I couldn’t stop pacing the house. I walked out the front door to the front porch and sat on the bench. I stood back up and walked back inside and into the kitchen. Then back to my bedroom then back out of my bedroom and out the backdoor to the yard. This didn’t feel right so I walked back inside the house thru the hallway and back out the front door. The only place I was able to stand without moving for more than 10 seconds was on the walkway from the driveway up to the front porch. Standing there looking out at the street in the cold, I could feel myself stabilize there. Before long, neighbors walking their dogs started to get closer. I didn’t want them to see me so I walked back into the house again.

I needed someone. Anyone. I needed someone who loved me. But I was in Texas and the only person I had for the last 21 years who loved me was gone. He was no longer available to me. So I needed someone. I needed a hug from someone who loved me.

I kept pacing and pacing, sitting down and standing up, pacing. Looking at our furniture. Everything symbolized rejection. I needed someone. Then I realized the only people in the house who loved me were my kids. So I walked to their bedroom doors, standing there, and thought about knocking. I wasn’t sure if they were awake so I didn’t. Then back downstairs and out the front door. Back inside and into the kitchen. Back upstairs and to their doors. I needed someone who loved me.

Then I walked into my son’s room where he was sleeping. I took one of his little chairs and sat in it watching him. I was shaking and crying. I needed a hug from someone who loved me. I thought how his little world was about to come crashing down. I thought about how badly he was going to be hurt. I could no longer stay in that room looking at him. My heart was breaking for him and my crying was going to wake him up.

I got up and went back downstairs and out the front door and stood on the walkway. It was cold out there. I needed someone. I kept stopping at random places throughout the house when my sobbing wouldn’t let me keep walking. I was beginning to get desperate. Really really desperate. I had to die. To make this stop I had to die. The floor was gone from under me. I couldn’t feel what I was walking on anymore. I needed a hug from someone who loved me.

I went back upstairs and by the girl’s bedroom doors. I walked back thru the gameroom to go back downstairs. This is where Dennis was laying on the couch watching me and sighing. I needed someone who loved me.

With what I’m sure was a cracked voice I asked him if he thought the girls were awake. I don’t remember his answer. I said out loud “I need someone. I need someone.” I think he asked me if I needed a hug. I said “No! I need a hug from someone who loves me.” I broke down there and sobbed. I was afraid they would hear me.

By then I could hear that they were awake in their rooms. I wasn’t sure if I should knock. I knew they’d want to know what happened and I’d have to tell them. But maybe I should do it anyway. I needed someone who loved me.

Finally I went downstairs to my bedroom and shut the door. I sat on my bed and texted our group chat. “I need a hug”. A few seconds later Maya came downstairs and into my bedroom and gave me a hug. I sobbed and hugged her. I cried as she hugged me again. I knew right away I had done the wrong thing. I was transferring my pain to her. She asked why I was crying and I told her the truth.

“Your dad just told me that he doesn’t love me anymore”.

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