We sat in the car, a full country’s length away from our normal. Years of marital problems had come to a head in the preceding weeks and, after an agreement to work on these problems and an understanding that they weren’t going to be solved overnight, nearly tangible tentativeness and awkwardness hung in the air between us. We had made it to the outskirts of Boston, my childhood home, for Christmas. As my husband drove us towards my parents’ house, I pointed out landmarks to lighten the mood.
“That’s Grant Circle… who knew that would become my name?”
“That’s the pier my Dad and I have kayaked off of.”
“That’s the bowling alley we rented for a birthday party, but it got snowed out.”
Dan jumped on that landmark.
“I didn’t know that,” he said. We’d talked about it before, so he knew birthdays were hard for me. Sweetly, he…
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