I remember when I was in grad school, how Rick and I would talk about how great it would be when it was all over and we could spend more time together. I was so busy and so focused on everything that had to be done, and he just pushed through along with me, supporting me.
We couldn't wait for the days when life would settle down and I could breathe. We couldn't wait to see each other every night. We couldn't wait to have whole weekends together again.
Now was supposed to be that time. This time right now was supposed to be for us, about us. We put in the work, the waiting... I got a new job, I made more money, I had less commitments.
Now I have time and no Rick.
Together, we didn't have enough time. We looked forward to a reward that didn't happen. We awaited a gift that will never be.
During my three years of grad school, while I worked - even on Saturdays, maintained internships, wrote endless papers, did lots of driving, and spent hours in class in the evenings after already long days, I was fueled by one guy: my Rick.
I did it all with the promise of more free time with Rick "one day."
Like a soldier at war who carries a photo of his love to get him through the worst, I pushed through the worst of it with a dream in my heart. During the grad school days, Rick was my photo at war. I knew I could do the impossible because if I made it through, I'd reap the benefits and he'd be there to enjoy it all with me.
Sadly, I'm here alone. No more vacations as a couple. No more dinners for two. No more movie nights. No more time.
These days are the days I worked toward when I was plugging away at work and internships and school. They're not what they were supposed to be.
I'm in a new war now. What will the photo in my pocket be? What will carry me through?