So there’s been a pretty great response to this story so far and thank you to everyone who added it, or me, to your lists.
Many of you are worried about them cheating, and I still don’t know exactly where this is going – but I do promise that if they do cheat, it won’t be a taken lightly kind of issue. This might be fiction, but there are still morals in fiction. Blasé about infidelity is not cool.
Here’s our girl, Sookie – let’s see where she’s at mentally…
Thanks to MissyDee and BaltiK for being allstar betas!
Disclaimer – I don’t own any of these characters, Charlaine Harris does… and she’s a lucky, lucky gal.
I sit for close to twenty minutes after I hang up with Eric, just staring at my phone. I can’t fucking believe I finally found him – much less talked to him. Maybe things are finally starting to look up for me.
I’ve been looking for him for years. I don’t hang with a lot of the old crowd anymore; too much had happened between Eric and me for the closeness to remain after our split. I still have my friends from high school, and though I considered many of ‘our’ friends mine too, in the end they really were his friends. When there was no more us, there was no more them. I don’t resent any of them, nor do I harbor any ill will about it, but apparently they don’t all feel the same way about me.
No one would help me with getting in touch with him, no matter how much I begged. I finally ended up paying for one of those people search things online in order to find him – no bullshit, they work. Many of the old gang thought it was foolish for me to search him out after all this time – after all, we’re both married.
While marriage is certainly a valid reason not to go looking for an ex-fiancé, sometimes lightning strikes your world and changes your perspective on life. So when things went all flash-bang in my universe, I came to the decision that there are certain mistakes I’ve made in my life which I need to rectify before I leave this earth for good. One of these things is telling Eric everything I’ve wanted to say for so long.
I’m not sure yet how all this will play out. I’m nervous as hell and really worried about the possibility that I’ll ruin his marriage; mine’s already pretty much on death’s door so it doesn’t matter as much to me, but I don’t want to split up a happy family. Navigating these waters will be tricky, but I know I can’t live the rest of my life without laying it all on the line with him.
Simply put, life’s too short.
Am I being a selfish bitch for injecting myself into his life after all this time? I’m sure I am. I know a lot of people will probably call me all sorts of charming things for doing this, but I couldn’t give a shit. Am I setting out to be a home wrecker? No, but I also can’t find the energy to care if I end up as one – provided it’s what he wants. Again, I know a lot of folks will have staggering opinions on my attitude, but that’s the way it is.
My whole life has been about other people; my parents, my grandparents, my friends, Eric back then, Alcide, and every man after him – all leading up to my husband, Bill. Bill is a wonderful man; he’s kind and generous and has stood by me through thick and thin. But I don’t love him. Not like I should. Too much has happened between us for me to carry the love for him I once had. I still think he’s one of the best men I’ve ever met, but that doesn’t translate to passion and romance. I love him, but it’s been a long while since I’ve been in love with him.
Bill and I have decided to separate, which is how I ended up out here for at least the next two weeks. I started out visiting an old friend in San Francisco – he’s an artist and is doing quite well for himself in the bay area. Then I met Amelia and Tray in Napa for the weekend for some wine and sights. Now I’m in Sacramento, where Amelia and Tray live. They’ve offered me the garage apartment at their place, but until I’m I’ve got a firmer grip on what’s happening I’m at the Citizen Hotel on J St. Eric is in Placerville which is about an hour west from here apparently; without traffic it should be only forty minutes, but this is California so it might be more than an hour.
I’m going to fucking see him tomorrow. Holy fucking shit! Jesus, I’ll never sleep tonight.
I finally get up from the chair and go to shower before bed; I may not sleep tonight, but at least I can use the giant fucking tub to relax in. Seriously, this thing’s amazing! It’s easily big enough for four of me – or two of Eric.
Fuck, just thinking about having Eric in this tub is making me wet and anxious. He was the last man I took a bath with. Crazy right, since it was nearly two decades ago? For years I dated men that cared way more for themselves than they did for me, so taking romantic baths together wasn’t really high on their list of priorities. Then I got together with Bill and well, he’s got the sex drive of a wet-nap, so baths really aren’t an option for us. When Bill wants to fuck – which is almost never – he barely lasts five minutes as it is. I never even dared offer anything that could increase his arousal and decrease his stamina. That shit needed no help sucking royally!
I start the bath, happy to find some complementary bath salts, and strip down naked. While the tub is filling I shave my legs and groom the lady bits in the separate shower. Hey, I’m no hooker and I don’t plan on just hopping into bed with him after twenty years – but no fucking way am I going to be unprepared either! I’m sorry, but should anything happen between us there’s no way I want him thinking I’ve got Chewbacca in a headlock down there! Not. Fucking. Attractive! I was a goddess back in the day, even though I was too young and stupid to think so, now after all the bullshit of the last few years I want to look my best.
