December was rough. But I was trying to understand your friendship with Heather. I was trying to build a friendship as well. So, I agreed when she invited us to go to the movies, “Let’s go see Frozen 2,” she said. “I’d love to have your kids see it. I’ve seen it a few times, but I’d love to take your family.”
As I got ready, I texted my friend, joking, “What do you wear to go out with the woman your husband almost had an affair with?”
Heather came over in overalls, braids, I’m sure, and wine. She sat on our couch and the children showed her their baby photo albums – because what else do you do when one of your teachers comes to hang out at your house?
At the movie theater, she did cartwheels and paid for our tickets. We found seats, all 6 of us in a line. Heather sat next to me, but didn’t want any popcorn I offered to share.
Later she encouraged me to get the soundtrack, and I started to listen to the music. The whole family liked to sing along. Sometimes we’d dance in the kitchen as we got dinner ready. But, it was tough not reading into the songs. When Panic! At the Disco’s version of Into the Unknown started playing, I couldn’t sing or dance.
It was a song you might sing to Heather, after December’s near disaster.
You’re not a voice
You’re just ringing in my ear
And if I heard you, which I don’t
I’m spoken for I fear
Everyone I’ve ever loved is here within these walls
I’m sorry, secret siren, but I’m blocking out your calls
I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new
I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you
I shared my interpretation with you, and you rolled your eyes at me, and changed the subject.
It was about a year later when you told me everything. And now I know that Heather was upset to be sitting next to me, instead of you at the movie. She wanted to sneak holding your hand, maybe even sneak a kiss in the dark of the theater. Now I know that you did follow her “into the unknown,” that you chose her, not the love within these walls.
I deleted the music from my phone, but memories are harder to delete.