The truth was he’d struck too close to home. No one had ever put into words something I’d feared for quite some time—that I was incapable of loving another person deeply, unconditionally. Of course I felt caring affection for others, but not the kind of deep love that I thought should be there, especially for my husband and children. It scared me. That’s why I asked for a divorce. Marty didn’t understand, and I didn’t know how to explain to him that I was fatally flawed. If I had tried to tell Marty I was really saving him with this divorce, he would’ve hung on all the tighter.
So I told him I didn’t love him anymore. He couldn’t argue with that.
At the bedroom doorway I stop. Loopy, my ancient orange tabby—who pre-dates Marty as the “man in my life”—is grooming himself on top of Marty’s pillow. That’s his usual place, even when Marty’s balding head lay snoring there. Loopy pauses long enough to look at me and meow a greeting. “Hi there,” I say, scratching behind his ears as my eyes go to the package where I’d tossed it earlier, just below my pillow.