An Old Boyfriend Comes Back
| "You know most people lurk at night in black, not plaid!" I told the man standing in front of my house. He looked at me, pain filled his eyes but he said nothing. He just kept looking at the house, I knew what he wanted in there. "If you go up and knock on the door, she would be happy to see you."
"How do you know who I am?" He looked at me, as if he didn't know who I was. Even though we hadn't been formally introduced, we both knew who the other was. We were bonded by something that no two men should ever share in common. "Never mind, don't answer that. I won't insult your intelligence if you don't insult mine."
"Joe, just go talk to her. You already know how it'll end but then you can stop stalking the house and move on with your life," Many nights I had almost called the police, until I figured out who the man was watching my house. Once I knew that we weren't in any danger I let it go, until that fateful night. "She would love to know what happened to you at the very least. Plus I'm sure that she has things to say to you."
"I'm not sure that I want to know what she has to say Chris. I'm not a strong man like you, she deserves better than me." Joe shrugged his shoulders and started to walk away. The door to my house opened, and Trisha appeared in the doorway.
"Chris, are you out there? What are you doing?"
"Is that Joe walking away again? Joseph come in and say hi! I've missed you." It was hard to miss the hurt tone in her voice. Part of me wanted to wrap my arms around her and part of me wanted to strangle her for still being hurt after all of these years.
"I really have to go, Trish. I'm sorry I can't do this!" He walked away faster but Trisha was not a woman that you said no to. I had learned that a long time ago.
"You turn around right now and get back here. You are not walking away from me again, at least not without telling me the reason that did it the first time. You owe me at least that. If it weren't for Chris I would have called the cops weeks ago when I noticed someone in plaid staking out my house."
"Your husband is a very nice man. You ended up with the life that you deserve, something that I could never give you." The porch lights of our neighbors started to turn on, and more than anything I wanted to take this inside of my house, where we could have some privacy. "He loves you, provides for you, and protects you."
"Come on in and have some coffee before you go on your journey again. You guys can clear the air and get everything out on the table."
Reluctantly he turned around and headed towards the house. Trepidation was written across his face. He wasn't the only one nervous about what was going to happen, while I knew most of the story about what happened, there were parts that I just didn't want to know.
The story as it had been told to me was that they were high school sweethearts. Joe had given her a ring and promised that one day they would get married. After the prom, he took her to a no tell motel. Trisha lost her virginity that night. When she woke up the next morning, she found herself alone and stranded. Joe had left her with a note saying that it was too much for to take and needed to hit the open road. He had never been heard from again.
"What brought you back to this town? I know it wasn't me, especially after the way that you left me. I always swore that if I ever saw you again, I would slap you straight into the next day." Gone was the hurt in her voice, replaced with a fierceness that was usually reserved for the PTA meetings. "I want to know right here and now why you left the way you did."
"I loved you, I really did. But I was 17 and your parents hated me. Everyone hated me, and I thought that I was doing you a favor. I never meant to hurt you, I thought that I was doing right by you." Joe turned to me to affirm what he was saying. I shook my head and decided to stay out of it. This was between the two of them. "You were destined for so much more than what I could have ever given you."
"That should have been my decision. You should have let me decide what I wanted to do, instead you took it away from me. You abandoned me and...." I braced myself for what she was about to say. It was an unspoken truth in our household. "You really hurt me. It wasn't until I met Chris that I ever opened myself up to the possibility of loving another man. You wrecked me beyond belief, and you need to answer for that."
"I'm gonna go check on the little guy.". Trisha puckered her lips, and I gave her the kiss she craved. I made my way up the stairs and found our son sitting on the top step. "What are you doing out of bed, Tiger?"
"I heard yelling Daddy. Mommy sounds upset, is she OK?" He wrapped his arms around me, and I lifted him up. He was heavy and older but I wanted him to know that he could always count on his daddy to be there for him.
"It's ok. Mommy is just talking to an old friend." I told him, as I pulled the covers over Joe's son.