Updated: Jun 18, 2019
I can still hear the song playing on our first date, and him singing it quietly. We were at an Italian restaurant in the main part of town, where all the shops and restaurants were. “I love rock and roll” came on, and it’s the first time I ever knew what they were actually saying in the line “put another dime in the jukebox baby.” I can still see his laugh when I asked what they were saying. I can hear his rasp as he sings it. It is forever ingrained in my memory.
Memories like that will destroy you when a wound is fresh. And a broken heart will make the worst ideas seem rational. Much like the ideas I had at the time.
Q was a marathon runner, so my vengeance plan was to train to run a marathon, go back, outrun him, make him miss me, and walk away. My best friend from high school, Christi, and I started running together every night. It was my only way out of the house for the most part. We would head up to the local elementary school in the evening to run. She had been a cross country runner, so she pushed me. I had always loved running, but didn’t do long distances. It was the only freedom I got at the time, and I loved every second.
Many will probably wonder why I didn’t just leave, considering that I was 18. But my parents really had me over a barrel. My dad’s name was on my car, which meant he could sell it without me. They wouldn’t let me have my keys, so I couldn’t just leave in it. And I wasn’t allowed to work, so I had no money. Truth be told, I had nowhere to go either. Most of my friends were away at college.
It was sometime right before Christmas when I got on my parents’ good side enough to get my keys back, and go get my job back at Ruby Tuesday’s. It was another month before I just left. One Wednesday night in mid January, when they were at church and thought I was at work, I showed up with friends and got my stuff, and went to live with Christi until I could get my own apartment a few months later. She had moved in with her grandfather, and there was an extra room. We helped him pay his bills while we got on our feet.
It was during this time frame that I gave up the idea of going back to college on my own. I realized that without scholarships or a place to stay, surviving on my own 8 hours from home would be nearly impossible. My head realized the truth, but I don’t think my heart ever fully gave up hope. Not even when I moved on in the dating world did I forget. I think my heart knew it needed a real end, one that wouldn’t come for many years. Q eventually stopped writing in his blog, and this was before social media got big. So he all but disappeared.
Shortly after I moved out, I met louisiguy, an army guy from my home town, stationed in Louisiana. He was home on leave visiting his mom, and the girl I was soon to be getting an apartment with, Ali, knew him from school. He was planning to get out and come home within the year. So we exchanged numbers and kept in touch even after he left.
To see where this story started: