Just Like Magic

older couple at the beach

I never thought I’d feel like this again,

And yet…Nothing has changed~

For once again it is about your pain.

couple in back seat

You asked me to forgive you and so I did.

For after all I said, we were “just kids.”

sad couple on beach

Forgiveness is such a simple word,

almost like a magical choice,

an eraser that removes the memories,

of all those times you raised your voice.

Or the silence of  a hundred nights,

from the aftermath of a thousand fights.

Just like magic and POUF it’s gone.

A simple act that rights all wrong.

I might have been able to forget but in the end,

You made it all about  you again.

sad man reading

Keri London

2011©

The End (Final draft)

Keri felt the air being siphoned from her lungs, swallowing she tried to breathe. Her head pounded as her efforts to filter out the background noise failed. The pain was the stinging kind  you feel when something smacks you in the face. It even made her nose tingle. It was a surprise, so unexpected. The day had started out so great.  She closed her eyes and willed it all to just stop, but the voice booming somewhere in the background was relentless. He was on one of his tirades about the way she’d looked when he’d said something or her tone of voice when she answered. She couldn’t remember. She didn’t even know if she knew. She usually didn’t. She would just apologize and even more recently, just leave. But she couldn’t today. They were in the car, and like so many other times, she just had to take it. And it would probably blow over, and she’d forgive him, and they’d pretend it never happened.  She used to believe with all of her heart it wouldn’t, but now she had no doubt that it would. She pressed her forehead against the cold glass and stared out at all the other cars and wondered why everyone looked so happy.

sad rain on window

At first, she’d yelled back but realized that she couldn’t make him hear her.  There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often, and lasted longer lately, and it exhausted her.

 couple fighting in car

They’d been driving. It was a beautiful rainy morning. The drops tapped lightly above them as they’d lay on the floor reading the Sunday paper and ended up making love right there, on top of the funnies. Jack suggested that they go to Polly’s for breakfast. So they jumped in the car and headed to the beach. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned. Jack’s anger came out of no where.  She’d learned lately that it didn’t have to take much. She used to blame herself because she didn’t know how to help him. She wanted to love him out of his pain. She even tried to make him believe that she loved him more than anyone in her life. She believed it. But, slowly she realized that it was not true. She did love someone more. Though he’d tried with all of his might to make her believe otherwise, she finally knew that she loved herself more. Enough to get out.

women writing at desk

Keri clicked the period. And stared at the screen of the last page of her book.  It was complete. She looked out the window massaging her neck absent mindly staring into space, still back decades, remembering. She’d thought that finishing her novel would feel different but it was anticlimactic. She forced her eyes to focus back on the screen and scrolled to the last chapter and reread it. She sighed. She was satisfied, after a few false endings, it was definitely a wrap.

This book had been a surprise in her life and much harder to write than she’d ever imagined. But she knew that she needed to tell her story.  Not just for all the young girls out there that needed to be educated about abuse, but for her own closure. So much had happened in-between sitting down to write the first page and today. But she had no doubt about what she had to do next..

She found her editor’s address, attached her book, clicked on the file, and pushed SEND.

type the end

#57 The Beginning of the End… Happy New Year

 

pie crust2

 

Dear Journal,

We planned our party for the night after New Years Eve.  I told my parents that I had to get ready for the party that we were having the next day and I didn’t want to drive home with all of the drunks and they actually were okay with me staying at Jack’s.  He came and picked me up and brought me over to his place and we stayed up late enough to welcome in the New Year all by ourselves instead of going out to one of the parties we were invited to, cuz Jack wanted it that way. We kissed at midnight and started messing around all the way to bed and welcomed in the new year some more.

young happy couple

 

In the morning, it was overcast and looked as if it might rain.  I got up early and Jack rolled over and said that he was going to take down the Christmas lights. I really didn’t want him to because he’d already taken down the tree the day after Christmas and he knew I wanted it up for the party. So when he mentioned the lights I asked him if he could just wait until after the party because I wanted it to still look at least a little  festive.  But he refused it was as if he wanted to take away any signs of it having been Christmas.  And so our morning didn’t start out too great.

