Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chapter 10: Say It To Me Now

I didn't spend much time with her that year.  We were still technically "together" in theory, but never together in practice.  I think there was an expiration date on the relationship.  What a terrible thought. Maybe it was inevitable. 

I don't know what we could have done differently. I'm not sure I regret that it happened, or how.  I'll tell you what I do regret. I regret not taking responsibility for what happened.  I'll tell you what I mean by that. 

I think I have to go way back again. You should probably get some context. 

You see, back before I left on my mission, things were great.  I was in love with a beautiful girl. She was in love with me. I was doing what I loved, making money at it. I didn't have a care in the world.  

Summer was great. Everything was.  Then, Reed met some girls from Vernal.  This was kind of the first domino in a huge chain of events.  This would affect my life forever.  

Reed started hanging with this girl named Rondee. She was a cheerleader from the next town over.  Reed kind of ditched a girl (Marissa) for Rondee. I don't know all those details, because I never asked, and tried to stay out of it.  But at any rate, he started hanging out with her and her friends.  

This was a big problem. Why? Because Marissa was best friends with my girlfriend at the time.  Rondee became public enemy number one.  There was some seriously bad blood between Marissa/Lee and all of these Vernal girls for I guess "stealing" Reed from Marissa.  Yeah, it was all such nonsense. I was personally glad that Reed had bailed on Marissa, because I didn't like her, and thought she was bat sh*t crazy.  Nobody took my word for that. Especially not my girlfriend.

Well, on a couple occasions, I'd be out with my buddies, and we'd be messing around in Vernal, and Reed would want to meet up with Rondee and say hi. We'd all go to Gandalfo's or Burger King or wherever, and Rondee would meet us with her friends.  

She had a friend that took a liking to me.  Her name was Darik.  I rue the day I ever met that girl.  

She was a blonde cheerleader from Vernal. Pretty cute.  Kind of interesting.  I thought we were sort of friends. She had some bad intentions.  

We would text once in a while and say what's up, etc. Not much more than that. We went to lunch one time, just a friendly thing, nothing sketch.  I even cleared it with Lee.  

Well, apparently this girl had plans to "steal" me away from my girlfriend.  That's what Lee told me. Naturally, I thought she was just being ridiculous, and tried to convince her to drop it, that there was nothing going on.  I was just being blind.  This chick had it out for me.  I thought she was attractive and interesting, but I never did anything with her.  Let me go ahead and repeat that. I NEVER DID ANYTHING WITH HER. 

There was never some secret meeting, or some clandestine rendezvous. No dinner while Lee was out of town. I went to Rondee's one time to say hi to them once. That I remember. But that's about the extent of anything. No hand holding. No extended hugs. Absolutely no kissing.  That much I can be proud of.  

I should have stopped texting her as soon as it was a problem with Lee.  I did stop a short time later. But something was already set in motion that would later really mess up my whole world. 

Within a few months, we left on our missions.  During the first month or two, this girl back home started some rumors about how we had hooked up, or something to that effect.  That rumor got back to the girl who was lovingly waiting for her missionary. It got back to Lee.  Again, I curse the day I ever met that chick. 

I'll never forget, no never, the day I walked into this internet cafe in Carahue, Chile with Elder Herker, my trainer.  I was so excited to get an email from Lee. It was the highlight of every week. I was always so eager to get there, print her email, and take it home to read.  This week, it was more like hate mail.  It was something to the effect of, "You cheated on me, and I never want to see you again". She's quite a writer, so it was a lot longer than that. But in effect, that's what it meant. I'll never forget how my heart dropped, or how I leaned my head up against the wall of the booth I was in, and cried. 

There was nothing I could do.  She was 6,000 miles away. I couldn't call her. I couldn't even technically write to her.  I tried, though. I tried to tell her it was just a lie, that I would never do that, that it was just some kind of misunderstanding.  

It was too late.  She was convinced, and I don't think she would ever be persuaded otherwise.  I'm pretty sure she still believes what she heard. I walked out of that internet cafe, wanting to go home, wanting to run and hide, wanting to disappear completely.  I felt so alone.  

