I laid on the bathroom floor and stared up at the ceiling above, while Justin flossed his teeth in the mirror. I just needed to be near him.
Too exhausted to stand, I curled up on the floor and found my home on the brown rug we bought at Ikea. From this angle, the walls of our bathroom took on a whole new shape, like a place I’d never seen before, and from here I could see everything from a different perspective. Huh. I never knew how much lint that vent really gathered. Never paid any mind to the flaking paint on the ceiling before. Wouldn’t have even guessed that the underside of our window frame had never been painted. Cheeky landlords. I squeezed my eyes together and tears streaked out the corners, down the side of my face, and into the little puddles forming in my earlobes below. I wasn’t so much crying as I was….leaking…..and I was more than ready for it to stop.
Just three hours earlier we had gotten the call. The house that had been ours just yesterday…the same one that we had toasted with champagne and jumped up and down for…yea THAT house had just gone to another buyer. Their offer was bigger, they could close much faster. I get it. It happens. But right now it was happening to us.
Justin leaned over me and his tired, smiling face filled the frame. “You know they were right, don’t you?”
“They.” I sighed and gave him a confused look.
“I dunno. They. Whoever THEY are. The people that are always saying things….as in, you know what THEY say.”
” Ah. Well what do they say hon?”
“You know… all those super cliche things that they always say about buying a house….don’t get too excited…don’t get too attached. And whatever you do, don’t fall in love. Yea…well, it turns out THEY were right. Rookie mistake, huh?” And he smiled as he gave me his best Tom Cruise circa Top Gun wink.
I just smiled and rolled my eyes, as he knelt down and grabbed my face with both hands. “It’s gonna be ok. You & me. We got a lotta fight left in us.” And just then Cooper came jingle jangling in….never one to want to be left out of ANY family discussion…and licked the tears away. Almost like they were never really there.
And with that, I was ready to pick my self up off the floor and get on with it.
Because as it turns out, setbacks like this are a WHOLE lot like getting kicked in the stomach. It hurts. Nobody will deny that it hurts. It’ll knock the wind right out of ya. And you may even feel like throwing up. You just want to lie down on a cold floor til the world stops spinning, til you can get the tears out of your eyes, and you can see everything clearly again. But here’s the thing…THAT kind of pain….it passes quickly. And in the end, it never causes any real kind of damage. It’s swift and it’s sharp and it hurts like hell, but it won’t be with you long. And then you’ll just wipe your eyes, pick yourself up, and get back in the game.
Because you…you came to play.