Josie stared blankly at the piece of paper Luke left on their marble counter top.
Her stomach turned and her body shivered as she struggled to recall where it all went wrong. When did she become inadequate for the one person she always thought she would spend the rest of her life with? She felt the tears well up and the words on the paper become blurry. All of the memories started to flash in front of her eyes like rapid fire.
That first evening at her favorite hole in the wall bar celebrating her upcoming graduation from nursing school with all of her fellow colleagues. She could remember feeling blinded by the perfect smile that Luke had flashed her way. It was love at first sight and she knew that she wanted him in her life.
Fast forward to the rainy evening she showed up at Luke’s apartment with her duffle bag to spend the next few days over his place. They had been staying at each other’s apartments regularly, but something about this night felt different. She distinctly remembered Luke blustering around before blurting out, “maybe we should just move in together.” Her heart skipped a few beats as she jumped into his arms and planned on moving her stuff in over the weekend.
A few months later, she remembered her friends convincing her to join them for a girls day out to get manicures. She wasn’t one to usually pay for a manicure, but figured it would be fun to spend the day with her friends. Not once did she suspect that later that evening she would be an engaged woman to the man of her dreams.
The next summer she recalled the moment her father held back tears as he escorted his only daughter down the aisle. Josie remembered all of the butterflies in her stomach fluttering as she held back the tears and smiled ear to ear at Luke waiting for her at the alter.
6 years later.
Work had consumed them both and the distance between them had grown more than she ever imagined. She would’ve never confronted him when she did if she hadn’t noticed the random hotel expenditures that were so close to their home. Her line of questioning could’ve been better, but Luke quickly jumped on the defense which helped solidify the worries she had. The man she had planned on devoting her entire life to had been cheating on her.
Once the secret was out, all the blame quickly had fallen onto to her. She was working too much. Didn’t care about spending time with him. Would offer to take on extra shifts without talking to him about it. As Josie let the blame consume her, she also started to wonder why her work had become so important. She was making up for the extra money that was coming out of their joint accounts to fund his torrid affair. Her reasoning was to make sure that they wouldn’t end up broke as he talked about possibly going back to school to become a lawyer. She had sacrificed so much of herself for his happiness and she was done.
Josie wiped away the tears, grabbed a pen tangled up with her stethoscope, and signed her name on the line. As she pulled out her phone to text Luke that she had signed it, she saw the text message from her coworker that they were short handed and wondered if she could come in. Without skipping a beat, she slide the end of her marriage across the counter top and headed back to the hospital to take her mind off things.