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The Buildup to the Answer

Posted Apr 09 2009 7:15pm

Last night I couldn’t sleep. My brain was running too fast, was so busy trying to distract itself. I tried to go to bed, though, with a hot shower and reading before bed. But I wasn’t hungry for dinner and I wasn’t tired for bed. Patrick started snoring and I was restless, so I got up and paced for a few hours. I put on some water for tea and simply walked in circles around my house. I tried not to think about the Match, which meant that it was all I could think about. I busied my brain for a while with lists of people I would call when we knew and what would need to be done for the Match Party I’m throwing for Patrick this weekend, but it was no use. I just ran over the cities in my head, over and over.

LexingtonLouisvilleIndianapolisCincinattiColumbusIndianapolisLexingtonColumbusCi over and over, in all different orders.

I thought about moving to each one, about No Matter What It’ll Be Fine, my mantra for the whole process. It was true – we would be fine. We’ve been through worse than a quick move together, Patrick would be working, I’ll be back in school. All will be as it should be.

But WHERE, for crying out loud?

I turned around and paced in the other direction.

I tried to think about packing up the house and moving. Then I tried not to think about that, because I thought it would jinx it. But by then it was too late. I had already thought about it, so would not thinking about it jinx it?

I changed directions again.

When I woke up this morning, my belly felt slightly reminiscent of appendicitis, but I knew it was a much more sinister ache. It was Match Day. Finally, we would know. We could plan. We could move forward.

The morning was worthless. I was editing a proposal, but my eyes kept flitting around the screen like laser pointers. I texted Patrick, “I might die before 1pm.” At 12:45, I called him and told him to come down to the office where I was working. We could be alone, I could close the door and we could have some privacy.

A few minutes later, he walked in. He avoided my eyes, a tell-tale sign that he was terrified. He had a panicked look on his face, his eyes too wide and a manic smile on his lips. He sat down at the computer and logged into his email. Still nothing.

I got up to pace some more. He checked the stock market.

Then:

“It’s here! Oh, my God.”

I sat down and squealed a little bit. The mouse visibly shook as Patrick moved it to click on the email. He opened it.

“Wait, what? Which one is it?” I was so worked up I literally couldn’t see straight. “Louisville?”

“No. Indiana.”

“NO WAY! HOLY COW! WOO HOO!!!” I danced around the little office and threw my arms around Patrick’s neck. “INDIANA!”

Patrick was totally overwhelmed by the whole thing, more so even than he was when he was a 4th year. Then, he was surrounded by friends going through the same thing, and it was something of a joke. This seemed so intense, so serious.

“WOOOOOOO!!!!”

I had already texted all our friends and my parents and sisters by the time he managed to get a sentence out. My family was beside themselves. We would be moving home, for the first time. My mother sobbed, my sisters squealed, my father got his very serious voice on and said, “Kate, I… am very… very… excited.”

Patrick muttered that he should call his mother.

Much of the afternoon was spent on the phone, sending emails, looking at houses, pricing Pods. It is amazing how much life can change in a single moment. This morning, my life was a flow chart. If A happens, then B, C, or D will follow. If E happens, then F, G, or H. Too many options, too many things to hold in my head. Tonight, everything is clear and bright, a single purposeful line pointing in a definite direction.

We are heading home.

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