Before she opened her eyes she knew that everything was wrong.
Sleep had been kind in the way it lightened the burden by keeping reality at bay the night before but only so much could be done to rectify her situation. The comforter she lay sprawled out on top of smelled both familiar and different at the same time and she would wrestle with the duality as cracked lids made out the floral wallpaper of her childhood bedroom. The more conscious she became the more aware she was of the pronounced throbbing that radiated from her temples and she moaned softly into the pillow her head was resting on. An attempt to roll over on her back and bury herself under the covers in a bold show of refusing to accept the morning that seeped in through the shut blinds was thwarted by the restrictive nature of the faux leather pencil shirt she still wore. A quick sweep of her slender hands over her torso confirmed that she had fallen asleep with her clothes on. The epiphany paving the way for memories of the evening before, all in which involved a troupe of well-meaning friends dedicating to cheer her up. She had been touched by the sentiment and participated if only not to seem ungrateful, drowning her misery in vodka until she didn’t miss him as much anymore. She didn’t remember how she got back to her parents’ home where she’d been staying while searching for an apartment but suspected if they’d been privy to it there would be a lecture awaiting her behind the closed bedroom door. Maybe she wouldn’t open it. Maybe she’d stay in bed for the rest of her life. From the corners of her eyes she felt the warm sensation of tears as they started to fall haphazardly down her cheeks.
This was all wrong. She wasn’t supposed to be here. This wasn’t supposed to be her life. This was a nightmare.
Before she opened her eyes she knew everything was exactly as it should be.
From the cracked bedroom door she could hear signs of life echoing from the front of the apartment. A television, the soft but distinctive sound of his deep voice and what she suspected was the rustling of plates in preparation for a meal. The corners of her mouth drew back forming a smile as she fixed her sights on the engagement ring laying on the nightstand where she’d left it and reached over to retrieve it. Slipping it onto her finger she exhaled a shaky breath. While it had been months since he proposed the evidence of that life chancing moment still provoked butterflies in the pit of her stomach. In three months she was going to be his wife and regardless of how convinced she was that he was getting the short end of the stick in this bargain she couldn’t wait to seal the deal and become official as fuck. It almost hadn’t happened. They’d almost split for good. Destined to lead completely separate lives with other partners until fate intervened allowing them to find each other again. The narrowly missed opportunity was always looked upon with dread, a cautionary tale that served as a reminder to enjoy every second allotted to her in this second chance. As she considered her good fortunate the bedroom door would fly open as the adopted mutt made his entrance, tongue wagging along with his tail, prime for attention to which she happily obliged in sitting up.
This was perfect. There was no place in the world she’d rather be.