I was standing in the living room. It was 5 pm on a Monday evening and I knew my world was about to change. My wife was telling me something but I could not hear the words coming from her lips. It was as if they dissolved into nothing as they left her mouth and traveled to my ears. I stood there and watched the muscles on her face twist and twitch. Her cheeks contorted and attempted to coverup the truth her eyes were telling me. Her eyes looked at me as if they rebelled from the rest of her body and screamed out in defiance. I did not know what was coming at me - only that it would alter the direction of the rest of my life.
Three weeks later I sat on my bicycle heading through Lincoln, California on the way from Folsom to Camp Far West. I was barely hanging on to the group and far above my thresh hold. I was digging deeper into the empty spaces in my mind and pulling fragments out of the darkness. My father's parents lived in Lincoln and on this day-on this ride-my mind was releasing them from the blackness. I remembered so many though times that were locked away and stared at the half-inch-long target my body screamed to let escape. I watched the cadence of the rider in front of me and looked at the chain on his bike jump from gear to gear across the cassette of his bike. Each shift was like a screw twisting tighter inside my mind and forcing open the gates of my past. I ripped my feet around as the speed increased beyond thirty miles per hour and I knew I had the strength to do what I needed to do when I climbed off the bike.
I walked up to the door and stared up the stairs from the garage to the first floor of the condo. I walked into the living room and gave my daughter a kiss on the head and told her I loved her. To the right I saw my wife in the bathroom. I walked in and closed the door. She was in the shower and I turned off the water. I took my ring off and set it down.
"I know. I know everything. I know what you've been doing and who you've been with. I want a divorce." I think I had a lot more planned but all I remember was an explosion of grief and anger in my chest. I turned and made it out the front door. It all came down when that door closed. It all came crashing down like the last few years of my life I turned into a big-dark cloud that hovered and threatened to rain. My phone rang and rang. I listen to text after text come through and I drove to an empty parking lot and tried to decide what to do next. What I did not know was at that moment I decided to live again.
I woke up from the nightmare.