Twenty-Six

Today is my niece’s birthday. She is twenty-six years old.

I remember when she was born. It was only a couple of weeks before my wedding. We had our fingers crossed that she would arrive before the big day. She didn’t disappoint.
She was the youngest member of our wedding (and the best behaved!)

I vividly remember being twenty-six years old.

I remember being the youngest faculty member at my school.

I remember being able to stay late at work to finish a project, and
waking up late on weekends because there was no one to stop me.

I remember waking up sometimes in the middle of the night with my heart pounding
wondering if I was supposed to be here, in this bed, with this particular man.

I remember being twenty-six and being lonely.
I dreaded holidays and weekends alone.

I remember wanting a kitten to keep me company
so I had someone to listen to me talk to myself.

I remember how at twenty-six he said, no pets.

I remember he said, you don’t want a cat,
He thought what I really wanted was a baby.

I remember he said not yet.
But I just wanted a kitty,
I wasn’t ready to raise a baby.

I remember that at that moment I had a sudden insight, a premonition.
Somehow I knew.
I remember being twenty-six and wondering if I had settled on this life too soon.

© annettealaine-2012

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