Diana approached the door slowly. It was only three days before Christmas and Paul had given them the good news. Warren could come home and with time and therapy, there was a good chance he’d recover full use of his legs. She hesitated to go in. Warren wasn’t the same since the accident. With the children he was always happy, joking, as if he were determined to alleviate their worry, but became quiet and brooding whenever they were alone.
She plastered a bright smile on her face and opened the door. “Good morning, Darling. I just spoke to Paul and he said you could definitely come home today. I’ve moved our room downstairs and made arrangements with the rehabilitation center for in home sessions. As soon as you’re stronger we’ll get the equipment you’ll need and have it set up in the office.”
He remained silent. “What’s wrong, Warren. I thought you’d be pleased. The children are excited you’ll be home for Christmas.”
“Only for Christmas, Diana, and only for the sake of the kids.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m not staying. I’ll come home for Christmas, then I’m going to the center.”
“But Paul explained you’d progress just as well at home and going to the center wasn’t necessary.”
“I’ll not have you wearing yourself out taking care of me.”
“I won’t be. An aide will come everyday to help with all that. What’s the real problem, Warren? You’ve been distant since the accident.”
“Lets stop fooling ourselves. The accident made me realize how many years we’ve wasted. You’ve been trapped in a marriage to a man you don’t love for twenty-four years. It’s time to stop it. It’s like beating a dead horse to make it move. I think it’s safe to say this horse is not moving.”
“What’s all this about dead horses? I don’t understand. We have a wonderful marriage—three beautiful children and a grandchild about to be born. You aren’t making any sense.”
“Yes, Diana, I know we have three beautiful children. It was because of Sarah we married in the first place, because Justin died. I fooled myself into thinking you’d forget him. It never happened and I’m tired of the lie we’ve been living. I’ll be moving to the center after Christmas and from there…I don’t know, but you’ll have your freedom.”
“A divorce? God, Warren, I don’t want a divorce.” I love you, have loved you for so long. Why can’t I just say it?
“Well, Dee, want it or not, that’s the way it’s going to be.”
Copyright ©Elizabeth Melton Parsons