Before the accident, this bedroom was the centre of our universe. We'd share everything, devise projects and make beautiful love. It was our fortress, our haven, us against the world. Now, alone in the darkness, dead from the waist down, I’d gladly burn it to the ground. This is who I am now: a broken cuckolded cripple with no place to call home.
I hear a key in the front door. At least she's back.
I saw nobility in telling my wife over a wine-fuelled lunch that I recognised she had needs I could no longer fulfil. My suggestion that she should make some arrangements seemingly fell on deaf ears. However, my newfound X-ray vision saw in the shape of her mouth and her flimsy objections that it had crossed her mind. She'd been my rock since the accident but when I couldn't even face the mirror, it was difficult to believe that someone could still love me.
I didn’t fully realise then, but for all its drunken bravado that conversation was a test of her love. Those words could not be unsaid however much I regretted them. In time she arranged a meeting with someone online. I didn’t ask for details and she always deleted her history. But tonight's the night.
She enters our bedroom and clambers into bed snuggling up to me. She hasn’t even showered. I hold my breath. I can not bear to touch her and lie corpse-like, rigid. She kisses me sensing the tears that have gathered on my face.
"Are you okay?" she whispers.
Angry unplanned words fly from my mouth like machine gun fire.
"No, I am not okay,” I yell, “I am a broken man. My life is fucked." My useless body jerks with silent sobs and raging emotions.
She switches on her bedside lamp.
She looks down at me with those deep blue eyes of hers. They seem so full of compassion even to my newfound gifts.
"I couldn't go through with it," she says gently, "it felt wrong. I wanted to be with you. I love you.”
I relax into her embrace and feel the soft warmth of her body. I'd shunned all physical contact. It was a painful reminder of the man I am and used to be. I'd forgotten this little heaven.
“It's how you react to the accident that counts,” she says, softly. “ It's your decision.” How had I been so blind to this simple truth? Guilt and regret overwhelm me.
“I'm sorry,” I mumble. “I love you.”
“It's not your body, it's your head. Focus on what you have, not what you've lost. You've shut me out. Let me back in.”
My heart aches with sorrow at all I'd put her through. Her tears fall on my face as we gaze into each other's eyes. We don’t need more words. I feel that wonderful unbreakable bond again. We share a long lingering kiss full of tenderness and love.
I am home again