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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


We are sitting outside by the fire and he says to me "I've never been this happy with anyone before." He knows that I have. Says he knows. I have paused, just sitting back in my silent way and feeling slightly guilty for my silence. But I am always cautious, choosing my words carefully. I can feel his judgment of that silence or maybe it's my own judgement of my silence. I know that there are times where he is aggravated by my how little I say out loud. The thing is, I'd been working on my timeline on Legacy Builder, backing up images from my Flickr with dates. It didn't take me long to wish I had just started with my current timeline. It didn't take long for me to see that my timeline is broken. Distinctly broken. Split in three: my life with Chris, my life alone, my new life with Michael and the Cabbage. As I build my timeline starting with the earliest pictures in Flickr, I am painfully aware of how happy I was in that first timeline. I scroll through those pictures looking for that moment, looking for the break. I want to know if I can see it. I expect to see an obvious change in the photographs. Except there isn't one. I take a photo and upload it on January 19th 2012. It's a pond full of geese. The next picture is of Quinn at the zoo exactly one month later. The only break is the one in my head (heart). Those pictures bookend the most horrible. That's the first break in the timeline. From there on out the pictures on flickr are of friends and family and places and things. I have stopped taking selfies. The few times my mug makes an appearance, I look normal enough. Most of those pictures are blurry though, taken at odd moments where the photographer was either drunk or I was moving or both. The next wave of pictures in the timeline look like they were taken underwater or filtered. They're all of plants and food like I was trying to convince people that I was eating. That's not true for the whole timeline, just the few months after the most horrible. There really isn't much of a break between this timeline and the next. The pictures from the beginning of my current timeline take on a sort of glow. Everything looks brighter and more vivid. I am no longer blurry and I take more selfies. My smile is genuine.

Finally, I speak. I look at Michael and say "I never thought I'd be this happy again with someone else". OK. So it's not the first time for me. Big deal. There is something special about knowing that this kind of happiness is possible and being able to share that with someone who has never experienced it. I read over this and slightly roll my eyes at how cringe worthy this all sounds. Cheesy. Grossly romantic. But I speak the truth and I hope that honesty brings him comfort or ease or whatever it is he needs. I am happy. This happiness occasionally comes with a side of guilt. Well, part guilt and part fuck you Chris. Or thank you Chris. No one tells you that happiness comes with complications, but it's a big beautiful gift of lovely complications.

Happy Love Thursday.