This was written in late April of 2000. The theme that week was "Our Town"
Stay calm, I told myself as I saw her pull into the driveway, you won't get a thing from yelling and maybe it's all a mistake. Still I knew it was no mistake. I'd found the letters in her desk, the evidence of what she'd planned, where she really was this weekend and the lover she'd met online that she'd spent the weekend with. No, it was no mistake. That I'd not actually been with the online lover I myself had gotten entangled with was no
consolation. I had to admit I'd probably been headed to meeting her just as Meara had met hers this weekend. Oh what a web we have weaved for ourselves. Will it strangle what is left of our marriage? I still loved Meara dearly if my feelings at the thought of losing her were any indication.
She came through the kitchen from the garage carrying her one suitcase, her red hair, wild as ever, framing her face… a face with a look of contentment of peace. It hit me hard knowing why she looked so happy. I hoped more than ever that I was wrong.
"Well! To what do I owe this honor," She asked breezily, "I'd have thought you'd be working or golfing on your day off. I didn't expect you here to meet me. Is something wrong? You don't look too good."
When it came right down to it, I could not trust myself to say anything. I was afraid my anger and fear would come out and I'd lose any chance I had. I just handed her the sheaf of papers.
She took them and then looked at me with a sorrowful look on her face and said, "Oh shit Greg, I'm sorry you found out like this. You found them Friday night didn't you? You haven't slept at all.
"I found them looking for your hotel number since you forgot to give it to me like you usually do. I haven't slept all weekend. I love you Meara I don't want to lose you."
She sank down on the couch beside me and after a long awkward silence said quietly, "I'm sorry for the way you found out, I'm sorry you found out at all, but Greg for the life of me I'm not sorry I went. I had a wonderful weekend that made me feel desirable and loved. That is something you have not done for me in a long time Greg."
"I know I've been busy with work but you'd had your business and I thought you were happy." I said, "Is there any hope for us Meara?"
"I have not been happy Greg and I really don't understand how you can think I have been. I have tried and tried to tell you. Think of all the times I begged you to go away with me for a romantic weekend and you just said 'someday'".
I cringed at that, I had done just that to her on many an occasion, not realizing how important it was to her. "Is it too late to do it now Meara?" We'll leave tomorrow and just go somewhere". I said with a feeling like I was grasping at straws and they were slipping through my fingers.
"Not this week Greg, neither of us can just take off like that. I promise I will give you a chance and see if we can work it out before I call a lawyer."
"Its come to that? I asked, shocked.
"Yes Greg, I had decided that if this weekend made me feel good it was time to leave. I am willing to try though honey. I really do love you still. Make plans for next week. I leave it all to you."
That week went so fast, so much to do, so many fears and thoughts flying through my brain yet Saturday came and in the airport she finally learned our destination.
"Orlando Greg?", she asked playfully, "Are we going to visit the mouse?"
"I'd not planned on it although if you want to we can. We met in Orlando, we got our start there, I thought maybe it was appropriate to go back and try to set things right between us there, too.
"Oh Greg!!" Meara said wrapping me in a big hug, "That's so sweet and its just perfect!"
From the moment we stepped off the plane it was wonderful. It seemed like nothing could go wrong. It seems you can go home again, even though it had changed. The luxury hotel on I-Drive that our suite was in had not existed when we were last there. The theme parks and tourist areas were much larger and more crowded than we remembered.
A lot was just as we remembered it though. I took her for a romantic walk beside the stream in Dickson Azalea Park, for a moonlight stroll around Lake Eola after dark, looking at the skyline of the city reflecting in the water. We partied on Church Street and at Pleasure Island. We drove by all our old haunts laughing and telling stories of our youth. We found a few old friends. Most importantly, we talked.
Sitting on a park bench at dusk she said the words that changed our lives forever. "Greg this is so perfect, this whole trip has been. I never want to leave here. This is where we grew up, this is where we met, I've never felt truly at home since we left. This is our town, can we stay here forever Greg?"
And so I write this watching Meara float in the pool with a smile on her face. Two years we've been back here. Two years of happiness and the prospect of many many more to come, now that we are back in our town