arguing couples

I know that he is still dealing with stuff about his mom this time of year, so I tried to be understanding but I must say that I was not happy that he wouldn’t wait just one day since he knew that it was important to me for our house to look pretty for the party. It was just the wrong day to take on that project! Especially since we talked about our list of things we needed to get done before the party and taking down the Christmas lights was not one of them.  I needed him to help me with so many  other things and I knew that it was going to take all morning to just do that. But you know how stubborn he is, so he got the ladder out and climbed up on the roof and did what he wanted.

Christmas lights ladder2

 I got dressed and started baking. I’d planned on making a few pies and some horderves for the party. Pie crusts are kind of touchy, if you knead them too much, they get tough. If you let them sit too long they get crumbly and you have to start all over again.  I have to admit I was already frustrated but I really did try to snap out of it because I knew that it would not end well if I stayed mad. I never seem to win our fights. I heard Jack swearing on top of the roof and for whatever reason, he needed my help. Though he put them up all by himself. He called me up there twice. The first time I went up and handed him something and tried to be pleasant and willing about it, but just as I was ready to roll the dough out for the second pie,  he called me again.

ROLLING DOUGH

This time I called back and told him to hold on. I was so surprised when he snapped at me and yelled “NOW!”  I didn’t like his tone of voice and had not heard it since that horrible day at the glider port over a year earlier. I wasn’t too happy as I climbed up the ladder and saw him untangling the strings of lights. I  asked him to please hurry so that my dough wouldn’t get ruined and he threw them at me and told me to untangle them.

Christmas lightsAnd before I could object, he lost it. He got mad and told me that he didn’t want to have the dumb party anyway, how it was all my idea and “my party” and that I was “using” him to play house in “his” house. Those words really hurt. Especially the part about it being his house.  After he put the ladder away, and did whatever he did with the string of light I left lying on the walkway,  he came in and saw that I was crying and got even more upset at me. I’d already made one pie crust perfectly before he called me up. But the second time, I left the last one  in a ball and it felt too dried out when I started rolling it.

dough balll

Everything kept crumbling and falling apart. The thing that made me so mad was that Jack started laughing at me and told me that I couldn’t do anything right. I think maybe he was trying to lighten the mood and just joke around because everytime I tried to roll out the dough it just got worse and he may have realized that he’d just gone a little too far.

CINNAMON ROLLING DOUGH

But by that time I’d lost my temper and had stopped crying. Things just got out of hand. Looking back, I wish that ‘dI just let it go. But for the last three years I have let “IT” go and I am just tired. Anyway,  I was still hurt and angry about what he’d said about it being his house, and instead of saying that he was sorry he just kept following me around egging me on, laughing in my face. He followed me right into the living room as I tried to get away, brushing my floured hands on my apron and just kept laughing at me and my “pathetic excuse for pie crust.” THAT is what he said! He kept at it  until he had me cornered in the living room and I hit the wall of the bay window and to my surprise my fist went right through the paper thin wall! Just punched a hole right into it! I didn’t realize how those walls were made back in those days and well it just surpised me. I started laughing hoping that Jack would start laughing too and we would just see how stupid this fight was and fall down on the floor and make up. I was laughing saying that” I really didn’t mean to do that” and he got that look and said; “yeah, I  can really tell.” And then he started getting all of my stuff and throwing it out of the house in a wild rage and telling me that I needed to “call all of my little friends and call off the party” as he started throwing my books and my purse and my sweat jacket and all of Annie’s letters  out into the front yard. The ribbons slipped and they lay there strewn all over the wet grass.

old letters

He was so out of control I thought he was going to hit me but he didn’t. He just picked me up and threw me off of his front porch and into the yard. I was numb. I don’t remember if I was really hurt. I know later that I’d skinned my elbow being thrown like that but I just picked up my purse and jacket and left everything else and ran out of the front gate.

abuse

I didn’t even stop to think. I just ran. Right past Jess and Louise’s and down Pacific Coast Highway and all the way to a phone booth and called Lindsey. She and Larry came and picked me up. They were supposed to come to the party that night. I think they may have called everyone. I don’t even know. I didn’t care. I just let Jack deal with it. I was so mad. I never wanted to see him again. Happy New Year.

