Sunlight streamed into Emma’s kitchen, reflecting off the gleaming white surfaces. Emma and Caroline sat at the little wooden table drinking the last of their tea, and chatting as they always did on a Wednesday morning.
“I see you got another postcard from Jane” Caroline nodded to the postcard covered fridge, her eyes picking out the latest addition despite the crowded array of cards.
“Yes, she and Louie have just about finished touring Italy, they’re off to Greece this week.”
“Oh, I thought they were still in France! You keep good track of everyone’s roaming Em.”
“Mmm. I guess I do.” Emma’s gaze seemed to go beyond the postcard covered fridge as she answered her friend.
“Em? Hello, Earth to Em! Where did you go?”
“What? Oh, sorry, Caroline. What did you say?”
“Are you wishing you were there too?”
“Sort of. No, I guess not, not really. Just dreaming. So, did you ever tell me what part Alissa got in the school play?”
Twenty minutes and many threads of conversation later, Emma waved goodbye as her friend pulled her newly polished BMW out of the driveway. She returned to the kitchen and fingered some of the postcards, knowing by heart who and where they were from without needing to read them again.
Jane’s been all over the world since high school. She’s transformed from the skinny 8th grader I befriended to a high powered jet setter. Ulrike has been traveling back and forth from Germany since she was 2 years old. Gemma’s parents seemed to think it wasn’t a holiday at all unless it was overseas. Even Caroline has traveled the world now that she’s married to Jim.
And I stay at home.
Why not me Lord? Why did you put this longing inside me if it’s never going to be fulfilled?
If I had stayed with Owen instead of marrying Trevor, we would have traveled the world by now. He couldn’t wait to take me overseas with him, we were planning that first trip when it all fell apart. He’s done so well for himself. His company is booming, if I were still with him we’d be traveling together all the time.
He really understood that side of me. He was always ready for adventure. Always ready to get in the car and just go. Imagining the places we’d see together was one of our favourite things, and he’s seen them all.
And I’ve stayed here.
My life would be so different now if I were with him. Trevor just doesn’t get it. I don’t think he’d ever leave home if I didn’t push him for our holidays at the coast. I’m sure we could afford to go overseas if he really wanted too. It’s not as if he’s poorly paid.
If I had married Owen, I’d be the one sending postcards.
Emma sighed, and focused again on her postcard shrine.
Her mind had been to this place before. The Land of Discontent. She knew she needed to put it aside, but sometimes the pull was strong.
I did love him. We had fun. He loved me too, it was easy to see. I can still see his eyes, dark with love and longing. Feel his touch, gentle, but with the power of his passion just held in check. It was all great apart from that one issue. If only Owen had wanted to have children.
But he didn’t.
Is he happy now? Does he ever think of me like I think of him?
Her gaze shifted to the family portrait on her kitchen wall.
My beautiful girls! Bethany and Rachel would not exist if I had married Owen. How can I be thinking of a life without them!? You know how I love them Lord, they are Your most wonderful blessing. Not even travel can compete with my precious ones. I need to stop these indulgent thoughts.
Jesus, please, help me to love Trevor and the girls more. Teach me to be content. Take away these longings and especially the thoughts of Owen.
Emma looked back at her fridge.
Do I have to Lord? Is that what it will take?
She paused, sighed, and one by one, slowly removed the postcards from the fridge.
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