Can’t see in. Can’t stay out.

I was on the couch, watching TV as Jake paid bills online, when he raised an eyebrow and handed me the computer, pointing to an email. What’s this?

I sat up straight and took the laptop, goosebumps forming. I knew. I hummed, like bees were stirring inside my veins, like a spider vibrates when something significant touches its web.

An email was open. Is the key still under your mat? Ripples appeared in a quiet bay. A chord was struck deep down inside, faint but undeniable, like a seussical Who calling up from the head of a dandelion. I’m here.

I desperately wanted to be out from under Jake’s hot stare, to try to control everything that was about to break out of the box, but it all happened so quickly. My first reaction was to soothe Jake. He must be drunk, I said. Maybe something is wrong, I thought.

I sent a message back. Drew was traveling and on his own at a reception. I told him, this time, I’m the one who is married. He apologized, and the conversation stopped. I shrugged my shoulders at Jake. The next day, I opened a secret email account.

Now of course, I see what I should have done. I should have let whatever he was feeling come all the way through, regardless of Jake. Because my answer was yes. The key is under the mat for you. But the mat’s not on the front porch anymore, because I didn’t think you were coming. I didn’t trust that you would figure it out and look for me. And I didn’t trust myself alone.

He didn’t get to say whatever he wanted to say then, and neither did I. Instead, the old question mark was back. A door had opened, and though I couldn’t see in, I couldn’t stay out.

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