Turn the page … I think we’re all ready for my happily ever after (the start of).
I put my handful of distress on the back burner and tried to focus on my work. It was a slow night at the mall. As a retail employee, I didn’t have much expectation for my sales. I tried avoiding interaction with customers who wanted nothing to do with me and my usual speech. Before my boss left for the night, I begged to run and get a snack to hold me over. I had never walked slower in my life. I observed the other working teens and knew they had to feel the same as me… over it. Each clothing store drew me in one at a time, but I had to fight the urge. You’re getting food, that’s it. My walk continued, one foot after the other.
I couldn’t help but notice the light escaping through my pocket. My phone hadn’t been too active so it came as a surprise that someone wanted to hear from me. It was the past yearning for my attention. He was so convinced that a constant plead for forgiveness would help alter my decision in moving on. But how many other times had I traveled down this road? We fought with words and hands, apologies were forced… that was all I needed to be set straight. Once the guilt fell through I was sucked back into a relationship that was no where near stable, or healthy, for that matter. But the past wasn’t going to eat me alive this time. I ran too far to turn around and start from the beginning. That’s why my phone felt better tucked away. Out of sight, out of mind.
When I returned to my store there were three guys being drawn into a sale that they didn’t want in the first place. My boss was ready for her closing statement when I walked in. When my eyes connected with those of the man standing in front of me, there was no undoing it. Everything about him screamed he’s the one! But the voice in my head was telling me otherwise. I wasn’t fully healed from the shambles I had recently broke free from… was I ready for this? Was he worth taking the risk?
What scared me the most was how people would view me if I jumped into another relationship right away. I knew there was nothing wrong with getting to know him, but something told me it would go much further than that. When he asked me if I was seeing someone, my phone vibrated. “It’s….complicated.” I didn’t know what else to say. The chain tugging at my ankle reminded me of the baggage I was sold with. My hesitation scared him away and I thought the opportunity set in front of me was gone forever. He politely apologized and walked into the distance. The smell of his cologne wrapped itself in and out of my clothes. As I watched him walk off, I beat myself up for what had just happened. I wasn’t tied down anymore so I didn’t understand why I still acted like I was. Was this how it would be for the rest of my existence?
As I started closing the store I heard his voice. In a matter of seconds he stood in front of me again, phone in hand. His demeanor carried an attitude like he needed to impress his boys.
“If you want to give me your number then put it in.”
My heart sang love songs. I took a dive and for once, my head came above water. The waves didn’t drown my being. Instead, they gave me a push toward a new beginning.
I had never been more ready for this.