 

sad girl in hood b&w

 

 

 

#53 Kids and Marriage and cigarette Burns

orange honda civic

Dear Journal,
Jack and I have been looking for new cars and just bought a brand new 1976 bright orange Honda Civic with a sunroof and everything. It was almost $5000! Can you believe it? My little Fiat was less than half that and it was only three years old when I got it. But I love it. I love the smell of a new car! The weekend that we bought it, we drove it to to the glider port and we both went up and ended up staying in a little motel near there so Jack could go up again the next day. It has been really good between Jack and me lately.
Jack has a friend at his work Bob, who is going through a custody battle with his kids. A boy and a girl. It is so sad. I never saw such a good dad. He really loves his kids and his wife is not very nice. We took them soaring one weekend right after we got the car and Bob and his kids met us there. The kids got bored pretty fast and complained because their dad’s car didn’t have air conditioning and it was really hot that day. Of course our new car did, so while Bob and I were up flying in different planes,  Jack was in charge of the kids and let them sit in our car with the air on while their dad finished flying with Glen, my old instructor. After we said goodbye to Bob who had to get the kids back by a certain time,  we got back in the car to drive home and noticed the front passenger seat had a burn mark where it looked as if the kids had been playing with the  car lighter.

burn mark

I have to admit that I was really surprised that Jack was so calm about it. I think that he realized that it could have been a lot worse. Though the kids were older and should have known better, it is never smart to leave kids in a running car, period. But I didn’t need to say anything. I knew he “GOT” it when he saw the damaged seat. And I mean it was right in the middle of the seat! We tried to get an upholstry and carpet mending glue but it only made it worse. That is when Jack had an idea, for “me” to re-upholster the seats with my new sewing machine that he’d gotten me last Christmas!

sand bags

I have been making weighted sand bags out of canvas with my sewing machine for the sail planes to trade for tows, but that has been the extent of my recent sewing.   Jack said that whatever happened, we’d have to get the seats fixed anyway so that I couldn’t really hurt anything. And so I told him that if he could get the seats out, I would try. We never really liked the checker board insert in the upholstry so we went shopping and found this great faux white leather and he pulled apart the seats. (Which… I know, I know, could have been quite a disaster!) But we actually worked really well together!

orange honda civic armorange honda civic reeo

I measured the inserts and actually re-upholstered the two front seats with it. And if I do say so myself, it looks way better than the checkerboard. Especially without the burn mark!

sewing

 

Jack was so impressed and said that he was proud of me. It gives me hope. Something that could have been a huge blow up, became a positive project for both of us. It felt so good to accomplish something together without one fight!

orange honda civic interior

I think that just maybe, he is learning that we can get through a lot without it becoming a huge blow up everytime something doesn’t go exactly right. And that the way that his parents handled the hard stuff doesn’t have to be the way that he does or we do. We can break the cycle and have a grown up relationship without always breaking up everytime we have a disagreement. I just hope that those kids and all of Bob’s problems don’t influence Jack’s thought on getting married!

 

 

 

 

#45 New Year’s Eve

Sorry, I have been away for a while. This has been pretty exhausting to have to go back and remember, almost like walking through all the old doors. Thank you for following and commenting… it is motivating me to finish!

