Sunday, August 28, 2011

RemembeRED- Me Without You

His name was Bill and looking back now, I know I would never have learned independence without him. Without the pain, deceit, lies, and disinterest. As difficult as it was he made me, good and bad, the person I am today. He was the first love of my life.

Freshman year in college and he was a smart jock doing so well in algebra that I hated him on sight. Friends kept telling me he had a crush on me but despite his height and great quarterback build I was not interested. He was incredibly shy which I enhanced by shooting him down before he could complete a sentence.

After a string of non-relationships first semester I returned to school and decided to give the nice guy a chance. We went to a movie and from then steamrolled our way in a matter of weeks into constant togetherness and then love. What a novel experience to be adored by a man. At last, all those Barbara Cartland novels I’d read were coming true!

That spring semester passed in the glow of young love. How interesting then to be told as the semester neared its end that while he thought he still loved me he wasn’t quite sure anymore. Thus began the roller coaster that lasted until graduation. We broke up but as soon as I started showing interest in other guys he reeled me back in. If I accused him of seeing other girls he turned it back on me by saying I was causing the problems by not trusting him (they were just friends). Slowly, the ground beneath my feet began to erode. I lost the ability to know what was true and what wasn’t. Or even to know what was real and what wasn’t.

The night we graduated was one of tears on both our parts. I had been accepted at FIT in NYC, Bill was moving to Florida to look for work. I told him when I finished at FIT I could move to Florida. His answer, “If you want to come to Florida you should come but don’t just come for me.” It was the first time in life I knew what the words “broken heart” meant because there was no doubt my heart was physically breaking. I could feel it tearing and shifting in my chest. I wasn’t sure I could breathe but choked out my response, ‘Why else would I go to Florida? I don’t even like it there! I would only go for you.” “Well, you shouldn’t.”

I had no choice but to go to NYC and school and when my year ended I decided to go to Atlanta for a job. Bill and I were still ostensibly together but once in Atlanta, working, meeting new people, and partying I began to think about him less. Imagine my surprise when he showed up after 8 months and said we should get married. My answer, “I don’t know.”

For 5 years I had waited to hear those words, written my name with his last name on innumerable pieces of paper, imagined our wedding and now? Now I felt almost nothing. I had a new life, one I would never have gotten if I’d moved to Florida; I had been promoted at work and was being considered for promotion again. It was MY life now. He had pushed me away for so long and told me to only do things if I wanted them, to be more independent. I did, I was, and I no longer needed him. Goodbye, Bill.

This week's RembeRED prompt is to write about a memory of yourself WITH someone else; your experience with this person and how it made you feel.


contradistinctive said...

YES! You go girl!! (i know, thats such a cheesy thing to say) lol! WONDERFUL!! How strong and powerful you must feel!! said...

Good riddance!
I am SO glad you chose your own life. I've seen too many women throw away their own happiness for a man whose idea of love is to shrug his shoulders and say "I guess you could come along if you want to." said...

"What a novel experience to be adored by a man."

You ain't just whistling Dixie with that line.

I wrote about my Bill. I also wasn't interested at first. But his attention was completely intoxicating. So much so, I stayed with him long after it made any sense. Thank God he went back to his long-distance girlfriend.

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