Making It

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Another glass of merlot and 8 cigarettes later, I am pondering the idea of marriage. I am just another character in the over-written chick lit genre of stories. Smitten with good looking, rich men, and forever trying to impress them. Somehow, I think, legitimate womanhood has escaped ‘girls’ like me.

Submitted: August 03, 2008

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Submitted: August 03, 2008

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Chapter 1
Another glass of merlot and 8 cigarettes later, I am pondering the idea of marriage. I am just another character in the over-written chick lit genre of stories. Smitten with good looking, rich men, and forever trying to impress them. Somehow, I think, legitimate womanhood has escaped ‘girls’ like me.
My story begins with nothing traumatic or unusual. I grew up white, upper-middle class, and skinny. Skinny was always the important one. I coat my insecurities with heavy layers of mascara and a perfect thin line of jet-black eyeliner. I pull off the glamorous look so famously, I sometimes convince myself.
Today, I throw on a pair of rumbled linen pants I paid too much money for and pull my newly blond streaked hair in a messy up-do. Must see Sarah tonight. She is my dearest friend and I haven’t seen her in weeks. Mike is to blame for this. She is another victim in the hapless world of pleasing men. Gave up cocktails with the girls and found several numbers deleted from her phone because he owns property. Controlling men. Jealous men. Violent men. We all know them and have spent too much time trying to change them. Maybe I’m finally getting real. Maybe it’s growing up. I’m newly single, which altered my perspective. But, either way … I still believe in the fairy tale damn-it! I am a captivating princess awaiting the heroic rescue from a prince. Then the dryer chime goes off and I am spun back into a reality of household chores and teaching special ed.
I reluctantly ventured to watch Mike play softball in order to see Sarah. The wind prevented my pink lighter from properly working and the air felt like it could burst into a downpour at any moment. I am surrounded by white trash babies who have babies and guys drinking bud light. I think of Kyle. I think of Matt. Jeff calls. Ezra calls. I am reminded of the fact that I am painfully single. Sarah and I play catch up over the past month and retreat to our separate worlds with plans sometime ‘soon’.
Let’s begin with Kyle. Girl night at a hip bar was barely underway when a seemingly idiot approached our table. Serenaded us with the usual pick up lines and bought us a round. I spoke to him to humor myself and gain the illustrious male attention. He was a stock broker. Now an accountant. Ok, my attention may have peaked at this news. It should be noted that his eyes were as blue as the ocean at dawn. We chatted about nothing and abandoned him for a bar with a dance floor. He followed us. I ended up drunk on the patio listening to his battle wound stories called life. He phoned two days later. The DTR (define the relationship) talk is currently eluding us. I’m smitten by the charm of white teeth and intelligent conversation.
This brings me to the other ‘callers’. Jeff is a friend of a friend. Shortly after wooing me with ciante and Italian food, I arise to a sunning bouquet of stark white daises. I killed them. Not from lack of trying I assure you. I watered them. Twice. They got in the way on the mornings I frantically paced to arrive at work on time. The victims of tired feet rushing to find the right shade of blush. Yes, I never put them anywhere special. They made it on the floor between my bed and dresser. I gather my feelings for Jeff must be sub par. As I look at the wilted brown flowers now, I can’t help but think I may not be ready for this.
Ezra was never anyone. A drunken Irish Jig at the dive bar. I ignored the message from him four days later. Convinced that someone named Ezra could not possibly be for me. I’m still hoping he forgets me and fails to place the follow up call.
Matt is, well, Matt. Never a shortage of love, but a constant state teetering between bliss and downright hate. Four years of degenerative bickering eventually eats away the soul and kills all hope. I ignored most teaching opportunities Jesus placed in front of me while we dated.
 