Dear Journal,

fireplace beanbag under Christmast tree

My dad was not too happy when he came down  the next morning and found Jack and I asleep in the living room together. Though he knows I’m at Jack’s a lot now, I know he just doesn’t want us to throw it in his face in his own house. So when I heard him get up, I slipped away and caught him walking out the door on his way to work. He saw that I was still wearing my long dress I’d been wearing the day before and I could tell that at first he looked upset and then confused.  But after I told him what had transpired. He sat down in his suit on the front porch step with me and listened. Then he told me to run up and tell my mom before Jack woke up because he didn’t want her to get upset  in front of Jack. Sometimes my dad just blows me away by being sooo great and understanding!

french toast

The rest of the day I was pretty proud of my parents. My dad was right. I was glad I’d told my mom right away. I guess my dad had mentioned before he went downstairs that he’d thought Jack had stayed over and they both weren’t happy about it. But my mom was just as great about it as my dad and made us french toast and was so sweet to Jack. I kind of think maybe I should have told them more about Jack’s childhood because it seemed to really touch them. My dad even called a couple hours later and told Jack that he’d arranged a few days off for him so he didn’t have to go in that night or the rest of the week until January 2nd!

Jack had been prepared for the worst reaction from my parents I think. I told him last night that I’d explain to them but he’d been worried. Later he told me that he couldn’t believe how wonderful they were and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him that most parents would have understood. It really has begun to hit me that he has never really ever experienced what normal parents are supposed to be like.

It didn’t take long. Liz has been calling poor Jack none stop. And my mom has even talked to her a few times. I finally put my foot down and told him that he needs to let her think about it a while longer and then we need to figure out a place for her to go get treatment. Not just a hospital with a sitter after the fact but some place to help her really get better.

catfood in cupboard

She keeps calling saying that her cat, Bootsie needs cat food and I told Jack that her cupboard was filled when we’d helped her move in a few weeks earlier,  I lined her cupboards myself and told him that there was absolutely no way she was OUT!  I think that in the past, Jack has never had anyone to help keep him strong. His mom has selfishly called him home from two different schools twice in the middle of semesters and totally messed his education up. I told him ENOUGH and that if he let her yank him around again, I wouldn’t be there to watch it. He has stayed strong so far.

#33 Bruises

 

Dear Journal,

I don’t want to be writing this right now but I have a feeling that I need to have it written down somewhere so that I can look back and remember just what happened. I am still not sure what I am going to do about all this but for now I am just numb.

Jack has been working for his mom a few days a week and also at the computer operator job that my dad got him at night fulltime, and I have been working at the Speech And Languge Center  in Buena Park during the day and taking some  classes at college for Speech Therapy a few nights a week this Semester  and  and so we have not had a lot of time together. I always want to be with Jack first. And if I have a night off, I will surprise him and bring him dinner so we can spend time together.

This weekend Jack talked me into going Soaring. We hadn’t been for a while  I don’t feel that comfortable  flying Jack’s new plane and I really needed to study but I told him that I would go with him and wait while he went up, but that I needed to study for a test on Monday and didn’t want to fly. He seemed okay with that. But when I told him that I needed to change since I only had shorts on. He said that I looked just  fine in an impatient tone, so I grabbed my books and hopped in the car and we drove to Lake Elsinore. It was a beautiful day. Jack bought an orange Honda Civic with a sunroof when he started driving back and forth  to work at his mom’s company everyday to save  gas which is almost seventy cents a gallon now! I remember when I first started driving it was about half that! I’m so glad I have my little Fiat that gets over thrity miles per gallon.

Anyway, I could tell that he was in that kind of mood. He started rubbing the back of his his neck and  I reached over to massage it and he shrugged me off which hurt my feelings. So I just stared out the window and he turned on the radio. I started watching all the people driving by and saw that a lot of people were happy and talking and laughing and suddenly felt so lonely. I almost wished that I’d stayed home. I’d like to tell you that it got better but it only got much worse.

