Seeing all the couples.
I went to the zoo today with a guy friend. He had errands in San Diego, which was where my car was in the shop. So he took me down there on his way and we decided to swing over to the San Diego Zoo for the last 2 hours they were open. He's a Marine so he got in free and I got in for a spouse discount, so it just seemed like a nice little side trip to avoid going back to reality (me being alone, him having to pack his gear).
We spent a few hours walking around looking at the animals, making fun of British tourists.
But as fun as it was, it was equally as painful, seeing all the couples who had gone to the zoo that day and were hanging on each other, holding hands, laughing and giggling and cuddling on the tram. They were looking at us like "why are you guys not being cute", obviously unaware of the fact that he's not my spouse/partner and thus that kind of behavior is not appropriate.
And it was at those moments that I wanted so badly to run up from behind and grab him by the waist and burry my head in his chest and look up and find out that is WAS my husband and I WAS at the zoo with DH, and is WAS ok to be affectionate. But obviously, that was not the case, and I was punished to an afternoon of bittersweet fun.
And then the nail in the coffin of my loneliness came at the end of the day, when we climbed into our seperate cars and he waved and drove away. I could no longer live in my little fantasy of pretending like it was actually my husband. It felt like so long as he was there, I could trick myself into believing he was DH and I wasn't actually lonely. But then I was left in the zoo parking lot with a newly painted truck and a hole in my heart, watching someone who was NOT my husband drive away. I wanted to run after the car and scream at him to come back because he forgot me....his wife. And have him stop the car and turn around and it would be DH's smiling face and a "just kidding" expression. But I know it's not him.
I felt abandoned. Abandoned by my husband, abandoned by my guy friend, abandoned by everyone. And I climbed into my truck and drove away, catching a glimpse of another happy couple walking arm-in-arm towards their car. They were going home together. I was not.