What I’m about to tell you is a true story. It’s something that I believe deserves mentioning. It’s a situation that so many of us face everyday, yet we somehow blow if off and render it as an impossibility that it could happen to us.
I was 23 years old when this happened. I was young, vulnerable, and a soul who needed to feel loved. It was also a very confusing time for me, as I had only been married one year and wondered if I had made the biggest mistake of my life. You see, my husband was a big-time player back then, and he didn’t want the responsibility of being tied-down. He thought that he could come and go as he pleased in spite of my efforts to keep him at bay.
Well one day, I received a phone call at work. It was from a friend who happened to mention that a group of mutual friends, from the bar where we hung out, were going to Atlantic City that night. The plan was for everyone to meet up at the bar at 4:00 in the afternoon to take a chartered bus. As she continued talking, my mind was playing back the scene of my conversation with my husband before I had left the house that morning. He had told me that he had to do something for his father, and it would take him most of the night. I didn’t think to question him so I let the conversation drop and headed out the door. But as my friend continued to talk, I began to suspect that I had been lied to and that he would be joining the group who were going out that night.
My instincts couldn’t be ignored any longer, and I did what I felt was necessary to catch him; I left work early. He had no idea that I was on my way home, so when I got there, I quickly changed my clothes, grabbed my car keys, and headed over to the local pub. As I was driving, my heart was pounding through my chest. I was so determined to catch him that I was weaving in and out of traffic--I even went through red lights. As I approached the block of the bar, I could see in the distance the silver bus parked in front, and next to it, the large crowd waiting to board. I knew this was going to be it. I pulled my car over and quickly jumped out. I ran toward the group and right there, right before my eyes, was my husband chatting away with one of the girls. The line was moving quickly onto the bus, and he and the girl were almost near the door when I called out to him.
"Don’t even try it!"
He spun around, and upon noticing me, displayed a dropped jaw and bulging eyes. He was cold busted.
"Where the hell do you think you’re going?" I continued. He stepped off the line and walked toward me.
"What?" he said.
"You heard me. Where do you think you’re going?"
"I’m going to hang out for a while," he stammered.
"You said you were helping your father tonight. So you lied?"
He turned to look at the line getting onto the bus and then turned to look at me.
"I didn’t lie. My father said that he didn’t need any help, so I figured I would go with my friends. What’s the big deal?"
I could only stare into his face. I felt hurt and betrayed. I began to turn to walk away.
"So you’re mad?" he called out.
I stopped walking to look back to him. "You get on that bus, and I’m calling a lawyer."
"Oh, great. Okay, fine. I won’t go. You’re a bitch," he said.
I kept walking.
"What? No snappy comeback?" he called out.
I wouldn’t turn around. I opened my car door and got in. As I put my key in the ignition, I looked into my rearview mirror. He was getting into his car which was parked on the corner behind me. And that’s when the chase began.
As he pulled out of his spot, I pulled out of mine. I banged a U-turn to follow him. He went down one street, I went down the next street to cut him off. We met up on the adjoining avenue. When he saw me, he stepped on the gas and made a hard left down the next street. Oh yeah, I yelled out. Can’t lose me. And as the chase continued, with him trying to get away from me and me cutting him off at every turn. That's when it suddenly occurred to me that I was running after someone who didn’t want to be caught. I was trying to catch up to someone who didn’t want me around. The revelation was mind-blowing. It was huge! I wanted to love someone who didn’t want to love me back.
As this truth unfolded within my mind's understanding, I began to feel stupid. I felt the harshness creep into my stomach and the numbing sensation up my spine. I felt like I didn’t belong and that perhaps I never did. I pulled my car over to the nearest empty spot and turned it off, and just stared out the window. The only thing I could hear was the bare whisper of my own stupidity leaving my lips. Val, he doesn’t want you. Stop chasing him.
I must of sat there for fifteen minutes before I could even see clearly. I could feel the moistness forming around my eyes and a sinking feeling in my chest. Yes the truth was hardcore. It was devastating, but most of all, it was real. I turned on the ignition and pulled out of the spot and went home.
Sometimes the truth is the most terrifying of fears that we must face. It can break our spirits. It can be so painful. It can make us curl into fetal positions wishing we had never been born. It was that day when I learned that you can’t make someone love you when they just don’t.
©Valentine deFrancis 2008 All rights reserved