This was crazy — so out of character for me; old reliable Kate was actually following her heart for a change. I reread the ticket: Kathleen M. Davis – Air France flight 3236 to Paris — one way. What it didn’t say, was that I was leaving behind a twenty-eight-year marriage.
I stashed the ticket in my bag, buckled my seatbelt and whispered a quick prayer. ”Lord, I know I vowed till death us do part, but I just can’t live a loveless life any longer”. I’d rather be single and alone than married and alone.
In college, my dorm room walls were plastered with posters of the Eiffel Tower. I watched every movie with Audrey Hepburn I could find. I wore my hair swept up in a neat French twist; copied her makeup and clad myself in black dresses, turtlenecks, and capris. I spent hours at my vanity practicing my Audrey smile; innocent yet seductive. My shelves were stacked with books that had anything to do with France, and Edith Piaf played in the background.
I’ll never forget the look on my kids’ faces when I told them that I had decided to move to Paris. Jack thought for sure I had finally lost it. “Don’t you think you’re a little old to be running away from home, mom?”
And, Emma, bless her heart, though she tried to be supportive, really worried that I would hate it so far away from family. “Mom, what will you do without us, without your family?
They both attempted to talk me out of it; “And, what about dad? Did you ever think about him? He’ll be lost without you.” If they only knew how wrong they were about that. But, they didn’t. I protected them from our marital problems. Children don’t need to know about everything that goes on between husband and wife, so I took the blame for the divorce. They were grown; they’d be fine; they didn’t need me anymore.
I sold my house, bought some clothes, renewed my passport, and said goodbye. The move wasn’t too expensive since I had decided to leave most of my stuff behind. I would have to be careful, but I should be able to live comfortably.
The butterflies I felt in my stomach as the plane thundered down the runway slowly dissipated as blue skies replaced asphalt. I closed my eyes and rested my head against the window. It was going to be a long flight.