Thursday, September 28, 2006

If only I had known

Originally uploaded by jesslee23.
I remember the first time I met him. I was dropping my best friend's little brother off at a house party and he came outside. Sauntered up to my window and asked me if I was over 18. He was so sure of himself. I had a boyfriend at the time but, then again, I always had boyfriends. Nothing ever serious. I thought that I had been in love before but I hadn't. I changed boyfriends weekly. I got bored easily. He intrigued me with his opening line. I always liked the bad boy and here was this guy, fresh out of California, with a ponytail and tattoos. So incredibly confidant. He knew that he could have any girl there. So I went into his house. I saw the girls all lined up, waiting for him to choose who he would be with that night. And I decided that I wanted him. For a toy. He asked me if I had a boyfriend. I told him I did. He asked me if I wanted another one. I smiled and let him kiss me.

The next day I broke up with my boyfriend. We decided that we would just be friends. He had just gotten out of his marriage and had teenage boy to think about. I took him to my special spot on our first outing. The place I had always gone to think and write and just stare into the lake. We stayed up until 3 in the morning, just talking. I opened my heart to him and he shared his life with me. We decided not to be just friends. A week later I moved in.

I started to notice how much he drank. How he changed. How mean he could be. So possessive. So jealous. So sure of what I wasn't, he lost sight of what I was. But we stayed together. Teenage boy grew. He decided that I was going to be his mommy even though it was (and still is) a title I do not deserve. He asked me to marry him. I said yes, even though I was concerned. I made him sign a contract that he would not get too drunk to drive to our wedding night. I walked up the aisle thinking that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. But teenage boy was part of the equation. I wanted to have a legal right to him. The wedding happened. He continued to drink. Life started to fall down around my ears. But I was just as bad. I went out with him. I brought beer home. I didn't let him tell me his stories. I didn't want to hear about his demons anymore. Maybe if he had only been able to share...

One night we went out to the bar. He took off. I didn't know where he was and got very upset. He came back an hour later and I lit into him. He walked out to the car with me following him. We drove home. We fought. He hit me. I left.

That was the last time he touched alcohol. That was 7 years ago. He has fought with his demons and won. I have forgiven him. Teenage boy has forgiven him. My marriage has gone from bad to pretty good. We have our moments. I don't communicate. He doesn't apologize. I struggled watching my dad die from liver disease due to alcoholism because the support was not there. He is hard. He is stubborn. And yet. And yet he is so much of me. He is my light. He is my protector. With him I truly feel safe. He has held my attention for 12 years. I watch the lines start to etch in his face and I think of how we were. How young. How naive. Unaware of the hardships and heartaches we would have along the way. He is my love and I don't believe that there could be another.


Slinger said...

wow, pretty stronge story. Glad that you have survived and are happy now.

Robin said...

Wow, that is a sweet story. I envy that. I know you appreciate that love in your life. I'm proud that you've come as far as you have. You're an inspiration.