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Beginning of a Lifetime
The fresh air filled my lungs as I stepped outside into the morning sun. Rays of light beamed down upon my face as I crept further into the new day. The reflection of the dew dazzled my eyes. Blue birds chirped their sweet song of love and monarch butterflies fluttered in my face as my ring glimmered in the sun, making me smile with happiness.
“Good morning, babe,” Brent yawned. I turned to face Brent as a smile crawled onto my face. He smiled back. His eyes glittered as bright as the blue ocean.
“Hi,” I giggled. I ran to Brent and flew into his arms. I hugged his neck with all my might as he lifted my feet off the ground gently; I felt I was being held by an angel.
Suddenly, his cell phone went off; I knew who it was.
“Hello?” Brent spoke into the phone. He listened cautiously as a frown appeared on his face. “When would you like me to get there?” More fear filled Brent’s face. “Mom, I can’t make it. I’ve got to be somewhere,” he stated. I heard a thundering voice on the other end of the phone, ferociously tearing Brent apart. “Yes, she’s here. I’m standing right next to her.” Great Brent, I thought. He winked in my direction, but I pretended not to notice. I spun toward the house, and I stomped away.
“What is he thinking?” I screamed to myself, “He knows she doesn’t like me!” I collapsed on the couch and sprawled out my limbs. This was my thinking position, and I needed serious time to think. As I took a deep breath, I felt the fresh air escape my body. I closed my eyes and let my mind wander.
In desperation, I thought of many things: one, I thought of killing Brent’s mom; two I thought of just dumping Brent; three, Brent and I would run away.
At first, option one sang out to me like an opera singer sings to her audience; loud, fierce, and beautiful. Letting the idea tangle in my brain, I realized that I was too timid to do such a thing. I might have been mad as a bull, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared to purposely hurt someone. I would be the girl who would stab Brent’s mom and say, “Oh my goodness, are you alright?” Obviously, this wasn’t the choice for me.
Next, option number two: breaking up with Brent. I reluctantly let the idea engulf my mind as tears came to my eyes. If we were to break-up, he would be free of me, and all the problems he was having with his mother accepting me. Brent’s mom would be the happiest person alive if I was gone. Yet, as I wrestled with the thought of leaving Brent, my heart trembled with terror. I wasn’t willing to give him up.
Finally, I decided to wrestle with alternative three. Running away seemed like a fond idea, but it was the last option on my mind. I had so much going for me now, and I wasn’t ready to give it up. The thought began to spoil as I thought of my awesome paying job, my family, and friends that I would have to leave behind.
On the other hand, Brent and I could start fresh in a new town. A new home, a new jobs and meeting new people sounded refreshing. The thought of his mom being thousands of miles away echoed in my mind.
“Abby, that was my mom,” Brent huffed.
“Really, I couldn’t tell,” I said sarcastically.
“She said that we needed to go over there. I…I mean, we have a family dinner with my Aunt who just got into town,” Brent stammered.
“Oh, that’s nice that she has allowed me to call us a couple now. Did you tell her that we are engaged yet?” I already knew the answer but still felt it necessary to ask.
“Well, no,” he claimed.
“So, once again, I have to take this ring off and hide it from the world like I have to do every day I step out of this house,” I yelled.
“Am I that big of an embarrassment to you? What did I do so wrong?” I howled.
“Abby, you know what you have done. It’s all in your past. You are the one who did it; not me, not my mother, and no one else in this town. You did it,” Brent shouted back.
“Oh, so all that stuff about how you could look beyond my past isn’t true, huh? And when you said that you didn’t care about the past doesn’t matter anymore?”
“Abby, you were a prostitute, and everyone in town knows that. They haven’t seen how you’ve changed,” Brent said calmly back.
“Yeah, and you think every one knows the story of why I was a prostitute? Do you even care why I did that? Do you think I like waking up to a different man every morning? No! I did because my father had run off, and my mom lay on her death bed. Who wanted to hire an 18 year old that could barley pass high school? What was I supposed to do? Let my mother die and my little brothers starve? I had to wake up every morning to a different man who just handed me money and sent me on my way. I would go home and lie to my mother that I really was at work. Now, you tell me why people can’t understand that story!” I felt as though ten years of boiling steam had exploded from my mouth. The tension from his silence killed me. Just waiting for his next words made me terrible anxiously. I looked deep into his eyes, hoping for some kind of answer to erupt.
