She saw him standing in the parking lot, his shoulders slumped in defeat. But what was that rigidity in his frame?
One moment he was beloved by all those around him. In the very next moment he was reviled. How quickly and carelessly, she realized, that some turned their back.
While others around her claimed that they knew all along about his illicit activities, she never suspected a thing. She loved him, respected him, admired him, and constantly sought his approval. He had always been good to her. He took care of her, supported, and encouraged her.
And then her protective, rose-colored bubble exploded and destroyed everything she thought she knew.
As a spotlight was shined on all of his dark, hidden truths he was turned into a monster by everyone around her. Her secure routine imploded as their family fell apart at the seams and reformed into something that no longer fit her. She listened with sadness as more details of his precarious life shattered like ice.
Would he survive?
Would his bottom ever come?
Why did she feel guilty for feeling sympathy for a man being destroyed?
So as she watched him in the parking lot, leaving the only home they’d ever shared, she longed to reach out to him, to be the one gentle hand in a moment filled with hate. She wanted to cry for the hurt she was sure was tearing him apart.
But she couldn’t.
All she could do was glue a smile on her face, bury her true feelings in her heart, and lie about her hate.
She didn’t hate him. She pitied him.
She didn’t want to cut herself off from him. She wanted to help him.
She didn’t want to tear him down. She wanted to show him the way back up.
But she couldn’t.
So she turned her back on him . . . and herself . . . and never saw him again.