A clearing

What do you do with information you would rather not know?

Information so startlingly in opposition to what you have been led to believe that it throws into stark relief everything else you once thought you understood, about another person: a person who defines herself as a rock of integrity; truth and honesty being the hallmarks of her self-professed identity.

What do you do when you know she lied to you? That when asked a question that only required a yes or no, she said no when the truth was yes; to not acknowledge the receipt of a debt repaid, however emotion laden. Or unwanted.

I would have never expected it. Now, knowing it, I wish I didn’t know. I may not have liked many of the things she said to me, but I never assumed any of those things was a lie.

No greeting. No inquiring after Adam’s health. Perfunctory mail delivery. Then no, when the truth was yes.

I was apprehensive seeing her. I don’t know what I expected. I didn’t expect this. Perhaps the time wasn’t right to say anything. Perhaps the place wasn’t right, the people there not right. Time could have been made if anything was needing to be said, wanting to be said. Instead, she was awkward, furtive, expressionless, saying as few words as possible, and only the no to my question. She could not have tried harder to not connect, to not acknowledge, to negate, to suppress any feelings of any description.

What she left behind was smallness: smallness of stature, smallness of character. Not the person I married those five years ago. Not the person I loved.

Maybe that was her intention: give him no satisfaction, no compassion. Give him nothing but his mail. It would not have been the first time.

Information I now know, and wish I didn’t know. I know now that I loved an image of someone who wasn’t there, an idea that lived in my head, and in my heart for a while.

I am sad, for both of us. But my sadness is with newly open eyes about a person I hardly knew.

My sadness is an opening–a clearing beyond the closed door of the past.

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