Jack had gone in with another pilot and  purchased a plane with him a few months earlier. He’d been so excited and I loved seeing him so happy.  It’s orange like his car and much lighter than  the heavy rental gliders the glideport provides. He really is a wonderful pilot and can stay up for two hours or more at a time unlike my twenty two minute record.  Like I said I am not comfortable flying it so I still have to fly the rentals but I am happy that it makes Jack happy and have no problem waiting for him whenever he wants to go. I mean I really don’t mind at all. I always bring an apple and visit my favorite horse “Pal” that stays on the property at the glider port and study and really do enjoy hanging out with him and brushing him.

Jack went into the office to pay for his tow and when he came out he  threw me his car keys so that I could sit in if I wanted to and then asked me to help him  roll his plane out to the chalk line where the tow plane picks up the gliders. I followed him out to where they have the plane stored and began helping unhook it with him. I felt the tension building even  before he picked up the tail and I lifted the wing. That is when he yelled at me that I was picking up or pushing the wing the wrong way. I’m not sure what happened but something in me broke. Maybe it was driving in a dead silent car for almost 2 hours or the way he was jerking around having a tantrum in his own head all day long or the ridiculing tone of voice that he used when he barked at me but I’d had it too. I swung around and just snapped and  asked him why he even wanted me here and said some other things I can’t remember and asked him if I made him so miserable why was he even with me. That did it. He told me to get in the car. No, he pretty much roared it.

I watched as he hooked his plane back up without my help and then braced myself for the ride home.  He backed out of the parking lot and then screeched out of the glider port as I ducked my head trying to avoid  any eye contact since we both knew everyone. I could still felt the apple for Pal in my pocket as he started driving about 85 miles an hour. I told him to let me out. I tried to have absolutely no emotion. He looked at me and  I saw someone else in his eyes as he balled up his fist and brought it down hard on my thigh. I was shocked and gasped as the pain made me nauseous. And then the blows came, over and over and over and over again while driving close to ninety miles an hour. Raging about how he couldn’t catch a break and how he had two jobs and all he wanted was one day of peace on his only day off and was that too much to ask? He’d always been the one to yell. I’d never even raised my voice before. But as I watched his fist land another blow on my already purple leg.  Finally I’d had enough and  screamed STOP! Until I had no more voice.

He pulled over on the side of the freeway and got out of the car and threw me the keys as they landed on passenger floor and without looking at me said; you drive and instead of going to the other side and getting in, just started walking. I just sat there. Numb. I’d yelled so loud I felt as if my throat was bleeding. But it got him to stop.  I sat there in my shorts and halter top and tried to ignore my throbbing leg.  I began coughing and crying and trying to forget what happened.  I’m not sure how long I sat there like that and then finally I limped around to the driver’s side of the car put the key in the igniton and put the car in first and merged into the traffic and stayed in the slow lane all the way home and just drove. I never saw Jack or knew where he might have gone and for the first time…. I didn’t care.

bruises

#31 Moving IN

 

diary writer

 

Dear Journal,

I am forever saying that I am sorry to you now aren’t I? I seem to be saying that a lot lately. But anywaaaay,  I KNOW that I have neglected you once again. It seems as if weeks go by in-between my entries and I have no excuses. And then I try to be really good about  remembering to keep you up to date and  after a few nights of filling pages, I get so busy again and just lose momnentum. So I am forever tying to catch you up. Now lets see…. I finally spent the weekend with Laurie at her dorms and we had a blast. Jack wasn’t too happy about it but I really needed a break. Now that I have given in, he knows that he has nothing to worry about! I mean of course I would never have gone that far if I hadn’t expected “forever” so he knows that I’m not going anywhere and that I have a feeling that he feels more secure. But even still, I’m not sure why it is always so hard for him to understand that I need my space and yet can still love him? Anyway we had a blast. Her roomate was home for the weekend so we had the room to ourselves and we caught up and shopped and ate out a LOT and saw a couple movies. It was so fun and felt like old times.

girls shopping

The biggest news that I have to tell you is that we found a place!! I think that I might have told you about it last time. Well, we got it. When I drove by, it was this little blue craftman’s style house that had a bunch of kid’s toys out in front. It was so perfect. When the landlord told me that we had to wait to see it, I just thought I’d die waiting. The family had just been transfered to Kentucky and weren’t moving out until the following week. But when we were  finally  able t0 coordinate our schedules Jack and I met the landlord there who’d was just finishing up painting and we signed the lease that day!