Chapter 2
I arose at Kyle’s this morning. Each extra minute of sleep stolen led to thoughts of loving him. Snap out of it Jessica! I assured myself I was half asleep and not really thinking. He pulled me back near him when I eventually tried to get up. Four-more-minutes I thought. Four extra minutes of bliss, watching him sleep, touching his arm, begging to be adored.
‘Thanks for coming over princess.’ he mumbled, not fully awake himself. He offered a few messy kisses on my check while pulling me into a beautiful close hug. A meek attempt to say that maybe, just maybe, he likes me.
As if that justifies driving over at 11pm to fall asleep next to a man I barely know. Stop! I know what you are thinking. We did not have sex. Not even close. This lack of sex thing seems to only further complicate matters in the staircase of my mind. Does this mean he cares for me? Does this mean he isn’t attracted to me? I know, I know. I hyper analyze all things. I can’t help it. Every action, every move, is followed by thoughts leading me through a maze. A maze that’s far too early to dictate which direction to turn.
Dear God: Lead me the right way. Help me choose your will. It’s a prayer that is becoming all too familiar. I’m a girl filled with sin in a world that shoves it down the throats of young women everywhere. Willing to sell my soul to the devil for the fleeting moment of unprotected sex. Only to pray over and over again, do not let me get pregnant. Willing to risk my innocence for a taste of fame and a shot of tequila. Ravaging my only body in order to be thin. The devil is a day to day battle in me. Each day, I pray to choose Jesus. Sometimes, I win. Other days, I must fall upon his feet and humble myself as a sinner. Most days I feel too young to face this battle. Obligation to God and a desire to secure my place in heaven motivates me. That in itself feels sinfully selfish.
I force my thoughts elsewhere. Joy and I are planning a college reunion in Winona for homecoming. We are thrilled to relive our young days, if only for a night. Joy was the wild one in college. She was the girl who could pull me on top of a pool table to dance. And when instructed to get off or make out, she chose the latter. A beautiful blue eyed blond with a misleading innocent smile. She is truly captivating. We all thought she was going to chose the wrong road of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. Oh how did little Joy amaze us. She will be the first to be married. Settled and accomplished, she is beginning to form the life all young girls dream of. I wash the stinging down with a vodka/lemonade. It was supposed to be me!
Chapter 3
Days later and Kyle is proving to be more than a fling. I take the leap and bring him to my parents lake house. We boat with my dad, jet ski with the 4 year old cousin, and eat a make shift dinner with the family. Maryanne adores him. He is suddenly her favorite and I, a girl, am swept into oblivion.
He tells me he loves me. Suddenly! Or, maybe not. In a drunken haze days earlier I reveal “I love you, Kyle!” I regret it instantly. While walking in Uptown after meeting his friends, he grabs me and confesses he loves me. I can’t deny that I love him any longer. I’ve known this ‘boy’ three weeks and I love him. Something feels right. Unexpected, yet how it’s supposed to be. Visions of a life with him sweep through me and I declare to myself ‘this is what I want’. This is it Jessica! The one.
I am insane. Or some borderline diagnosis away from it. That I am sure. I can’t control these feelings and they are unlike anything I’ve ever felt. We talk for hours about life, the future, and trips we want to take. I am enamored. I scare myself these days. This is not the strong independent Jessica I set out to be. Yet, he finds me captivating, alluring, and beautiful. I find myself simply smitten.
I invite him to meet Elisa at a semi-pro wrestling match. I’ve been wanting to see Elisa’s boyfriend, Justin, wrestle for months. He is pleased to escort me to such an event. We are the best dressed people there. First Ave. Elisa points out the mild smell of mold in the air. Kyle doesn’t notice and claims he is happy to be spending time with me. We giggle during the cheesy take downs and cheer Justin on.
The next evening I have a birthday party I obligated myself to. He meets me there after his homerun hitting softball game. He meets Rachel, Eric, Sarah, and Tiffany. They adore him. He joins in the festivities immediately and is a hit. I receive a text message shortly after he arrives. It reads: I like him. Tiffany thinks she’s discrete, but I am beaming and show him. I head to the bar to buy us all a round. The bartender places the drinks on a pizza tray. As I distribute them to my friends, the tray becomes lopsided and the remaining drinks crash against the concrete. Kyle laughs. I laugh. I’m a smart girl with glimpses of blond deep inside. Later, he will admit he likes this about me.
Meanwhile, Sarah is heartbroken.
On a lazy Sunday night, we play cribbage. We are tied 1-1 and make grand plans of many rematches to come. He writes me a love note during the game. It speaks of my beauty and our fun times. I can’t shake the way he treats me. Weeks later, we dive into competitive cribbage matches on another gloomy Sunday. He wins 2-0. I feel defeated. I don’t like to lose to boys. Especially not Kyle. As the hours of cuddling on the couch pass, we retreat to my room to read together. He laughs about the politics of chimpanzees while I scribble notes on behavior management. We are dorky intellectuals masked by stylish clothing. We joke that the papparattzi must be after couples like us to photograph and write trashy articles about. It humors our narcissistic side. We think we are oh so funny. And we are.
Chapter 4
Months later and I couldn’t be bothered to keep the detailed, frantic writing up to par. Dates are a blur and no longer seem worthy of noting. It’s the middle of September. He sends me a text message while I work. Simply stating: “I would like to take you to dinner”. I am flattered. He talks with his sister and comes up with a Thai place in Saint Paul. We order summer drinks and wine. We wait for our food while beaming with smiles and recounting our day. The appetizer arrives. Beautifully laced with some sort of leaf. I take a bite. “Umm”, I coo. All the while, chewing and chewing and chewing. The waitress comes. I am still chewing. Kyle politely inquires about the leaves. She informs us they are garnish. I blush with embarrassment and discreetly spit it in a while cloth napkin. I am dying at the though of eating garnish. We are laughing loudly. I hope the camera’s aren’t watching this one.
It’s sometime between fall and summer. The nights are chilly and the days long. The bliss, it is all to fleeting. You see, this kind of love can’t sustain across time. It takes energy and effort. It takes never saying the wrong thing, never looking the wrong way, never forgetting. And we’re all just people. Just walking around, just waiting to make a mistake. It’s human. It’s the only possibility. We hold on, we hold on all winter long. We ice skate, we embrace the holidays, we skip Valentine’s Day (which is a sign, by the way), we forget. Life takes over. Real life. The weight of it all bears down, hard. The lightness, oh the lightness slowly floats away. So slowly we don’t see it. I feel it. But, I don’t see it. It’s too slow, it’s a glacier. An enormous, life crushing glacier.
He was born on the fourth of July, which I also took as a sign. Fireworks are the most romantic thing in this entire universe. My most loved moments in this world belong to fireworks. It’s our best weekend together, ever, hands down. The details no longer matter. It’s all a blur of memory. We boat, we four-wheel, we have fun. We are us again. But, the holes are begin to become visible in the vast peripheral. We hold on for a while longer, almost a year. Then, he quietly slips away into the space one holds for remembering and suffering. Soon, this will begin anew. He will have a different name and wear a different suit. But, my story will continue.
 


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