August 27, 2015 by Melanie L.
I never owned a crystal ball. Even if I did, I can assure you that I would have seen nothing in it but a reflection of the other side of the room. I did own a Ouija board once, but the only thing that manifested was an argument over who pushed the planchette.
Yet, despite this mystic handicap, at age sixteen, I knew that my romantic love would tarry. I don’t mean that I twirled my hair around my finger and fretted about love the way teens are wont to do. Nor do I mean that I calculated the data of unhappy pairs plus the number of spinsters and realized that statistics favor loneliness. I mean I knew. I knew the same way I know how to breathe. It was instinctual. The knowledge came from some celestial source and branded itself onto my soul at birth.
And I rebelled.
I met my first raven-haired crush at a sweet 16 party. About a month or so later, when my new crush and I found ourselves on an empty golf course lit only by the fading summer twilight, I wished for a first kiss and hoped my knowledge was the product of teen angst, nothing more. I even penned a letter to my crush declaring him to be my soul mate. But, putting it in writing didn’t hasten love.
New beaus came and went, and I revolted each time against this thing I knew. I dated and dated and dated, desperate to prove I could avoid the loneliness I knew was coming for me. With each successive relationship, I yanked our lives together ever tighter. I feverishly called and instant messaged needing to prove wrong this thing I knew. Before long, I measured the length of my relationships by the moon rather than season.
Then the weddings started. I served as bridesmaid, first to my cousin, then to my little sister. My three best friends followed in close succession. I started to close in on 30 and found strength enough to fight back tears and none left over to circumvent that thing I knew. Loneliness closed in amid overstuffed couch cushions and discarded ramen noodle cups.
Until one day, I’d had enough. I shouted to my ceiling, “Just give me children and I’ll love their father!”
Eighteen months later, by way of reply, I found myself walking down the aisle, this time as the bride. We shared a house, cared for two pets, created two little humans. But every night, just as sleep nipped at my consciousness, I felt the bed expanding, each side rocketing away from the other at light speed. Though the bed never actually moved, the sensation was strong enough to cause motion sickness. I popped a Dramamine but to no avail. In truth, I was lonelier in marriage than I had ever been on my own.
Six long years after I shouted for children and six short weeks after I moved out of my marital home, I found myself running a few minutes late to meet a new date.
“Sorry I’m late.” I offered as I breezed through the door to my local wine bar. Our eyes met; his raven waves drew me in. And then I knew I was right on time.