The few times

June 5, 2017

It started with a few run ins at a grocery store. A simple smile exchange, a brief double take. Nothing more than that. They learned each other's names at a mutual friend's party. Mariana, Julian, finally putting a name to a face. This was the first time they really had the chance to take in each other’s appearances. He noticed she had dark brown hair, he always thought it was black. She also had a few faint freckles on her face. She notices his eyes, she could finally see what color they were, they were hazel, his jaw and nose were sharp. That say their conversation was short and sweet. The next time they ran into each other there were hellos exchanged and light conversation on the best kind of cereal. Weeks on like that until he finally asked her on a date. She remembers their date very clearly.

“Finally putting yourself out there huh” Jessica yelled out poking her head into the hallway. Jessica was Mariana’s longest friend. She was surprised when Marianna has told her she was going on a date. After 4 years of being just herself she was finally looking for someone else.
“I wasn’t really putting myself out there, we kinda just happened” she yelled back. “Who the hell starts hooking up with a guy she met at a grocery store.”
“He stalking you” Jessica quickly question her.
“No of course he isn't stalking me, you idiot. I don’t see him every time I go to the store. If he wasn’t at Angela’s party I would have never agreed to a date” she replied quickly.
Jessica hears a car pull up into the driveway and an engine being cut off. She quickly rushes in the living room to look out the window.
“Aye I think your man, date thing is here” she watches amusingly as Mariana runs down the hallway from her bedroom to the shoe closet next to the front door. Quickly putting on her black booties “How do I look” she asks. Jessica steps back. Looking at her friend, slowly taking in her outfit. She was wearing a tan coat stopping mid thigh over a fitting black long sleeve shirt, with knee ripped jeans and of course the black booties she made a mess in the closet for.
“You look amazing, if the date doesn’t end well at least you know you could get another man in a heartbeat” Jessica replies. They were interrupted by the doorbell ringing. “Go get him tyger” she laughs out as she runs to her own room. Mariana wipes her hands on her jeans and opens the door. She looks him over. He’s wearing a black shirt and a black leather jacket with dark blue jeans. “Hi”

Mariana remembers the first few dates being almost the same. They were lighthearted, getting the jitters every date because they were starting to get to know each other.  Those dates became 10 and those became 20 and those becoming nothing they didn’t call them dates anymore they just became each other’s lives. Until they were permanently stuck in each others lives. She remembers the day she knew he’ll be in her life forever.

“Hey, you okay in there, you’ve been in there for an hour” Julian asked through the bathroom door.
“Yeah I’m fine” Mariana says softly as she sits on the edge of the tub looking down at the two bright lines, with tears in her eyes. “You sure”  Julian asks again. On the other side Mariana looks at the door finally finding the courage to open it. They stare at each other in silence until Mariana finds her voice “I’m pregnant”. Julien stares at her in disbelief “what”. Mariana hands him the pregnancy test. He just stares eventually looking back at her “why are you crying?” he quickly wrapped her into a hug. “It’s okay” trying to reassure her. “I don’t think I’m ready” she says quietly
“Of course you're ready it’s going to be okay”

The nine months she carried her daughter were amazing. Julian was supportive in every way possible. It was 3 years after their daughter was born when everything went crumbling down. They had to move from L.A things were getting too expensive, it was hard to make ends meet. So they moved to Connecticut they were foolish to think that it was going to get better, everything  just got worse over there. Julian would get laid off constantly. Mariana was the only one that was able to hold a job. Julian started drinking. Preferring to go the bar than taking care of their daughter. Spending the money they needed for their bills on cheap booze. Mariana thought it was a phase that he’ll find his way back, but it never happened. The more he drank the more aggressive he would be yelling and eventually hitting her.

The first time it happened he apologized the next day. He was sobbing at her feet, telling her how sorry he was, how it’s never going to happen again, how he’s going to change. He did change but he only changed one thing, he learned how to keep a job. The second time it happened it went like the first by the fifth time he didn’t say anything and she didn’t either 

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