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Strike-Slip (Part V)

It was a perfect set-up.

I was incredibly relieved as I felt I did not need to hold my breath any longer. Sean was seemingly more himself. When we spoke on the phone, he was animated and even calling me "Guapa" again, my nickname that had faded out over the past year and a half as our life had gotten more stressful. I placed import on these minor shifts. His positivity was sufficiently convincing to the part of me that wanted and needed everything to be okay between us that I just went along with it without asking any of the obvious questions.

But it's hard to hold back truth. The first crack in the facade came when he picked me up at the airport. As I got in the car-our familiar car of the past five years-it rose in my awareness that strangely, it did not feel like my car anymore. I was in sensory overload in that moment as we were reconnecting and I couldn't make sense of what I was picking up, and yet, it was a distinct impression.

As we were driving along, I was taking in how everything looked basically right and as I expected, including Sean himself, but everything felt...wrong, out of place, foreign. I was reminded of that time when my brother had hosted a huge party at the house while my parents were out of town and then unsuccessfully tried to put the house back together. What had happened here while I had been away?

Sean told me he had wanted to take me some place special to mark the occasion of us reuniting and so he'd lined up a great getaway spot. On the surface, that sounded wonderfully fun, but since I already had this nagging sense that something was off, it was hard to feign excitement. At this point, my instincts had kicked in and I knew that I needed to get home. Nothing felt normal and I couldn't figure it out, but my home would not lie to me, that much I knew.

But alas, other plans were afoot. We got to our B&B and checked in for the weekend. I tried for the sake of harmony to relax and enjoy myself, but it felt stilted as all I could think about was getting back home. Sean was a bit miffed that I wasn't more open to his inspiration, but I tried to explain that as much as I appreciated the gesture, my time away had made me long for home per se. I just wanted to go home.

This wasn't going as he had hoped it would. He was annoyed that I couldn't get over it, but he also recognized that it was pointless to argue about it as it defeated the whole purpose of getting away in the first place. He relented. Fine. We were going back home.

I felt nervous. The kind of nervous you feel when you have to check to see if someone is still breathing.

I walked through our front door and looked around. Again, everything looked fairly normal, but nothing was right. I had a good relationship with this house and the house had been wondering where I had been and if I was coming back. Here I am. Apparently gone a bit too long. I stood there in the living room for a few minutes knowing that I was about to be flooded with a full download from the house.

And in it came. A wide and elongated wave of energy. The house showed me just how deeply Sean had been suffering over the past month while I'd been away. How far down he'd gone. And how long he'd been down there. It took my breath away and made me cry. Oh my goodness gracious.

He felt ashamed and he hadn't wanted me to see how bad off he was, and so he was trying to put it behind him and paper over it with a romantic getaway. I got his logic. He must have known deep down that the minute I walked in the house I would know everything, so he was trying to forge the re-connection somewhere other than the house. It all made sense-it just wasn't the way things wanted to go.

Reality had made it's grand entrance in our living room. We were looking at each other across the room, full to the brim with love. This wasn't conflict. Or wanting to go our separate ways. This was something more insidious. This was addiction. And depression that was both cause and effect.

I was not capable of leaving him and he knew that. I was loyal, to a fault. Devoted. And still totally and utterly in love with him. Despite all of the stress, mess and dysfunction, my heart was wide-open to him.

He may have secretly wished I was capable of walking out so that he didn't have to do all the heavy lifting himself, but if so, he never let on.

No. No complaint from him, no shirking of responsibility, even as that brutal light of truth was mercilessly exposing the weakest aspects of his nature.

It was a sight to behold as right then and there, without warning, the very same masculine impulse that had gotten it going between us five years prior rose up, looked me straight in the eye and was clearly prepared to break my heart into a million tiny pieces.

Sean knew where he was headed and while he fancied my company on the trip he was about to take, for my sake, he ended us, in one devastatingly final knock out blow.


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