Santa Fe is beautiful. There's no denying that. The reds and oranges and yellows are rare and mesmerizing. The warmth is sometimes extreme and yet I somehow find that I love the way it plays across my cracked skin. I love the atmosphere here, with the art and culture from the Native Americans, the Mexicans, and the good ol' U.S.A. It's a humble mixture of three fundamental parts of the American spectrum, as fundamental as red and orange and yellow are to the rainbow.
I don't travel much outside of the city. Frank and I just stay around town. We're trying to blend in. Our history is mildly fabricated but it is widely known among our friends here that I left because of my cancer, that I was hiding from an ex whose child I am bearing, and that I don't want to be contacted by my old life. I haven't heard from my father yet, or Arty, and I have no idea if Liam is trying to find me or not. Frank has taken up a different name, too, and my loyalty to him through all of this has grown at such an exponential rate I can't explain the feeling. I owe this man everything. I love him so much, as my father, friend, and trusted doctor, and promised myself that if this child is a boy, he'll bear Frank's name. If it's a girl, her middle name will be Francis. I owe him all of me.
I'm beginning to feel less depressed, though. The cancer, it seems, hasn't spread from my breast. I've been taking steps to have it removed. Who cares how mangled I look with one boob? I'll be alive to raise this kid, if all goes right. I may not die from this fucking cancer. I've named Frank in my will as guardian, just in case. But he is very optimistic.
The only complaint I have about Frank is that he keeps urging me to go home. "Liam loves you, Lynnie. So, so much. He won't care that you have cancer. And I'll bet my last dollar that he will love this child, too. He is heartbroken. He needs to know where you are, that you're safe. You need to go home to him, Lynnie. You owe him, as his wife". I know I owe him, Eros. I just can't go home. What if I die? I can't let him watch me die from this. I know he'd want to fight it with me, but I can't let him do that. I need him to start moving on, just in case. And the kid? I know he doesn't want that. I want his life to be the dream he always envisioned. My dream got railed, hard, but his doesn't have to. His dreams and hopes and aspirations can still come to fruition. I don't need to hinder them with cancer or some turd baby. So I can't ever go back.
The longing to go back, though, is killing me. I dream of him every night. I stole his shirt, his black pin-striped button down that he wears to casual dinners or affairs thats covered in his scent and reminds me so much of the him I love to look at. I sleep with it over my face, drinking in his smell. Its fading. It will be rags before I stop trying to glean the last bit of him out of it that I can.
Santa Fe, huh? Who'd have thought I'd have wound up here. I hate the heat.