I’ve always hated the way people exalt the dead, no matter who they were, or what they did, in life. Yet, here I am, doing that very thing with Bennie. It’s as though the bad memories sort of fade and what’s left is the man I loved, and who loved me, for most of my life. But, those memories, in reality, are few when stretched over three decades. The truth is that he was a pain machine that just never ever stopped.
I’m so angry with myself. It’s almost a year now and the pain only grows. I don’t know how to live without him. When I talk to other men, I find that I’m so skeptical that I can barely even hear their voices. I stare at them wondering how much they hurt the last woman they knew…and how they did it. Did they hit her or cheat and lie? Did they break her on purpose? Then, I just stop listening, altogether. Because nothing any man can say will make me forget what he did to me. And,no matter how I choose to remember him, the truth does not change.
I wish that, one morning, I could wake up and know that I’m enough. I don’t need his approval anymore, or to remember him as a saint. It’s not fair to his memory. He was who he was, and I could’ve walked away any time. There were reasons I stayed, for a while, but I stayed to the end because I loved him. And that’s my fault, not his. And I don’t regret it.