If life had worked out the way I had planned, I'd be married right now. We'd have a cute apartment in the hip part of Austin and would host intimate dinner parties on the weekend. We would do it every night and sometimes in the morning, too. I always loved having you be the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. Instead, I have trouble committing to men. You cemented what my father started. Opening myself up to hurt is often not worth the effort, and the fact that you still haunt some of my fantasies doesn't help matters. I'm different without you. Even though you're no longer a part of my life, people would be able to see your shadow flitting across this site if they knew about you. I want them to know about you because to know about you is to know me. The baggage I've packed away is a part of me.
NotSteve was the one. I know so many of us don't believe in the one, but I'm sure he was the bees knees. I was young and impressionable, but NotSteve was the one I grew up with. Friends for years, the transition to significant other was subtle. There were so many stolen days spent skipping class and exploring each other on his parent's couch. (My heart wants to escape my chest even as I type this.) I remember the post-graduation trip with NotBlondie and thinking how I was most excited about seeing him again when I got back. That first night that he and I were an official 'us' was the night I got back. Sitting beside my car on that back country road and looking up at the stars . I knew I'd finally let him kiss me that night. That kiss was far from perfect, but I love how I knew he was someone I wanted to work with. I love how that became our phrase for 'wanna makeout' after that night.
We were probably doomed from the start, two emotional people who burn the candle at both ends. Those kisses did get better. Oh God, how they got better. We were each other's first nearly everything, and we spent so much time laughing and learning each other that we forgot other people existed. I chose him over school that first year, losing all my scholarships. It didn't matter at the time. He was more important than sleep or studying. I was all wrapped up in his goodness. Roadtrips and weekends away were just more of us in our own little world. I still remember the night he "kind of" proposed and the night I "kind of" said yes.
Somehow it slowly unraveled. These things always do, though for the life of me I don't know how. I was jealous of his time away from me, and he was still harboring resentment for the fact that I had strung him along for so long before admitting I liked him. We were working through some of our issues or so I thought. I haven't really ever been more wrong. No one wants to walk out to their car on a beautiful morning and see the note. I got dumped via note (good thing email wasn't as prevalent in those days). I remember operating in a fog over the next few days. My survival instinct kicked in, and I didn't cry and didn't call him. The part of me that doesn't trust told the part of me that had learned to love I told you so. I think I may have handled it wrong...letting my instinct to cut my losses and run take over. Maybe he wanted me to fight for him. Every now and then I wish I had.
I don't blame him for all the baggage I haul around with me when trying to meet men. I don't blame him for the fact that, up until I learned of his marriage a couple of years ago, I carried around the hope that we'd wind up as each other's emergency contacts. I don't blame him because my life is good. I think that us being apart has helped me become the woman I'm meant to be. I don't blame him. It's just how I got here.