IMAG0750951307538737969

 

 

And Oh my it is wonderful! It has a wonderful bay window and wood burning fireplace and built in Shelves in every room. The master bedroom has a wall to wall built in dresser that was made with such detail and beveled glass cupboards. The bathroom has a wonderful footed bathtub and out in back there is this darling work shed that even has a great work bench just waiting for all of Jack’s many projects that I can’t wait for him to start!

shedshed inside

 

 

 

Since then we have been moving in. Well, Jack has. He says that it is our house but of course I still go home at night. But I am there when he gets home from work or sometimes when he wakes up! Depending on the day. We both have keys and he has let me shop for and arrange  the furniture however I like. It has been so fun papering the cupboards with contact paper and buying dishes and towels because he needed just about everything right down to a laundry basket.

contact-paper-2shelves empty

 

The other day I was out gardening in the back yard and met the most wonderful neighbors. Jess and Louise said that they are in the process of looking for a farm in Missouri where they’d like to retire and said that they are back and forth sometimes.

garden

I’d cleared a lot of weeds out of the backyard and started a Victory Garden and they raved about it and  invited me over for iced tea so I washed my hands and went around to the front where they welcomed me on their wrap around porch with swing and all! Oh and they have the cutest little puppy named Mopsy and she really does look like a little black mop. I think that their house may even be more charming than ours. They have three bedrooms and each one has a big brass bed in it with Amish Patchwork Quilts on each one! Their kitchen has been updated but to the year that the house was built in the early 1920s. They have the most amazing bay windows with built in window seats that I want Jack to see so he can try to duplicate in our little front bay window!

porch swing

Jack came home and my car was out front and when I was no where to be found, he was pretty upset and was waiting for me when I came back through the gate. He said that I left the house “wide opened” which I didn’t. And I told him that I could see pretty much everything from their dining room window. Which didn’t make him happy either. “So they can see right into our house?” “Not really, well yeah kinda.” I  had to tell him in case he ever went over there and saw for himself!

Jack brooded for a while. And went out to work in his shed but by the time I’d made dinner and called him back in, he seemed to have snapped out of it. and we ended up having a good night.

I promise that I’ll be back tomorrow to catch you up some more!

K

 

 

 

#27 Steep Hills

Dear Journal,

Catching up again… after some missing pages…

Luckily my Senior Year only had one class  I actually had to physically attend. All  the others were Independent Study Classes like this one or Work Experience that already had given me enough credits to graduate early. I just needed my Government credits and finally recived them! Sooo, I am officially out of School!!!! No ceremonies or anything, though I do have the option of walking with my class. I probably won’t. I just needed my days free. Yaaay! Which is a good thing because I’ve had to spend a lot of time helping Jack deal with his mom. He had a heart to heart with her and found out that she’d been hiding something.  After a lot of crying and not making sense we finally  learned that the reason for her suicide attempt was because Richard moved out.

hospital pic

He signed everything over to Jack’s mom and just wanted out. The note said that he was tired of the fighting.  He left it all, their gorgeous home on Country Road, his family business. He even sold his boat in the Marina and took that money and just left in his jaguar. So far he hasn’t contacted anyone and Liz just kind of flipped out . I’m not sure, he even knows that she was in the hospital. I think that when she realized he was really gone, it made her snap out of her self destructive fog and take control again. She’s been back to work for a while now and sadly had to put her house on the market and we’ve been looking at places for her.