I got back to the apartment, my comp took a nap, and I just started crying again.  I couldn't speak the language. I was on the other side of the world from the girl I was so in love with, who now hated me, and never wanted anything to do with me again; and the worst part, was that I hadn't done anything wrong. 

I begged God to help me, to do something. They had promised me that God would take care of the people I cared about, if I was doing his will, serving the mission.  I wanted to know why this was happening, why God would let this happen to me. I had already given up everything.  

How could he let this happen?  

My next companion, Elder Iribarra, was almost at the end of his mission.  He was Chilean, and had a great sense of humor. He knew a tiny bit of English, and although we could never really have a conversation, we were really tight.  We laughed so much.  

The weeks after Lee had written me off, I sent several long, hand written letters to her, trying to convince her of how things really were, and to not hate me or write me off.  

I can't remember everything that happened. I think I spent years trying to forget how hard it was. 

It was a long, difficult process, but somehow, she hung in there with me.  I don't think anything was ever really the same though after that.  It was always going to be something hanging over my head, forever.  It never seemed to go away. 

I went home, eventually.  We got back together, and things were okay.  Her family never seemed to forgive me for what I hadn't done.  I was always really walking on the edge of a knife around them.  

Then I went to school in Denver, and we hardly saw each other. We spoke daily, without fail.  I missed her so much. I planned to spend the summer at home with her, but I got a job on a drilling rig in Wyoming, and was stuck out there more than half of the summer.  The short time I was home, I was usually recuperating, sleeping.  

I went back to school in the fall, and there began to be an increasing tension in our relationship.  We had all the obligations of a serious relationship, and none of the benefits. We hardly saw each other, and as I was often busy studying unceasingly, I didn't always have lots of time to dedicate to speaking on the phone.  

It got very tense.  We began to treat each other terribly.  It was like we resented each other for being so far away.  

I went home for winter break after fall semester. This was December, 2010.  It was great to spend time with her, and her family. Things seemed like they had finally almost gotten back to good. I played christmas songs on the piano at her family get together, where they re enact the nativity.  Her grandma even had a set of matching pajamas for me that she had bought for all the other grandkids. 

At one point that night, Lee told me she had something serious to talk to me about, but that it could wait until after Christmas day.  

I came by on the 26th. We talked/yelled/argued/cried for a few hours.  In the end, it was over. We were breaking up.  

I think that we had been together long enough that something had to change.  It either had to take a next step forward, or be over.  That's kind of the decision I was given to make.  

I think it was important for this to happen.  I had never dated anyone else. How could I have known for sure what I wanted? I thought it would have been terribly irresponsible to jump into something I wasn't 100 percent sure about.  

I didn't want to be married and five years later wonder, "What would have happened if i had dated more?" 
No one deserves that. No woman deserves just 98% of a man's heart.  I'm afraid that's what might have happened.  

Also, I was pretty immature. There was so much I needed to learn about myself, about life, about the world, on my own.  I just wasn't ready.

A completely different aspect of why I wasn't ready, was the fact that I was paying 40,000 per year for college, and I thought it wrong to make a girl marry into that kind of debt.  Call me prideful, but I didn't want to marry a girl to babysit me and pay my monthly bills while I went to school. Maybe I'm wrong in that, but marriage is hard enough by itself without starting deep in debt.  

Long story short, we broke up.  But I made it her decision, like it was she who wanted this.  I didn't take responsibility for it.  I didn't want to take blame for the ending of our relationship.  

I think there was responsibility to share.  I'll share it now. I accept my role in the way it played out.  

We'd see each other once in a while in the following months, until about summer.  We then cut off all communication.  She needed to live her life without me in it, and I respected that. I didn't try to talk to her, or see her, or anything.  

We started talking again this past December, and are now on speaking terms.  

She lives in Roosevelt, Utah and is in a relationship with a guy from Vernal. 

I live in Middle of Nowhere North Dakota, and wish that someday I'll end up with a girl as amazing as she is. I don't regret breaking up, because I needed it to happen so that I could progress and learn and mature on my own. 

All things considered, I seriously doubt that anyone will ever know or understand me better than she did, and still does. 

All I can do is try to move forward, and hope for the best. I might not have a girl waiting for me at home, or waiting for me to call. But for now, 

At least I have the oilfield.

The Oilfield Romantic

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