He knew it coming!
Yet, like all things, he wasn’t prepared. He lay in bed, eyes wide open, desperately trying to find the sleep that had eluded him for hours. But all he could do was think about the impact of the day. In the deafening silence he could hear the soft gentle breathing of his loving wife. Outside he could hear the cars from the main thoroughfare over 2 blocks away. Down the hall he heard the ticking of the clock given to them as an anniversary gift by his wife’s grandmother.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…
He was thankful it did not chime as that would just add to the distractions already mounting in his mind. He thought back a few hours and remembered how hopeful things felt. He’d had his date night with his wife and together they worked in the kitchen preparing a meal and drinking wine. He thought back to how beautiful she looked as she sliced the tomatoes and remembered almost tearing up at the sight. This woman was so amazing to him. Beautiful, intelligent, funny and just as wild as he was. He’d caught a look at her eyes as she told a story while dumping the fresh cut tomatoes into the salad and he became weak in the knees. He put his wine down, walked over to her and gently caressed her face. She had smiled wide, no doubt taken aback at the sudden show of affection and accepted the kiss he gave her. Her lips were full and tasted like strawberries. She had turned to him, stepping into him to kiss him back and at that very moment, he felt as if he could move mountains and conquer any obstacle.
Even the hell he knew he’d have to endure the next day.
That was last night. A wonderful dinner with the love of his life, followed by an impromptu dance in the living room as The Commodores, The Crusaders, and Earth, Wind & Fire played in the background. Like high school children they made out in various parts of the house, along with doing other things parents hate thinking about their high school children doing when the house is empty. All of it culminating in mind blowing intimacy that was unparalleled in their 15 years of marriage.
As he stared straight up to the ceiling he thought about the fact that all of that should be enough. All of that should be more than enough to help him get through this day…and all the days to come. But in the end, it wasn’t. And now anxiety turned to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what was to come when he got out of bed and prepared to attack the day.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…
Minutes turned to hours. His wife had rolled over three times during the night, and now, as her head rested upon his chest with her arm wrapped around him, he looked over to his left and saw the light of the new day. It was here and there was nothing he could do but try to accept it and get through it. He kissed her on the forehead and slid out from under her…careful not to awaken her just yet. He was determined to keep himself busy. If his mind was occupied, he wouldn’t have to deal with what was to come…until it was time.
He walked to the kitchen and started his I-tunes player. It was Sunday morning, the day after date night, and that called for jazz and breakfast in bed for his wife. He took out bread, eggs, milk, cheese, mushrooms, fresh cut chicken, spinach and butter and prepared to go to work. His hands shook as he tried to cut the mushrooms. No matter how hard he tried, he could not stop the thoughts racing through his head. He was afraid of what was to come. There was no getting around it. His heart was beating just a little bit faster, his breathing was labored and his eyes began to water.
And he wasn’t even cutting the onions yet.
He pushed through his feelings of fear and the anxiety that accompanied it and finished preparing the meal. A chicken Florentine omelet for his love, along with bacon, toast, hash browns and cranberry juice. He placed the meal on the serving tray and walked up to the bedroom. She stirred as he entered, awakening slowly as he walked closer. The way she looked now…he imagined was much like the scene where Venus sprang from the large clam shell in the ocean. She was like a rose coming to full bloom as she awoke, smiled and then sat up to receive her meal.
She said thank you and she kissed him and then he watched as she began to taste her meal. She was like a giddy school girl and he loved the fact that he could bring her joy and happiness, especially since he was having so much trouble finding his own on this day. They talked as she ate and her laughter and smile helped his spirit. After she finished, he took the tray away but hurried back because they had a date in the shower.
At least his morning would start of well.
The bathroom was steamy as they stepped out. She toweled off, wrapped it around her and walked into the bedroom. He closed the door behind her and stepped back to the sink in front of the mirror. Wiping the moisture from the glass he stared at himself. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He let the thoughts run aimlessly then finally took control. He knew this day would come. He knew that after 16 weeks of games, two bye weeks, three weeks of playoff, a crappy pro bowl and a super bowl…football season would be over and he’d have to deal with it.
He knew that he would have to wait another six months before the next kick off. Six months before the next pass, bootleg and sack. Six long months before all was right with the world again.
He slowly opened his eyes and stared at himself in the mirror. His heartbeat was slowed a little, his anxiety lessened and he wrapped his towel around his waist and walked toward the door to enter the bedroom. As he stepped in he saw his wife sitting on the bed, naked, with his golf bag between her legs.
“I know how much you hate the first day of the end of the season. So I scheduled an 11am tee time for you”, she said.
He felt a smile on his face. His heart beat faster, harder and with purpose. He looked into her eyes and silently thanked all that was holy for her. Looking over to his right, he saw the time. He had two hours left before tee time…at a golf course that was 30 minutes away. He dropped his towel and walked toward her as she moved the golf bag and moved up on the bed.
Everything was going to be ok.