I sink down into the tub once it’s full and turn on the jets. This is fucking heaven! I just float and soak for a while, relishing in the joys of being able to take a bath again. I had gotten extremely fat for a long while there; where I once had a body that was to die for, until recently I had the body most would commit suicide if they had.
I started gaining weight in my early thirties with no real explanation. My diet and exercise level hadn’t changed, but my weight was ballooning steadily. My doctor’s favorite line was eat less; that is until the day I was diagnosed with thyroid disease. What’s so shitty about this is that for three years my weight went up and up, until there was literally two of me; I doubled my weight in a few short years. By the time I was diagnosed, the damage was done.
Then came the first surgery on my thyroid to remove the cyst. The doctors’ assured me that this would take care of the issues and I’d be good as new again. They fucking lied!
Oh, I felt better for about a year and lost all of about forty pounds; then the bullshit started right back up again with a vengeance.
I put on another forty pounds, on top of the forty I promptly gained back, and began to lose my hair in spots. Not on my legs or pits, of course, but on my fucking head. I don’t care how non-vain any bitch claims to be – losing your hair as a chick fucking blows!
So after yet another stimulating round of testing they finally decided that the remainder of my thyroid needed to vacate the premises. That’s when the real fun began, you see – both for me and my marriage.
Cancer changes everything.
You enter the hospital for a ‘routine surgery’ to remove the rest of a pretty vital freaking organ, and leave finding out that you’ve been walking around dying for a while. The only dead things that should be walking around are vampires, and since they aren’t real and I’m not one – I wasn’t fucking interested in this diagnosis!
Fuck them. Fuck that. Fuck EVERYTHING!
Needless to say, that when they say life is too short – they aren’t whistling fucking Dixie here kids! I’m happy to say that I survived, but my marriage didn’t. Bill really is a great guy, but he’s so fucking boring I want to scratch my own eyes out.
He’s twelve years my senior, and while that seemed like a great idea in theory – it fucking sucks in reality. I told myself that I was okay with him in the beginning because I was ready to settle down and he was such a stable and reliable source of love. The truth, in retrospect is that I needed something different in my life when I met him and thought he was the answer to my problems. It took me a long time, and a shitty diagnosis, to realize that he couldn’t fix me. That is my job.
I spent a lot of time working out in the months following my treatment, trying to get my body back to some semblance of what it used to be. I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am when I’m not living for someone else. I found over time that very little of whom I am at my core meshed with Bill at all.
We tried very hard for well over a year trying to make things work. We’d been together for so long, it felt criminal to just give up; he still doesn’t want to. He promises to sign the papers for divorce when I decide to serve him, but swears in the meantime he’ll be waiting for me to “come to my senses and come home.” I can’t bring myself to tell him yet that I’ll never return to him, even though I know in my heart it’s true.
I finish up in the tub – now that I’m all pruney – and get ready for bed. I pour a fat glass of wine from one of the loveliest vineyards I’ve ever seen and settle onto the couch. A little tunage on the iPod and I’m a happy bitch, and far more ready to prepare for what’s coming next.
I really am okay with the breakup of my marriage, even though it’s not officially over yet, which seems odd to many people. My best friend is perpetually single and thinks I’m a fool for throwing away someone that’s willing to stay with me. Maybe in some ways she’s right, but I’d rather be alone forever than unhappy with someone else. If you’re alone and unhappy there’s no room or reason for resentment because you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. You should never make your happiness in life dependent on another person. But if you’re with someone and unhappy then resentment breeds like cancer and takes over the soul of the relationship. It’s also not fair to use someone else just so you’re not alone; you’re just denying yourself and the other person true happiness.
I want to be happy with me. That’s what I’m looking for in life now. It’s not as selfish as it sounds, it’s just that I’ve finally come to the realization that if I’m not happy with me then no one else can be. Love yourself first and all that. It’s sound advice, as it turns out.
So what does Eric have to do with any of this in my life? Well, the funny thing about the possibility of dying young is that it makes you keenly aware of the stuff you don’t want to leave earth without saying. Eric was no saint in our relationship back then, but by no means was everything his fault either.
We were kids. Kids that were far too young to be so serious about anything, let alone spending the rest of our lives together. We were also kids who each had our own family issues which played heavily into our lives. His mother suffered horribly from mental illness and I was getting the shit kicked out of me daily.
Weren’t we a fucking pair?
I was incapable of seeing it at the time, but I really was a fairly shitty person back then. I had so little control of my own home life that I was determined to control any other aspect – and that included Eric. I wouldn’t let him do anything that didn’t involve me for fear of god only knows what. Maybe I was afraid I’d miss something, maybe it was worrying that he’d realize he’d have more fun without me. Who knows, but all I know is I was awful to him. When it was good between us, there was nothing better –ever. But when it was bad, it was beyond fucking awful.
