I know I have posted this before but I did a lot of editing/rewriting and wanted to post the newer (better?) version.
Trigger warning for domestic violence (not graphic)I was 19 when I met him, and in hindsight, it was a pretty foolish endeavor. But they kind of go together, 17 and crazy; 19 and foolish.
He lived thousands of miles away in flyover country but I thought being forced to get to know someone would be good for me. You see, I love hard and I love fast.
By the time I meet you for a first date I have planned our kisses in my head and named our children. I don’t think it has ever taken me longer than a month to say those three little words.
So, the distance seemed good, I thought it would teach me to love with a slow burn instead of a flashover of joy and unrelenting pain.
It began the way all things begin, hopeful and filled with a sort of pregnant joy. After a while of this slow burn he decided to come visit, he had never seen the ocean.
And so, he came, he showed me his heart, and I showed him the ocean.
When he left, we continued to learn and grow with each other, and it felt as though this foreword would lead to the most beautiful story.
A time later I flew out to see him, and once again it had that beginning feeling.
We talked, we laughed, we made love; my heart was overwhelmingly full, and I couldn’t imagine any sort of end for us. That’s the thing about beginnings though, they all must end sometime.
The sun will always fade to night, the summer will slip into fall, and all sentences carry a period.
Looking back on it now I don’t remember what the fight was about, and it occurs to me now that someone could have asked me hours later and I probably wouldn’t have remembered even then.
As we argued there in his truck, surrounded by great plains and indignation, in a moment of frustration and rage I said the only thing I could think to say; god fucking dammit.
It is a strange feeling, having a word ripped from your tongue before it is finished being born; a c-section of the mouth.
The place where his hand met my face turned a red sort of hot, and I remember being filled with the strangest, angriest, fiercest kind of calm.
The sound of it cracked through the air, the slap heard round my world.
And so, looking out of a window that was not familiar to me, at a landscape that was not familiar to me, sitting next to a boy who was no longer familiar to me, we drove back to his house in pure,
unrelenting silence. Back at the house, I did all I could think to do; I made that boy dinner. I cleaned that boy’s house. And later, I made love to him just as he wanted.
During our hurried airport goodbye, I told that boy I loved him, and god help me I meant it. Once I had made it back to the ocean, that boy called me and told me it was over.
That he had not seen me as wife material as if I had been the one to bring our divine beginning to its violent end. When we hung up, I cried, I cried as if he had been a boy who loved me.
Worst of all, I blamed myself. How dare I not be good enough? As if by somehow trying harder, by somehow being better I could have stopped his cruel hands from laying claim to me.
Looking back there are so many things I wish I had done differently.
I wish I had let loose the poison awaiting its release from the tip of my tongue, I wish I hadn’t made dinner,
I wish I had left his home a disastrous mess; something befitting a foul creature such as him.
I wish I hadn’t given him permission to explore my naked valleys with his naked hands full of violent proclivity. Those wretched hands had had enough of my body, and they deserved no more.
Looking back there are so many things I want to change, so many things I wish I had said differently, done differently.
And yet-when I look back, the frustration and rage fills me and all I can think to say is god fucking dammit.-G.F.D. By Mary Ferer