This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
5th January, 2020
Today, we’re meeting his friends. We’re going to Sun valley to snowboard together. I’m excited!!!
For the last few days, I’ve been cooped up in the house with the cats while he goes about to prepare for his work. Today, I finally get to do something fun. I’m excited. I get up early and I switch on the lights in the bathroom.
Shit. My eyes have swollen up to look like golf balls. No…. no no no no no.
I have an allergy to NSAIDS, and last time I took a pill to help me sleep. I wasn’t sure what was in the pill, I had gotten it from Walmart and didn’t check the contents. Stupid. So stupid.
In desperation, I start googling, “How to get swollen eyes to ease” and before I could open the third link on the first page, I felt tears streaming down my eyes and I heard myself cry uncontrollably.
I must have been crying really loudly because Gideon walked into the room. He saw my swollen eyes and he said, “Oh no….” followed by “You don’t have to come if you don’t feel well”
No. I want to go, I told him. I opened the freezer to get some ice but there was none. Gideon was going to get ice racks but he had forgotten. In desperation, I take a small towel and open the front door and stepped outside in my thin pajamas.
It’s snowing and really really cold, but my determination to go on this snowboarding trip was so strong. I scooped some ice into the towel and I start pressing it onto my eyes.
I didn’t care if I looked ugly. I didn’t care if I looked funny to anyone. I just wanted to go snowboarding.
So far, since we’ve been here, some of his friends have tried reaching out to me. One of their wives took me out to dinner and let me rant to her. She listened to my sorrows, told me that I was better off now, and wished me all the best. Another one of his friends told me, “I wouldn’t be able to do what you’re doing now, you’re a good wife Jane.”
Yet, no one really did care enough to do anything else. What COULD they do anyway? How do you pull someone out of such a situation? Especially when it seemed like she knew what she was doing. I had never felt so alone in a foreign land with a husband I barely knew. For the last few days I had been completely regretting my decision to come here.
But the one thing I hadn’t told anyone was still weighing on me greatly. This deep, dark, shameful secret was gnawing at me inside, and I let it. I let it eat me up inside because I just couldn’t let it come to light. Not yet. Not now. I have to use my entire will to hang onto sanity if not I might just lose it. And if I lose it……….No. Don’t think about that. Just focus on getting your eyes less swollen so you can open your eyes – just enough so you can see through the ski mask while you snowboard.
You got this Jane, you got this.