In 10 days I’m putting all my clothes, shoes, make up and tooth brush in my car and I’m moving by myself out of state. I don’t know how many people have told me that I am crazy. I just smile and say YOLO. We have one life, we have to live it to the fullest. Others tell me how brave I am.

The truth? I’m not brave. I’m scared and I’m running. Running away from the memories. Everywhere I go, there’s Luke. Every single time I go to town I see one of his friends. They don’t say anything to me anymore but I see the look in everyone’s eyes. “There’s Luke’s wife”. I’ll always be Luke’s wife here. I’ll never be just Alabama. We were together for so long that there wasn’t any part of my life that he wasn’t a part of. Every where I go, he’s there.

I’m running from my job. At work, I am “The Widow”.  I’m the PTA mom who lost her husband and then lost her shit. The one who chopped of her hair and dyed it black, got a bunch of tattoos and a nose ring. The woman who never stopped moving, was out every weekend, had to wear sunglasses inside all day on Mondays because she drank too much on the weekend.

I have become the designated widow. ” I’m sorry your husband died. Here is Alabama’s phone number. Give her a call, she will help you through this “. There isn’t anything good about being a widow, but this is one of the worst parts. I feel obligated to talk to them. I didn’t have anyone to talk to after Luke died. I know how they feel. They want to know what is going to happen to them, to their future. Will they ever be happy again? Who will fix stuff when it breaks? What if they get a flat tire? They know that they are never going to love anyone again. And oh my God they are never going to have sex again! I get it. I feel bad for them. But I don’t want to relive it. I don’t want to be brought back to that darkness. It makes me sad. I know that’s  selfish of me.  I was in a dark place for a solid year but I’m done and I need to move on. I am running from being the designated widow.

I’m running from Robbie. 2017 was the worst year of my life. But it was also the best. It was the year I found Robbie again. I spent hours and hours laying on my bed, talking on the phone with him, giggling late into the night. We talked about every thing in the world. I could tell him anything. I fell in love. Like real adult, mature, I want to spent my life with you CAPITAL LETTER LOVE. Sometimes I still leave the house phone next to my bed in case he calls me in the middle of the night like he used to when he was out with friends. He doesn’t call, though.

I walk into my room and I can see myself lying on the middle of my bed, phone glued to my ear, giggling and watching  baseball. He always commentated while we simultaneously watched and he always sent me into peels of laughter. We talked about music and history and politics. We talked about our future.

Now I walk in my room and see an empty bed. No laughter. Phone across the room, on the hook. Baseball season is over. Like Robbie and I.

I’m just running. I’m going to pack my car and just go. To a new state. A new job. A new life.

I will not be Luke’s wife. I will not be the designated widow. I will not be Robbie’s  girlfriend.

I will just be… Alabama.


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