I was going through the old desk that we kept in the den and I came across a few old, faded photos I had taken of you a few years ago when we went to Oregon and spent some time at the ocean. You were smiling for the camera, waving and looking like you were having a really good time. Most of the photos looked similar.
But there was this one picture that was different from the others. I distinctly remember taking that picture of you sitting on the sand. You didn’t know that I was taking your picture, so you weren’t striking a pose. You had such a pensive expression, as if you were deep I thought. A sad, melancholy thought.
I was too far away from where you were sitting when I took the picture to see a tear here and there gently caressing your cheek. But when I came over to you and noticed the tracks of your tears on your face, you told me it was nothing. You said that the beauty of the setting sun brought tears to your eyes.
I didn’t believe that for a minute, but I suppose I was hoping that whatever was causing you to be so sad was ephemeral and would pass in a moment. Or perhaps I was simply too self-possessed to notice how unhappy you were and I hate myself for being so obtuse.
I was such a control freak back then. I know now how that, along with my jealous nature, was enough to drive you away. You wanted us to go to couples therapy, but I stubbornly refused. I didn’t think we needed a fancy, high-priced shrink to serve as a referee when we were doing battle. But in 20/20 hindsight, I can now see how wrong, how foolish, I was.
As I look at this faded photograph, it reminds me of what we once had and how I let you slip away. If only I knew then what I know now, how different our lives might have been.
Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (similar), The Daily Spur (tear), Ragtag Daily Prompt (ephemeral), Your Daily Word Prompt (control), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (referee). Photo credit: StockSnap@pixabay.com. I applied a filter to give it the look of an old, faded photograph.