It was a dark and stormy night...
Actually it wasnít. But itís always hard to know where to start these things.
I suppose the beginning is as good as any.
I met a girl a few years back and from the moment I met her I was convinced that I would marry her. As things would turn out I would be catastrophically wrong. We dated for some time, moved in together (because really, thatís what you do isnít it?), eventually we did in fact get engaged, and we bought a house together. Well, we were building a house together...I think that still counts.
And then something happened. I have yet to figure out exactly what it was, but the people closest to both myself and her have had many different theories. Alcohol, mental collapse, perhaps she was terrified of the massive commitment she had made, no one really knows.
And in all honesty, I doubt anyone ever will.
It started innocuously enough. She started to go out to the bar more, started drinking more, started trying to fit in I guess. But it turned from that into her driving home drunk, and that quickly degenerated into spectacular fights. Now, in all fairness, when it comes to verbal fisticuffs, I can hold more than my own against most. I would fly into a rage that she would be so careless and thoughtless about herself and any other poor person who happened to get in her way. I tried to explain the terrible risks I felt she was exposing herself to. I would try to get her to understand that being that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together, I would prefer if she was around for it.
She would cry, apologise, weíld make up and all would be well.
Itís amazing how wrong you can be.
As it turned out, she was simply building up an amazing resentment for me. It was her life, and neither of us could differentiate between me trying to protect her in my feeble little way, or me simply trying to control her. I suppose in a sense I was trying to control her. I felt that she was spiralling out of control, and someone had to stop her. What better person than the man she loved and trusted above all else?
Well, assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.
At one point two of the people we worked with became evicted. Thrown out on the street, all alone in the big scary world. At least that is the way me fiancť saw it. It didnít take long for her to suggest that we simply had to empty out the office/spare bedroom, and hey, we could help these poor victims of circumstance out. Despite my concerns and general uncomfortable feeling about the situation, I acquiesced. Two days later they moved in. Things started out OK.
You can almost hear the "but", canít you?
It didnít take long for me to figure out that these boys were into some pretty hard drugs. Now, donít get me wrong. When it comes to the area of drug use, I was no Nancy Reagan. I just drew the line. This was the hard stuff. I also knew from experience that only bad things can happen when youíre around people who do that shit. Stuff starts to disappear, things get broken, the police start paying extra attention to you, you wake up in the morning to find a cat stapled to the ceiling...That kind of stuff.
But, I digress.
Upon my discovery, I immediately went to my loving fiancť with this information with the confidence that as a happy couple, we would unite to throw this menace out of our perfect little lives. Like I said before, itís amazing how wrong you can be. She didnít believe me, she said I was lying, she wanted to ask them because like all hard core drug addicts, nothing but the truth passes from their lips. She grew up in small town BC where coke really was just a beverage. I was unable to convince her, try too hard that I did, that perhaps since I had experience with addicts, and she did not, the best course of action would be simply trust me (and the several other people who shared my concerns) and get these yo-yoís the hell out of our home.
Hindsight is 20/20.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have known that in defiance of my attempts to control what appeared to be her reckless behaviour that she was fast falling into their lifestyle. If I had known then what I know now, I would have realised that she had in fact already fallen for one of them. If I had known then what I know now, I would have known that I had already lost her. But I didnít. So she educated me.
When I said, "Well look, itís my name on the lease of this place (the apartment we were living in while we awaited the completion of our little house in the suburbs), and they have to go, so they are going", she responded with, "Fine then, so am I".
There are moments in life when everything stops. It just stops. Itís like a single frame gets caught in the projector and stays that way. Then everything goes numb. Then cold. Then the world begins to slowly speed up again, not all at once but like some kind of Ferris wheel from a Stephen King book, all dark and broken, screeching its gears. Finally the world gets up to speed again, but youíre not. Youíre stuck in this limbo, where the rest of the world is now winding up to full speed, but youíre just not.
It was one of those moments for me.
It was only made worse by the fact that I worked with all three of them. Over the next couple of days her transformation from the woman I fell in love with to someone seemingly completely out of control was painfully evident. She did everything she could to let me know every rebellious thing she was doing. She flaunted her new found man in front of me at every opportunity. She later told our co-workers of what a fine lover he was. Our shared workplace being what it was, I heard of every wild night she had and all those she was planning.
Eventually I cracked.
The ironic thing was that when she left me, she also left almost all of her earthly possessions behind as well. And while she was planning a trip to England, she left her passport at what used to be our apartment of which I was now the sole occupant. After foolishly attempting to continue to "protect" her from the lifestyle she appeared to be slipping into, and having it blow up in my face, I snapped. I told her that she had to get all of her shit out one night, and that she should think long and hard about what she had left behind. I never made any direct threats to her passport, but she got the point. She came, took her stuff, we did the standard "fuck youís", the "I never want to see you againís", all of that.
She never came back to work. The boys did, I think it was some kind of petty way of flaunting their imagined victory over me in the only way they could, but they were fired days later. I havenít really seen her since. Sure I saw her dropping them off for those few days they were still working, and I saw her car, and I even saw her at a bar one night, but I never saw her.
I heard that she was going to move to a city in BC with her "new man", and she was going to start over. Apparently she didnít. While she was in England he moved in with an ex-girlfriend of his, and then failing that, he moved to Vancouver to live with his parents. For some time I did my best to simply avoid her. I was convinced that she would eventually destroy herself. I don't like to slow down at traffic accidents to gawk, and I certainly didn't want to bear witness to her decline.
I am a silly, foolish, hopeful creature. Itís been my downfall on more than one occasion. Given time to let go of the anger and resentment that I felt, I realised that while our end had been a complete and utter disaster, the fact of the matter was that the two years I spent with her were the happiest of my life. To allow something as foolish as my wounded pride stand in the way of a possible reconciliation would have haunted me for the rest of my life. With that in mind, I had to attempt to set things as they were.
So I swallowed my pride and I called her. I told her I wanted to try again. I told her that I would do whatever necessary to try to fix things, and I told her despite everything that happened I still loved her.
Amazing how painful those words can be. Particularly when you say them knowing full well that in all likelihood you wonít hear them back. You still say them because you have this naÔve hope instilled in you by countless Hollywood versions of reality.
She hardly said a word...
I have since been informed by many of my female friends that in all likelihood I made a terrible mistake. Apparently (women being the incomprehensible creatures that they are), by letting her know that I was there, I guaranteed that she would never want another try. By telling her that I wanted another crack at things, I gave her the impression that she could do whatever she wanted in life and I would always be there as a backup plan.
Since she knew she could have me she wouldnít want me because women donít want what they can have.
Funny creatures, women.
I hoped that my friends were wrong, but in fact, time proved them right. The next (and the last) time I spoke to her, she indeed did say that she wanted her freedom, and that there didnít seem to be any hope for us. I didnít have the energy to hold out if I was the only one doing so, and we said our goodbyes.
I still loved her and I think I always will...
There is a part of me that still hopes that she one day might call. But as of yet the only time the phone rings is when someone calls to ensure that I havenít done anything else foolish. Or curious parties looking for old bills to be paid.
I seem to spend the majority of my life paying old bills...
I think the worst part of all of it was that there just wasnít any point. There was no higher lesson to be gleaned from it all, it just was.
That was it...
Every day I pick myself up and attempt to convince myself of I donít even know what.
But, while I spend all this time attempting to delude myself that life will someday be roses and sunshine, every day I canít help but think of what could have been.
(Insert self empowering pep talk, Thank You Tony Robbins...)
And what the fuck am I going to do with the house?