house for sale

We got through Christmas and I’m really looking forward to working at the Speech Center in a few weeks. Which brings me to my next piece of news! Since I will be driving an hour a day to work, Jack and my dad surprised me with a new car for Christmas. Well, new to me.  With Lonnie starting sports, my mom really needed her car more and if you remember me telling you that my dad told me that for my eighteenth birthday he’d match anything I made last summer. We’d been looking for several months past my birthday until Jack found this little Fiat and took my dad to see it. My dad said it was an early Christmas present and wouldn’t take my money! He and Jack went together to buy it and I guess it was this horrible green color when they found it but for my gift,  Jack paid to get it painted Canary Yellow. My favorite color. He was so excited to give it to me and so my dad let him be the one to surprise me with it. I think the whole thing really bonded them.  Jack was so impressed with my dad’s negotiation skills. He kept re-telling me the story over and over again about how they almost walked out and how he was so sure that it was over  until the salesman called them back.  My dad seems to enjoy hearing Jack tell the story too.

yellow fiat

 

The only thing that upset me was that it is a stick shift! My heart kind of fell when I went out and saw that. But I didn’t want to ruin the moment. I actually kind of would have liked to pick out my own car period. Do I sound ungrateful?  I already can feel the tension imagining Jack or my dad for that matter, trying to teach me how to drive it! They both aren’t the most patient teachers. We have been out a few times and Jack yelled at me and told me that I was going to strip the gears. But he makes me so nervous. We had a horrible fight during my last driving lesson. He couldn’t seem to understand why I was having such a hard time catching on since I already could drive but I was freaking out on the hills.

police stopping car

A police man pulled us over and he told me to let him do the talking. But I was in the driver’s seat and the officer was talking to me. It just seemed stupid to stay quiet and let Jack lean over so I told him that I was sorry but I was just learning how to drive a stick and gave him my license. He let me go with a warning but Jack and I traded seats. He yelled at me all the way home. My parents were out of town and we’d planned a nice evening alone. But  we were both in no mood when we pulled into my driveway. He parked my car and screeched off and I ran inside. Sometimes I think I hate him!

spitfite green in rain

The next morning was Saturday and  I woke up at 3 AM and tiptoed down the stairs with my keys. I know that what was scaring me was the traffic and so I figured that at that time of the morning I would be alone on the road and I was. I drove all the way to Manhattan Beach and drove all the way home taking every steep street I could find until I mastered stopping and starting on a hill.  I was so happy when I got home because I knew that I really had gotten the concept down.

steep hills 2

I’d totally forgotten our fight as I ran into the house to answer the phone. I still had my keys in my hand and a big old smile on my face when I heard Jack’s voice ask”Where were you!?! I looked at the time and saw that it was almost 9:30.  I was so happy that I’d learned how to drive and there was nobody at home to tell so I told him,”I taught myself to drive!”

Boundaries Journal #26

shower7

 I got up the next morning and went to school. I think maybe I’d slept two hours. I stood in the shower crying. My head pounded as I dried my hair and got dressed.  I could barely think about anything while I was there. I only had two classes and then my journal class but I don’t check in with Mrs. Walker till next week.  So I could have left early and almost got in my car to drive to the hospital a million times. But it had been raining all day and I wasn’t used to driving on the freeways in the rain. And it just gave me more time to really think about everything. I knew that Jack would be thinking that I was just like everyone else running away from him when things got tough. Even though he “literally” drove me away. I realized what he was doing before we even fought about it. But I just couldn’t be the one this time to give in. I’d felt so stupid chasing him around the streets of Montery Park until I was convinced that he was actually trying to lose me. But I was prepared and nailed him when he finally tried to make the excuses that I’d already known he’d make.

spitfite green in rain

Finally last night as I pulled into my neighborhood his car was parked just inside the entrance where it was impossible to miss him. I stopped because I just didn’t want to make a scene in front of my house and my dad was home this week and well, he would never tolerate the way Jack tends to get. I pulled in front of him and he got out and I moved my books and he got in. I waited for him to start talking. And he started in right away about how I just fell off the face of the planet but how it was to be expected because he couldn’t count on anyone in his life.

