I was terrified of that noise. I thought about it all the time. How its sharp staccato would rip a hole in what was left of my heart. Finally tear in two the what was not totally broken. Not. just. yet. I was just sure it would echo in my head for years.
Except, someone asked me a tilting question. A woman I have never actually met and I can't even say for certain that I know her real name. She is a "friend" from an internet game I play, not even someone I really know, but all it took was one question from her to change the entire game.
What if it's not the sound of a fatal shot? What if you hear it as the sound of a rocket launching, fireworks going off, or...a starter pistol?
And that was it. Suddenly that sound I dreaded became open with possibilities. Could it be that I had the power to decide how that sound would, well, sound? The idea that I can have power over ANYTHING is still one I am getting used to. For 20 years I thought of him first, to the point where I could not even figure out if I was hungry, thirsty or tired, unless I thought of how he would feel about first. But maybe it's on me now. Maybe I could decide it was a starter pistol, and I could set the pace I run at. Wow.
I grow almost giddy with the opportunity, and more than a little overwhelmed at the responsibility. I DON'T WANT to be in charge, I whine. Oh feminist me, I must admit - I liked not having to worry about the 401k, the trash going out, the tax return. I thought that is how it went - you divided things up according to your skill sets. He did dead things in the yard and retirement savings, I did funerals and school visits (ofter indistinguishable, btw...). But if this is all up to my to decide - quelle horreur! What if I choose poorly? I am not always so sure which is the cup of a carpenter (and if you get THAT reference, congrats - we are now best friends, you and I....word!). And it won't be Elsa screaming whilst I turn into dust, it will be the children, my family, the other members of the coven. Didn't I see it coming? Everyone else knows, what's your problem? Suddenly I am 14 again, and hopelessly hopeless and just WRONG. No one to turf in onto, it's all my fault. I chose, I must deal with the consequences.
Interesting to note that in the movie in my head I am only ever wrong. Can't say I have spent a lot of time mulling over scenarios in which I get lots of things right and people admire "how well I have done." That one? Ummm.. ....feh. Not so much.
Of course the biggest joke of all is that in the end, no gavel. A simple nod, as the judge recited the line I am sure she has had to say too many times- She pronounced our marriage dissolved and that was it. No bang. No gunshot. No starting gun. I remember I watched the clock. Time of death: exactly 10:30 am.
But I have decided it was my starter pistol. If we accept that I have the power to decide what it was, I should also have the power to decide if it was. And I say it was so. A starter pistol announcing the start of my new life. The one where I decide what the sounds are.
....and she's off!