“You don’t think I care, do you?” he cried. I felt my heart wrench out of my body. Tears swelled up, and I let them pour out of my eyes. He should have known all the pain that was created from my secret life. He should have known why this was the reason his mother rejected me. I cried harder and harder as I thought about the words that I wanted to say to him.
“Is this going to work?” I questioned Brent, “Am I going to have to hide our love like this forever?” He fell in the chair next to him as tears welled up in his cold blue eyes.
“I don’t know. I have to think of myself too. What are people going to think, Abby? What will they say when I stand at an alter with a former prostitute?”
“I thought you cared,” I cried. He appeared stricken with dread as I rose from my spot on the couch. “I’m leaving,” I said, looking back to his pale skin. He covered his face and began to weep hysterically.
“No! Please don’t leave!” he roared, “I don’t mean any of that. I don’t, I really don’t.”
“That’s what you said before,” I stammered.
“But I mean it this time, all of it. All my words are true. I love you, Abby, and no one could take that away.”
“You have proven to me that all you care about is what other people think. Not what you think about me. What do you think about me? Or is that too hard to ask?” I stood frozen, waiting for Brent to break the bitter silence.
“I care, Abby, I truly do. It’s just hard to convince people to accept us.” Brent dropped his knees and flooded the floorboards with tears. “Don’t give up on me. I don’t want to care what other people think, but it’s so hard.” He sighed and fell silent. He lifted his head, and his blood-shot eyes pierced my heart. I felt all his pain rush into my body. Then again, I couldn’t understand why it would matter.
“Brent, I have an idea. We could run away. Start all over. No one would know who I was, and you wouldn’t have to worry about what people think. People that knew us would be thousands of miles away,” I said excitedly.
“No, Abby, we can’t. We have so much here. You’ve got a great job, and look at this house that we own.”
“Yes, but I got that job because I went to college and got a degree; I could get the same job somewhere else. Come on, let’s do it,” I whined. He glared into my eyes. He studied every aspect of my face, trying to figure out if I was being serious or not. “I know that look, Brent. I’m being serious.” He wiped away the tears on his face and picked himself off of the floor.
“Where will we go, Abby? What would we do when we got there? What about our families?”
I gathered my thoughts for a moment and began, “It doesn’t matter, Brent, because if we were together, and this is what we both want, it wouldn’t matter.” He nodded agreeing. “Plus, we’ve got enough money to get out of here and in to an apartment somewhere small for awhile.” Once again, he said nothing.
“Abby, this isn’t going to work. We can’t run away. What will people think of us then?” Stunned, I walked over to Brent. I felt his angry breath on my forehead as I looked up into his blue eyes.
“Then this will be the hardest words to say; this isn’t going to work.” I gave Brent a hug and ran out of the room.
I threw my clothes into a bag! Left and right, cashmere dresses, designer jeans, and high heels flew out of the closet. Picture books, high school pictures, and grade school awards soon followed the garments. Brent darted up the stairs.
“No, Abby, it doesn’t have to be this way!” he moaned. I intensely looked up from the overfilled bags.
“You made your choice. I gave you a chance. You want it to be the same, Brent, but I can’t stay with you if this is the way it’s going to be. I’ve made my choice; I’m running!” I smashed down the top of the suitcase and pushed it aside. I began to rummage through the closet to find another bag. As I began to fill the new bag with pictures and small gifts, I noticed how happy we were and how great it was to be with him. As I continued to pack, a picture of our first date appeared. I studied the faces on it.
We looked so happy and in love. I had had a crush on Brent since the day I started school at Bear Creek Community College. When he finally asked me out, I was so happy. In an instance, I fell head over heels for Brent. I remember that booth; where we were and what we did. I looked at the last picture and saw a caption of or first kiss. It was the best kiss of my life. Fireworks shot out and butterflies filled my stomach.
“Brent, we used to be like this,” I said holding up the picture, “Where did that happiness go?”
“He’s gone, grown up, and realized he can’t give you what you need.” He stood up quietly and grasped onto my shoulders. “Go make a name for yourself. I’ll be here waiting until you come back. No one else will take your place. I’ll wait forever.” I reached out to Brent in hopes of stopping him from taking another step.
“I might fall in love again, and then I will never come back,” I said.
“Then that is the way it was meant to be.” He kissed my forehead and walked out of the room.
I picked up my bags and set forth to a new world. Looking at my ring one last time, I strung it on a piece of string. I hung the sparkling object on my rear view mirror, and I put the car into drive.