couple in a car

I have discovered in dealing with Jack, when he gets like that, the best way to handle him, is to just apologize and sympathize with how he is feeling. NOT this time. I’d had it. And I’d had time to do plenty of thinking. There’d been a time when I’d even jumped on his car’s hood crying when he screeched away, trying to get him to stay and talk. Never again. I was ready.  I put my hand up to stop him. This time he was going to hear me out.

sad girl in a car

I told him that I didn’t even want to talk about what happened when I was supposed to be following him. I told him that he knew exactly what he was doing and that I didn’t know where I was going and he lost me. He started to interrupt and I held up my hand and he actually stopped talking and let me continue which I have to admit kind of empowered me. I said that I knew that it was an uncomfortable situation with his mom and that he’d always dealt with it himself and that it why when he’d come home, he’d lose his the girl and the semester. I told him that if he got it together this time, I was in it for the long haul and he wasn’t going to lose the girl. All of a sudden, he just relaxed and reached for me but I held firm and again held up my hand and he rolled his eyes and I smiled and kind of laughed. And told him that I was serious that he really did need to get his act together. That I knew he lost me because he didn’t know what else to do. But it hurt my feelings and he’s lucky I am smart enough to figure it out. But I meant it. He needed to get his act together. Then I let him in for the hug and it was different than any we’d ever shared before. It was as if we’d both grown up a little.

kissing in car

Journal Entry #12 Going Home

CAR

Dear Journal,

My heart pounded as I listened to Jack’s voice breaking as he apologized. “I am so, so sorry.” He kept saying. He finally looked up at me and started the engine. We drove several miles without a word. I am not sure if I was just making sure that we were as close to home as possible or just didn’t know what to say. I was so confused. My mind could not stop rewinding. The days’s events played over and over again in my mind and each time it made me want to get sick. My stomach churned as we wound up the hills from San Pedro to Palos Verdes and I was sure that I was going to throw up.

car couple

Just before we reached the entrance to my neighborhood, Jack turned off on a side street and parked. He still looked anguished but had gained composure. The evening fog began to roll in as he clicked on the heater. Taking my hand he held it and said that he loved me enough to say “goodbye” and how I deserved better and how he knew he had a problem that he thought he could control. That he’d messed things up with Maddie but he thought he could be stronger with me because he loved me so much, but today showed otherwise. He said sometimes he couldn’t even figure out what makes him mad, and that he seems to sabatoge everything good in his life because his mom told him that he was worthless  when he was a little boy.

My hand jerked away as I realized that he was breaking up with me! “YOU are breaking up with ME?” I wanted to scream. Though nothing came out of my mouth. During the drive home I penned many scripts in my head, all things that I wanted to say to him. I planned to break up with him! NOT the other way around! But all I could do was just sit there trying to understand everything that had happened that day. I was so cofused. The more serious he sounded the more it made me freak out. I began remembering all the times we’d shared and tried to imagine life without him and I panicked. I grabbed his leg and shouted “No!” I told him that some how we’d figure this out. I told him that I was different and wouldn’t abandonded him like Maddie did. Even though I’d fully intended to a few hours earlier. In one day I’d gone from being madly in love to wanting to break up to begging for him not to.

Jack stopped talking. I couldn’t stop crying. I pleaded with him to reconsider as if my life depended on it. And in a way it felt as if it did. I imagined his life without me and it made me more sad than picturing mine without him. He needed me! I grabbed his face in my hands and kissed his mouth and his eyes and his hair as he slowly relaxed. I began murmuring; “I will never leave you Jack. Not ever!” Finally he relaxed and we cried together. He lay his head in my lap and as I stroked his hair. It was a strange feeling. In a way I felt oddly maternal and yet it was very sexy. He seemed so trusting and I kept saying, “I will never leave you Jack, I promise, I will never ever leave you.” And I really meant it.

kissing in the car