Handsome, tall, well spoken. An Army Veteran of 21 years who became a Chef after his time in service. Owning and operating his own catering business for over 10 years. A real gentleman: You know the kind who walks on the outside of the sidewalk to protect her from potential harm. Active outdoors and not afraid to try something new.
Beautiful, tall, well spoken. A Marine Corps Veteran. A strong woman, a woman of deep faith despite the PTSD from her initial church experiences! A loving Mom who raised 2 step children as her own. Never quite ready for a new adventure but willing to try!
The girl and the boy meet at the VA and he asks her out. She says yes. Both nervous and excited they decide on a walk at the Arnold Arboretum as their first initial date. She comes ready with camera in hand to get some great shots of the nature she’s about to experience. He comes dressed for winter as it is a cool day in December.
He is encouraged by her enthusiasm of the outdoors and her willingness to roam the often-hilly terrain and off the beaten path to explore the complex landscape. She decides to trust him and venture out to this new place, this new experience full of joy and hope. Taking pictures is natural for her. He is fine with that as long as he is not in the picture. As insecurities go he did not like pictures of himself!
After that initial date there was a visit to his place. Not a short drive there and back but a nice day getting to know her new friend. After that he would come down to visit her at her place. Having Chase, a very handsome and special retired from racing and adopted Greyhound made it nicer for him to visit her rather than the long drive to his place.
The girl being divorced now for over 9 years and not meeting anyone who struck her fancy was overjoyed. He being close to marriage once many years ago seemed equally pleased.
Thus, this relationship began. Getting to know each other was scary to the point of sweating palms and racing hearts. Both had relationship trauma in their past. It was also often times exhilarating to the point of sweaty palms and racing hearts. Only a few weeks into this barely established relationship the topic of marriage was discussed and agreed upon.
Because he rented and she owned they made her place their home base. They started to venture into ways to improve her home. Insulating pipes, painting, upgrading certain things. Then there was the big decision to remodel the bathtub area.
He was cooking delicious meals: Steak, shrimp, wings that tasted better than anything she’d had before, and other creations she never would have thought about pulling together like ground beef with onions and potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce. And the best ever crab cakes! Used to simple meals of yogurt or grape nuts this was beyond her wildest dreams. Her own personal chef!
Sure, there were things lacking but they seemed to be communicating on a real personal and deep level. There was an understanding of their pasts and a desire to press on with this exuberant relationship. There was talks of vacations, dreams shared and visions for the future. Love was in the air!
There was the churning on the inside when she was apart from him. There was an ache to be with him all the time. To relish in his scent and enjoy the gentle kisses on her willing lips. The way he held her face in his silent hands. She knew he was the one!
Or was he?
The fantasy bubble burst! Reality struck hard and chilling! Who was this man? How could he say that?!? What happened to her gentle giant? The strong man she wrapped her arms around? Crushed, she tried to reason with him; but he had changed. And this new man was scaring her. A man from her past would often times drive really fast then slam on the breaks to scare her. Now he was driving fast and furious. But this was not about the driving fast. It was about so much more. This was the loss of a friendship, a dream, a vision, a future they both had envisioned! A tale that could have had a happy ending, but most likely not; because of one word. Maybe the most important word in a persons’ life. A word that brings dreams to pass and secure futures to hold onto. That one word, “respect”!
. . .
Of course I wanted this relationship to work. Physically I am fine. Emotionally, however, I am suffering. There is a brokenness in me that is so deep and haunting that it will need time to heal. My heart has been crushed. Yet I see a future; a future better than with him and for that I am grateful that “it’s all over now!”