Without warning, I drop to my knees. The photographs scattered. Tears cloud my vision. The flood of visual memories, assault my mind. The threat of remembering exactly why this box was tucked away bubbled to the surface.
Thunder road…where we used to park and drink and build a bonfire and gaze at the stars.
You would shower me with praise and adoration while we ate little Debbie cakes, drank Busch lite and watch the world go by.
But then, there was Casey Jo.
I watched her storm onto the scene.
Haunting the background in each of those pictures was the woman who would rain hellfire on me.
Backlit by the bonfire flames of the devil himself.
Had I known, just what a monster she was, I would have taken the bolt from your rifle that night.
it will be familiar.
like two old friends embracing
after a long separation.
it will be intense.
electric. surging thru
hands intertwined like
braided overhead power lines.
it will be lasting.
like an old time hymn
on well worn pages that is recited from memory and makes your heart sing.
it will be understood.
that your words will trace lines
on the curves of my
mind. And your lips, the curves of my silhouette.
Searing that sensation into a core memory that will never fail to spark my imagination.
I could sit and watch you for hours. Tinkering in your wood shop. Making something from
hands deftly designing and redesigning.
when I met you.
In such a short time, you have pulled back layers and unlocked doors that had long been pushed down and hidden in the darkest corners. Never to see the light of day.
and. Yet. In spite of it all.
manage to make me feel.
I slump to the floor of my one bedroom apartment. A plate of half eaten spaghetti states at me from across the room. It hits me. He didn’t even balk when he packed his things. No tears. No perceived error in his judgment. A mound of dirty laundry he left taunts me from the corner. The diamond he placed on my hand so many years ago. I thought he was the catch of a lifetime. My fingers trace dried cake batter that had dripped onto the stove at some point. I reminisced of how he would sing in the shower, off pitch, tone deaf. I had to break out of this funk. Get back on the ball. But in that moment, I saw his favorite wind up toy among the lineup of trinkets he left. I snapped. Recklessly, throwing everything left behind into his dugout canoe in front yard, I proceeded to strike the match, and watch it burn. It warmed my heart to watch those flames lick, lap up, and consume his worldly belongings, like his absence had consumed my soul.
It’s interesting how being treated well by someone really reveals how poorly others treated you previously.
it also demonstrates the high level of tolerance for things that should never have tolerated.
after Realizing the beauty that does still exist in others. I am disappointed that I lost sight of it in myself. And allowed myself to choose so much less than I deserved.
I gave others so many chances.
because my understanding of love was that It was starcrossed.
red flags were made to be fixed
indifference was to be expected
indecisiveness was learning your likes
popping up multiple times mean there was an undeniable connection.
all of it.
those who want to. Will.
those who don't. Mean they won’t. Take that at face value and let it go.
you are better and deserve more.
chase those green flags to your victory lane.
Them: You mentioned boundaries. And you are reserved and cautious. Which is okay.
Me: You laid the groundwork for that.
Growth and self worth create an insurmountable divide with those not worthy of your time and effort.
“Hey Babe? HEY BABE?” FUCK OFF…how dare you have the audacity to call me after ignoring my calls and texts for hours.
“SORRY?!! SERIOUSLY. It’s not that hard to send a simple text, even if you didn’t want to talk”
“My phone died and I charged it as soon as I got down from the tree stand”
“After nine years, I will always be second the the woods and the deer”
“Ellerie, I need you to know that you’re number one. You always have been.”
“Yeah right, Nick.”
“Elle, I mean it. I’ve messed up so many things I’m my life, but you are the one thing that makes my heart sing.”
“Awww babe. How can I stay mad at you?”
“You can’t. I wish I could see your face one last time.”
“Whaddya mean…I’ll see you in 15 min.”
“No, Elle, you won’t, I fell. And my rifle accidentally went off when I landed on the ground.
“Elle, I’m shot. And I’m bleeding. And I’m not going to make it back to you.”
“Nick! Where are you? I’ll send help…omg I’m so sorry. I love you. Where are you?”
“Ellerie. I love you with all of my heart and soul. And you were right, we should name the baby after you mother. I love you both so…”
“Nick?!! NICK!!!!!!! Noooooooooo!!!!”
*sirens coming through the open line fill Ellerie’s ears, but she’s knows it’s too late. He’s gone*
When you’ve lived decades of your existence free and open.
pouring selflessly to the point of internal drought.
And finally. You learn and set healthy boundaries.
only the foundations aren't structurally strong.
and assaults are breaching from every angle.
And you run from weak spot to weak spot to reinforce and stabilize.
But it’s more than you even want to sustain.
Because there is peace in balance.
Balance comes with boundaries.
Let the breaches breach.
Let the walls break down.
Because, while that’s happening, your boundaries are building you steps.
Rise up and take your place as the best version of yourself.
and without haste.