I saw you.
Leaving the football field after a Sunday afternoon game, you were leaning into the back of a Jeep,
you still drive a Jeep
putting something in the back. I didn’t see what it was. All I saw were your eyes under the ball cap. The eyes that met mine for only a few seconds when you did a double take. Did you recognize me? Or did you just think I was pretty?
you did twenty five years ago
I knew it was you. It is very hard to forget the eyes of the man I once thought was the love of my life
you broke me
and ended up being the person I feared most in this world.
I don’t remember when the switch flipped and you started saying the most vile things to me, or the first time you hit me. I hated lying to people about the bruises, especially my own parents,
did they believe I really hit myself in the eye with the car door
but I did. Every time.
We should never have started drinking again. Life was good when we were sober. But then we were never sober and life was bad.
so very bad
I don’t know why you didn’t trust me. I don’t understand why you acted as if you hated me.
I loved you
Do you remember slamming my head into the dashboard,
driving down the highway like a mad man, threatening to beat the shit out of me when we got home because it was what I deserved?
Do you remember screaming at me, so close to my face the hate in your spit burning my skin?
Do you remember the day I left you?
And still we continued with the insanity of coming and going, drinking and drugging, loving and leaving, both of us inflicting pain on one another, vengeful and sick. Until the day came when the papers were signed
the damage was done
and I was broken. I stayed broken for five years.
that felt like eternity
Did you recognize me?
I hope so
Did you see that I survived?
The man walking next to me across the lot? He is the love of my life. He found me
and I found him
and taught me that love doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t leave bruises and it doesn’t bring shame.
this is what I deserve
These children walking with us? Yes, they are ours and they bring light to my life every single day.
no more darkness
As I stood at the open car door I looked up one last time and know I was not the only one broken.
I forgive you.