When Scott, my fiancé, got out of bed, I was expecting another luscious, lazy Sunday with the love of my life. But life took another turn.
“Peggy, can you come in here, please, and take a look at this?” he yelled from the bathroom in our apartment. Curious, I stepped into the tiny space next to the vintage claw-foot tub that dominated the room.
He was gazing at his neck in the mirror. I turned his body toward the light flowing into the Victorian floor-to-ceiling window. As soon as I saw the lump on the side of his neck, just below his ear, I felt a pit in my stomach. The flesh-colored lump was the shape and size of a quarter and stuck out like a rolling hill—so high that, from the angle at which I was standing, it appeared to cast a shadow.
It felt hard and solid. I wanted to wipe the feeling away from my fingertips, but the sensation would not go away, even after I removed my hand. I had kissed that neck the night before. Why hadn’t I noticed it? How did I not feel it under my lips?
“Get that checked out as soon as possible, honey,” I said.
Quickly, I left the bathroom and went to the bedroom where he could not see me. I stared out the window overlooking the parking lot and quietly cried. I had a feeling, a premonition, that this was something terrible, and that our lives were about to suddenly change. In an instant, my mind wandered and contemplated the very worst. I imagined my future self, looking out this window after his death. I felt so alone. I felt so sad. I had no idea what this lump was, but I could not shake the feeling that I would be living my life without him. We’d only just begun. How would I live without my love?