Aside from an occasional breeze, it’s hot and still today. The Air Force Base is hosting an air show, so with everyone off watching that and the rest of the population at the beach or out on boats, the neighborhood is quiet. So quiet that I hear only the hum of air conditioners and the squawk of a crow this afternoon as I write this out back on the patio.
I’m trying to remember back to a time before I knew someone, before my happy memories were tied up with him.
There should be a test you take, like a blood test before marriage that will only allow you to let the people in your life that want to stay. If the test comes back negative, a doctor should come out to the waiting room and tell you both, “I’m sorry, but it doesn’t look as though this is going to work out. I’m afraid we’re going to have to separate you now.”
Free will is sooooo overrated. And memories of happy times with someone with whom your whole relationship was predicated on a lie, well, they just make you feel stupid, don’t they? Stupid for not seeing it.
Worse, I’d been warned years ago, to stay away from this man.
When I was in my early twenties, I worked with a couple of women who had just moved to the area. They worked for Omnicorp in another state and had transferred within months of each other.
We went to lunch one day, and they were talking about people they had worked together back at the old place. They got on the subject of men. They looked over at me across the table from them, looked at each other, and then one of them said to me:
“There’s this guy named _______. If you run into him at some point and you probably will because he’s going to end up here at some point, you have to promise us you’ll stay away from him. He’d like you – a lot. And you’d fall from him like a ton of bricks. But he’s no good. He’ll hurt you.”
Flash forward fifteen years, and guess what.
I ran into one of those women at a party when he and I were together during happier times. She just looked at me like I was crazy.
When I met him, I thought there was no way those women knew what they were talking about. He was not anything like they’d told me. It had been fifteen years. People grow. People mature. He’s a father now, not some boy in his twenties trying to sow his oats.
I’m a big girl. I told myself. I can handle this.
So even though I was scared to death of what could happen, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. And then I continued to give him the benefit of the doubt. And now there’s no doubt.
I was crazy.