Well, I finished setting my record. I hadn’t had a cold since before my STBX (now standing, it seems, for Someday To Be Ex) left. After a stressful week, on Friday night it became official—I had a cold—but it stayed out of my throat and with a lot of sleep and fluids I’m fine today. This marathon couldn’t go on forever, and I think it still means that my STBX is sickening because two years is a long run for a nose not to run.

Life is stressful, but I think my immune system must have been in constant challenge dealing with him. I didn’t realize it until after he left. Now there are stresses—many new ones—but not that feeling of vigilance I always had with him. I didn’t know it was there until it stopped. I’m reminded of a story that I’d heard where a guy bolted up in his bed one night when the clock on the town’s church steeple didn’t strike the hour for the first time in years.

Sometimes what isn’t there is loud and clear.