She wondered if anyone else ever stopped for a second to say, “what the fuck?” As in, what the fuck is happening right now? Part of her mind was trying to pretend that everything was fine…fine and normal. But the other part, the one that was fighting to the surface, was screaming in pain — no, not pain — it was screaming because it’d been suffocating…for years. And now, because of what’s happened, it started to feel the air and it was gasping for breath…trying to break free at any weak moment. Her self-control, the power that kept it hidden for so long, was slipping.

She didn’t know how to respond. For the first time, she faced a situation she couldn’t talk, laugh, cry, reason or fuck her way out of. It was gut wrenching. It was so beyond any normal level of frustration it had to be some big dream. Or a joke. Inside she felt like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum. If it were even remotely socially acceptable, she would ball her fists up and stomp around until the feeling passed.

But, of course, that wasn’t acceptable behavior. And since life and success are all about perception, she tried to keep up the charade she’d been playing for some time. The big house. The dinners. The cheek kisses. The smiles. They’d served her well. But something was different now, suddenly.

Alone. That’s what it was. It’d been awhile since she thought about how much that feeling enveloped her. It was scary. She usually did whatever it took to avoid feeling that way, but not this time. It wasn’t about avoiding the uncomfortable; it was about trying to solve for it.

She thought how odd it felt to get to an age when she no longer wanted to keep going, just because. That inner monologue she’d been ignoring all these years? It was getting harder to ignore. Good enough was no longer good enough. At least, that’s what she felt at this instant. Who knew what was real and what wasn’t. Who knew what would pass and what wouldn’t.

She was at a fork in the road. Life and happily ever after were trying to part ways.