He’d lie to me so that he could have fun with his friends. Then there were the drugs, and the lying that surrounded them. He was never a cheat – at least not that I’ve ever heard – but as bad as I was to him, I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had been.
Plus when his mom finally went completely carrot-top, ending up in the psych ward for a while, I was too concerned about me to worry about him. We’d tried to work through things, but in the end it was all just too much. We were supposed to get married in September of 1992 on our four year anniversary, but it wasn’t meant to be. I broke it off, telling him we were too young and I was tired of being lied to. I also told him that he wasn’t good enough for me and I didn’t want our kids ending up as crazy as his mother.
Yeah, I was a fucking bitch. There’s no denying it, and if I could I’d kick my own ass for ever saying that to someone, let alone someone I love so much.
It was after I started dating Alcide that I think he’d finally reached his limit. I was only with Alc for two months before accepting his marriage proposal. Admittedly, it was a pretty shitty thing to do after telling Eric we were too young.
I never married Alc and by the time we’d run our course as a couple two short years later, Eric was long gone. I always figured I’d see him again. I mean, his best friends are all still here, but it never happened.
So, I began my search about six months after I was diagnosed. Two short years later, I’ve lost the weight and feel wonderful about myself for the first time in what seems like forever – maybe for the very first time ever.
I’m not some silly bitch thinking that Eric and I are just going to rush into each other’s arms after all this time and ride off into the sunset for our happily ever after. That’s not what I’m looking to get out of this. I just don’t want to live the rest of my life and never apologize for the hurt I caused that man.
Yes, we were both kids. Yes, we were too young. Yes, it wouldn’t have worked for many reasons. But there was no denying the love we had for one another. It wasn’t some puppy love bullshit like everyone called it. I haven’t felt that strongly for someone since him.
After my second glass of wine I figure it’s probably time for bed, it’s a big day tomorrow after all. I climb into bed and go to turn off my iPod when one of ‘our’ songs comes on. Tesla sang some goodies during our day, but my favorite of theirs by far is “The Way It Is.” There’s a line in it that Eric sang to me during one of our breakups. The power of those words hits me every time I hear them.
Even though we could never seem to work things out I still love you just the same, I miss your smile and that sparkle in your eyes. You’re so beautiful, never change!
How ironic, that this is on here tonight. I’ve got like a gabillion songs on this friggin thing and haven’t heard this one in many months. Maybe it’s fate?
Whatever it is, or whatever it will be is okay with me. I’d love to be friends with Eric even if nothing romantic ever comes of this. Even if friendship is out of the question, at least I’ll know that I made peace with our past.
For the first time in my life, I’m truly happy with who I am. My life isn’t about pleasing anyone else anymore. Whatever happens tomorrow with Eric is simply what is meant to be. It is what it is, whatever way it is.
I turn off my iPod and get comfortable. As I drift off to sleep I’m certain that tomorrow is the beginning of the rest of my life.
Whatever happens, it’s all good from here.
“The Way It Is” By Tesla
Doesn’t matter who gets the best of who, or who can hurt who the most, no
It never was meant for it to be that way, never should be that way at all
The way it is, that’s the way that it goes, happenin’ day after day, yes
That’s the way it is, that’s the way that it goes
Workin’ in the strangest ways
Even though we could never seem to work things out
I still love you just the same, I do
I miss your smile and that sparkle in your eyes
You’re so beautiful, never change!
What it is, and what it was, what shall be shall be, yeah
Sometimes it happens in the strangest ways
Sometimes it’s hard to believe (do you believe?)
Do you believe, can you believe?
The way it is, that’s the way that it goes
Workin’ in the, workin’ in the strangest ways
Now it really don’t matter who, who gets the best of who
It never did and it never will, no
It never was meant for it to be that way, why must it be that way at all?
The way it is, that’s the way that it goes, happenin’ day after day, yeah yeah
That’s the way it is, that’s the way that it goes
Workin’ in the, workin’ in the strangest ways
That’s the way it is, that’s the way it is
That’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes, yeah
Yeah, that’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes
That’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes
I see it happen day after day, yeah, yeah
Now I’m workin’ in the strangest ways
Yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Can you believe, do you believe? Do you believe, can you believe?
That’s the way it is, that’s the way it is, yeah yeah yeah
That’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes, yes it do
Hopefully you all will understand a bit more of where our girl is coming from here. Maybe she should’ve left well enough alone and tried to just make her marriage work, but then again – maybe this will end up being the beginning of true happiness for them both. Maybe not.
Guess you’ll have to stick around and see. Eric’s up next – thanks for reading! Much love to you all!