was less than understated at least to which anyone else in my situation would have reacted.

For years, my husband had been harboring memories of his wanton youth, and through the process of his soul searching he let a few of those precious memories slip into my view. In lieu of our emotionally pre-pubescent marriage I tacked on a stoic smile to my face and swallowed a big gulp of jealousy and listened while he seductively slipped the images of his youth into my sweltering thoughts.

The events that proceed are painful to tell but they are a constant replay in my life. Do not think that they are current however; these moments happened many years earlier and are now simply hauntings of my past. Please do not create a hatred for the individuals that play the lead roles because I, myself, do not hate them. Having had many years in which to process these hurtful memories I have forgiven the people that have caused me much grief over the strenuous years. If I had not done so, I would have lost the most important person in my life. I also give caution because these certain memories do not come solely from my own thoughts; rather, these memories are secondhand from someone else’s memory, my husband’s. With this fact known, some of the events I am not entirely confident about the details, but my prodigious imagination filled in gaps of the puzzle.

Through the melting hours of my husband’s talking, I sat on our bathroom sink in our apartment that is a haven to our new marriage biting my bottom lip and fighting back tears that were so defiantly strong. They were ultimately defeating me. Through my crying, I do not know at what point I had lost sight of my thought to be faithful, adoring husband while betrayal and anger pumped through my weakened and hungry veins like blood but, I do know of the hurtful image that was forever burned into my vivid mind which extracted the anger from my veins like a sharp rusty needle.

There they are, Justin and his ex-girlfriend lying alone together in a mysterious bedroom after a night of the self indulgent pleasure of alcohol. His gentleness with her tears at my flesh as he quietly asks her to slip out of her wet shirt caused by the damp cloth that he had placed on the back of her slender neck. Shortly before, he had found her passed out on the floor in front of several inattentive partiers, most of which claimed to be her friend. Now alone with her, his eyes wide with hunger glide over her smooth skin that no longer remains hidden from his view, as he consciously beats down the memory and feeling of my young, innocent body in his own hands while we shared our own sexual encounters in his car only fleeting moments before. He carelessly blinks away the thoughts of me and wraps his strong, reassuring arms around her, memorizing the shape of her body with his curious fingertips. They lie in the silence of comfort having known the situation before, listening only to the rise and fall of one another’s chest.

These images I can see so clearly, they are forever seared into my retinas and no amount of crying will ever wash them away. From that moment on I do not know what happened, I do not think that I can bear the truth that still lies tucked securely away in the mind of my husband. While my husband may be able to keep safe the rendezvous of his past love, I however have been poisoned with a cancer that is everyday eating incessantly at my soul. The cancer is named Penny and it has engulfed my eyes and eroded my lungs, forcing me to live with fire for vision and barbed wire wrapped tightly around my struggling chest gasping for the release into the reincarnating fresh air.

Ours’ is a love story which has produced some of the most beautiful and tragic memories that pervade my mind. It is within the memories of my husband and I which I have drawn my strength to guide me in the tumultuous journey of life. But sometimes I recall the kind of memories that would rather tear me down then build me up and it is precisely this kind of memory in which I have delivered before you; one that is destructive and cruel.

© Amber C Wisniewski March 2007

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