The One That Got Away: A True Love Story
© Copyright 2020 by Dixie Jade
Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash
My story is not unlike many others. A journey down a far too familiar road. Anyone who has walked it knows that every day can become a challenge. One day at a time I suppose-- or at least that's what they keep telling me.
It's been 134 days since I've seen him, my world, my all, my one true love. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss him or think about him often. Not a day goes by that I don't remember what it was like. What it was like before I let my one true love go.
Some people will never get to experience this type of love. Which, to be honest, is for the best because in the end, a love like this does more harm than good. Its kind of like scratching a mosquito bite until it bleeds, or popping that same pimple multiple times. I know I should just leave it be but I can't-- its so painfully gratifying.
His presence haunts me. I can still smell him. His strong scent is unmistakable, like that of gasoline or sour milk. The pungent aroma hits my nose, like sniffing a line of ground pepper that burns going down my throat. When it's over I'm left with a foul taste in my mouth for what feels like eternity. I know he's no good for me and I know he's disgusting. But still I yearn for him. How quickly I forget these things when I think of him now.
I remember when our love affair started. I had just had my heart broken by a guy I really thought I loved. The pain was unbearable. They've always told me that if I love something, let it go. A concept far easier said than done. Nothing more than candy coated bullshit. Those people are probably the same people who never part with anything. Telling someone to let go of that which they love is like telling them to perform open heart surgery, on themselves, standing in front of a mirror, with no anesthetic or anything for the pain. No one in their right mind would ever consider doing something so absurd. But sometimes it becomes absolutely necessary and out of desperation we find ourselves standing there with a marker in one hand and a table of surgical tools at our side. I never understood why people were willing to go through such lengths for love until I experienced it for myself. I put the cold knife up to my chest, pressed it against the dotted line I had drawn on my bare skin only a moment prior and just before I made the first cut-- he appeared.
His love was unlike anything I had ever felt. The kind of love that could pull someone from a burning car to save their life. At a time when I was on the verge of giving up, he came to me. His warm embrace would sooth my sadness, ease my pain. An embrace so warm that it could start a fire in a violent blizzard and stay lit in the middle of the ocean. I found such comfort in knowing that even in the darkest of days, he'd be there, shining a light. It was as if nothing else mattered anymore. My world began to revolve around him.
We went everywhere together. On those rare occasions we didn't, I knew he'd already be there, waiting for me-- all dressed in black. His elegant attire made him damn near impossible to resist. It didn't matter how many times I had seen him before, I always got a little excited. Especially when he would start to sweat. Despite his horrible smell, nothing made me desire him more than when I looked over at him and a single bead of sweat had begun to slowly drip down his neck-- I needed him. I wasn't the only one. He was the object of many people's affection, I knew that and It would've been foolish to assume otherwise. Normally this would bother me, but given the circumstances, I knew I didn't have a choice-- my need for him far exceeded my need to be the only one. He was no good for me but it was too late. I let things go to far. He had consumed me just as much as I consumed him.
Like many love affairs, our relationship began to grow cold, I began to grow bored. His love was not enough, I needed more. I began exploring other options hoping that one of them would be able to make me feel as he did in the beginning. I yearned for that feeling so bad. I became desperate. It wasn't long before I began involving his friends into our affairs, but this only made my need stronger. Everyone saw it-- everyone but me. He was going to lead me into an untimely demise, him and all his friends. I became powerless. Powerless against the vice like grip he had on me. No longer was able to hide my shame, my defeat, my desperation.
It took him less than one year to tear down what I had spent years building up. I lost everything. At one point I didn't even know who I was anymore. The aching hole in my heart combined with my guilt, my shame and the embarrassment I felt, had became unbearable. I'd let my entire life slip through the cracks and into my glass. And just like that, it was gone. Gone before it could even melt the ice. How I missed my life before him. I would've given anything for it back but I knew it would never be the same. I Just had to accept it, accept the monster I had become. There was no escaping it.
I had just about given up and then I felt it. That little strand of hope that had been hiding in the back of my mind was now dangling right in front of my face. It tickled my nose as the faint wind pushed it around, much like that of a feather or the loose fur of a long haired cat. It was there only briefly before that same wind blew it away-- but it was enough. I suddenly remembered all that I had given up for him. Clouded memories of the things I had walked away from became vividly clear and I realized what I'd done. Tears streamed down my face and crashed onto the ground like a hole in a well built dam. The weight of my sorrow brought me to my knees. It was in this moment that I knew change was possible, or so I thought. I needed him, now more than ever.
As I sat there wallowing in the misery of my life, I began to realize that it wasn't that he made me feel good, it was that he made me numb-- and that was just as gratifying. Everything inside of me was mangled and torn to pieces. Whatever was left in tact needed to be preserved and protected if I were to survive. So once again I built my wall, this one stronger than the last. That wall had been torn down so many times that it was hard to tell it's pieces from the pieces of my broken heart. The only fragments that were the slightest bit recognizable were the tiny pieces of my mind. Like shards of shattered glass, they glistened. Even the dimmest of light would bounce off of them and reflect against the darkness that was my soul. I couldn't afford to lose anymore of myself and if I was going to avoid anymore sadness I would have to give up joy. Numb was the only option.
Despite everything I continued to see him, sometimes his friends too. It felt different, I felt different-- I felt. All the numbness he had coated me with no longer worked. Panic and anxiety rushed over me. Suddenly I felt like the ninth inning batter, full count and a tied score. There was nothing anyone or anything could do to help me through this, it was all riding on me. The only way I was going to win was if I knocked the ball out of the park. If I didn't I'd lose the game. My entire team was counting on me, depending on me to lead them to victory. I couldn't live with myself if I let them down-- again. The only option I had was to pick up my bat and swing.
Life gives us very few true “fight or flight” moments. What we chose will define the next chapter in our life. I knew that if I didn't take that swing I would regret forever. My heart began pounding and my hands started to sweat. I couldn't help but worry that the bat was going to slip from my hands after I swung. All I could hope for was that no one got hurt. Even if I struck out, I knew that they would see my efforts and I found comfort in that. So I took a deep breath, mounted the plate and lifted my bat. Once again I felt it, that little strand of hope. Only this time it wasn't so little, and with it were strands of confidence and a fixed determination to succeed.
I watched the ball as it flew towards me at blazing speed and without hesitation I swung – crack! The bat cracked and the ball flew, far. Victory had become mine. Everything changed that day. No longer would I be controlled by the man all dressed in black-- he was going to have to find another victim. Shouldn't be hard for him, after all, he is Jack Daniels. People everywhere line up for the opportunity to be in his presence; he won't even notice that I'm gone.
was born and
raised in the beautiful Southern California where I still reside
today. My parents have been married for almost forty years and their
story is the kind of love story most people only get to see in a
Hollywood romance. My story is quite different. Like something out of
a horror film. But all the darkness and all the pain is what gave me
a story to tell.