Broken is a story that is best read Chronologically to start from the beginning – Prologue
It was a few days after I spent that first night with her and she was different. I couldn’t tell what… just in those few days, but she gave me quite a few “you better hurry” jokes. But I brushed them off as her being charming. We liked to needle each other in a fun way. It was part of our rapport.
My family vacation was coming and likely the last one I would probably have. And I really needed to switch gears and prepare for myself. But it also signaled a time and space where it would be a month til we could see each other.
She would go away a few days after I left and then be back a few days before I got back but then would leave again. If it sounds confusing it was. We just knew we wouldn’t be able to see each other til late July. Hailey always said “I hate when you go on this trip”. I never understood this she even said it last year even before she was separated. Not to mention she was going away with James and the kids after her separation. And I wondered… “how is that any different you have only been on your own a few short days.”
In my logical brain I knew that there would be a transition after separation. A moment of sadness and a hard time logistically as you entered a new phase of family and spending time away from the kids. It wasn’t this way with her. She was instantly in single mode. I thought- Ok this is probably what it’s like after 14 years of marriage. She had already been out with me and girlfriends just in the first week. But I thought that is just Hailey
Then on the day I was leaving we were messaging and I was trying to see if she had places to stay and enough plans. She said she would be homeless for about 10 days and would try to figure somethings out. This broke my heart. I even offered to pay for a room for her.
Then in the course of our conversation she blurted out “something is different” and “things have changed”. I asked “what are you talking about?” “Well I am just dating a married man now” Hailey said. “And one that isn’t available”. I honestly didn’t know how to respond. My heart sank. Didn’t we tell each other we loved each other just the other day? How could this be?
Then she hit me with it… “Someone asked me out to dinner and I was flattered.” Instant heartbreak. There is something about me where when someone no longer wants me I shift into goodbye mode very quickly. So I started to shift into final language. But she reeled me back. She said “I am not going but I need to think about this and where I am at.” Even as I write this now I can feel my heart rate elevate and get warm from adrenaline. I am a cut to the quick type of person so I ask… “Does this mean you are done?” She said “not necessarily”. Just ugh.. to the bathroom to cry before I get on the plane.
Looking back Hailey would always drop these leading and open ended statements like “Someone asked me out to dinner and I was flattered”. It was the first time I ever thought I may never see her again. And unfortunately it wouldn’t be the last.