I was 17. I had just broken off a really ugly 2 year relationship when I decided to follow my dreams.
I was homeschooled and working at a preschool as a teacher’s aid. I loved it for the most part, but it was a very small school, so all the teachers knew all the parents and all the drama in all of the student’s families. I had finally gotten the courage to break up with my long time emotionally abusive boyfriend and to fill my mind and my time I got a second job as a house keeper for some vacation rentals on the coast. It was a long drive but I was 17 and driving was still knew. I opened a bank account and decided I would work my tail off to get the money to go to Brazil. Then Romania and then… the sky was the limit. For the next two years my life was all work and very little play. I knew what I wanted and was going for it.
I was the oldest of my mom and dad’s children, my half brother came along before my parents were together. My dad was had a fling when he was 15 and ended up with a son… 3 years older than I.
I have 2 little brothers and a sister. We are all pretty evenly spaced apart… 8 years between my little brother and I, 6 years between my brother and my sister. And then yet another 6 years between my sister and my youngest brother. Just to give you some idea of what my family looks like.
My sister was practically my own child, constantly attached to my hip. She was precious to me and I could not get over how adorable she was!
When I wasn’t working, I spent a lot of time with her… she helped me with my Portuguese even.
I worked my butt off to get 3000.00 which covered the costs of basically everything I needed. A year and a half of preparation and diligence… I got my visa and my passport, my plane tickets… everything was ready… I just needed to wait for August. And it was only the end of November… I remember staring at my passport imagining it filled with stamps from all over the world… the picture was horrible, but I didn’t care… it was real. I was standing there holding my dreams in my hands! My small handful of friends and I went to the local and only 24 hour restaurant in a 20 mile radius, to celebrate my passport.
We had all been there for maybe 45 minutes when i heard someone say “heyyy! I know you!” from another table.
His friends were rowdy and drunk, but I was still happy to see him. It had been over a year. He was my ex boyfriend’s roomate and had been such a good friend. Like a big brother to me actually. Always looking out for me, giving me rides all the time, he even babysat me for the crappy ex at a dance and told me he would have come to hang out with me anyways even without jerk-face’s request.
My friends were busy playing cards anyways, so we got a different table and ended up chatting until 5 in the morning. It was nice to catch up and I enjoyed it.
The next morning I woke up to flowers on my porch with a not asking for a date. Later that evening he called me on his way home from work and I had to tell him no. My life was going this way, and his was going that way. I didn’t want to start something and have it all end in heartache. He said No matter and we started talking about other things. It was a nice conversation.
The very next morning when I headed out to the car for work, more roses and this time a teddy bear was holding a small card, which read “just one date”.
Told him no again that night, and again he brushed it off and changed the subject. Almost every morning I woke up to something… and every morning that something involved a note that said “just one date?”.
This went on until 2 days after valentine’s day when my 4 year old sister got outside before me and left the door wide open, she hollered “what is this garbage on the porch?” as she kicked a bouquet of roses off the porch. As I picked them up off the lawn and brought them inside, my mom said “you put that poor boy out of his misery! go on one date with him!”
That weekend, we went out to dinner, an arcade and a movie. It was so much fun. A blast actually. On the way home, I expressed my concern… I was going to be traveling the world. I wasn’t going to be around forever and I didn’t want either of our hearts broken. He made it clear that he had no interest in travelling. And it was my dream. And I only had 6 months to go. He told me that he had fun, that we should do it again and that he understood my reservations.
But… one date lead to two… and 3 and 4. We had so much fun, and with all the work I had been doing over the last year and a half. It was really nice to have some fun too. We went all over the place. In April, on my birthday, he kissed me… and I kissed him back. After he kissed me, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I told him no. In June one thing lead to another… and after I told him never again. And that because things can’t just stop growing and we would end up heartbroken by August that we should stop seeing eachother. In the middle of July, I got really sick. For a whole week I was sick and so I decided to take a pregnancy test. I had 2 weeks before I was supposed to get on a plane. My whole future was at my fingertips.
I cried as soon as I left the store… I already knew. My period was beyond late and I was sick and was having the weirdest dreams… I knew. And when the positive sign appeared, I fell apart. I was supposed to be leaving in 2 weeks… what was going to happen. I had everything I needed… I was ready to go… I told my mom and she asked if we were going to get married. I said I didn’t know… and she said, well, don’t you think that would be the right thing to do? I told him, he wasn’t upset… I mentioned what my mom had said and he said “yes! Let’s do it!”
The day I was supposed to be getting on the plane for Brazil, I was walking down the isle. That was going on 15 years ago. My whole life I have spent doing the right thing. Married to a man I have never loved because I value commitment and loyalty so much. And all this time I have never had the chance to mourn the death of my dreams… to grieve my own loss… because that would hurt him. And now… finally… I am breaking my silence… even if it has taken 15 years… life is not fair. I have always only been a passenger in this life… I have never left the west coast. I have never left. So yeah… I want to throw a childish tantrum. I am almost 34 now… when will it be my turn to take the driver’s seat of my own life?
It has been 7 months and 6 days… nothing has changed.