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There I sat on that park bench staring up at the moon through the branches of the tree behind me. I took a long drag of my Camel Crush and inhaled deep so that the feeling would go to my head. It felt like a rush of cool air was blowing over my brain; a feeling that I came to find quite relaxing and stress relieving.
It was a horrible habit and I knew that; however, my own mother has been smoking since she was ten years old - 42 years - so it only seemed natural that I would eventually take it up as well. I plan to quite one day; but, knowing me that may never happen till it actually kills me.
Staring up at the moon always seemed to make me think. Unfortunately, I usually didn't think happy thoughts. Sometimes I question why I even bother to think anymore if all I get out of it is depression. I suppose it's just one of those things that you can't control. Basically, it's like my marriage. Yes, I'm saying that my marriage makes me nothing but depressed so I question why I even got married.
Truth is, I know why I'm married though. I married the girl who I thought I "loved" because she gave birth to our son, Dominic. He's really the only reason I have to be happy with my life anymore. I mean look at my family, they're as dysfunctional as ever, and can't get along with one another to save their lives. As for Jenna, my wife, well, like my mother always told me, "If you can't say something nice about someone, then don't bother to say anything at all." That's actually a good piece of advice. It's saved me time and time again from getting the s*** slapped out of me by many people, one of which being Jenna.
By now you're either assuming that I'm lying about Jenna and that she is a saint for marrying a guy like me, or you're believing me in the fact that she is the bane of my existence.
Once you know my story, then I'll leave you to be the judge of whether you want to believe what I tell you is true or not. So I guess I should start my story from the beginning then.
When I first saw Jenna, it was the first day of our freshman year. She had walked past me in the hall and I just couldn't help but stop and stare. She had to have been one of the most beautiful girls that I had ever laid my eyes on. She was tall and had long black hair, jet black to be specific. Her eyes were so blue. The only way I was ever able to describe them was that they were Caribbean Sea blue. They were amazing. Her skin was the color of caramel. And no, it wasn't a tan, she was just naturally that color. That's one thing that I liked about her is that she was all-natural.
When she noticed I was just standing there staring she smiled at me and laughed. Yeah I felt like a total nerd at that point. Mostly I didn't care, though, because I knew I had to meet her and get to know her.
As our first year of high school went on, Jenna and I had talked and had gone out on a few dates and just enjoyed ourselves. She was actually really easy to get along with. One of the first girls that I could just be myself around and not feel obligated to act a certain way. Every now and then we would go and hangout with both of our friends and all sorts of things like that. Jenna was the first girl that my friends actually liked for me, and vise versa.
One day, I had finally mustered up enough courage to ask her to be my girlfriend. Just cause I had the courage to ask her out, though, didn't mean I wasn't shaking more than a chihuahua in a snowstorm. I tend to do that a lot when I get nervous. Luckily, she had said yes. Little did I know, though, our relationship was going to be an emotional roller coaster for the next few years.
From the time Jenna and I went out on our first date to a few months into our relationship, everything was just amazing. We were always laughing and having a good time. I could always get her to smile by just being a total nerd. Sometimes I got her to smile even when I was being completely serious. In my mind, I knew that she was going to be the first girl I ever said, "I love you," to and meant it. Thing was, I didn't know how to tell her. And I didn't know if she would say she loved me back.
If I remember right I think it was our six-month anniversary when I actually told Jenna I loved her. That night was so nerve wrecking for me. I planned this whole surprise thing for her and hoped that everything went the way I had planned it out.
The whole day all I did was text her and act like I didn't know what day it was. She wasn't very happy with me, obviously, since she thought I had forgotten our anniversary. Later on that night I told her that I wanted to hangout and go to the park. She was kind of hesitant at first due to the fact she was angry with me; however, she decided to go because she wanted to see me.
When we got to the park I told her I had a surprise for her, but that she had to close her eyes.
"Umm, alright, but why?" she asked me.
"Just go with it, babe," I told her.
She let me put my hands over her eyes and lead her through the park. When we got where we needed to be I told her, "Okay you can open your eyes on the count of three."
"Okay," she replied.
I moved my hands away from her eyes and she was shocked.
Jenna threw her hands up to her mouth and started to cry. She saw that I had a blanket lying on the ground with a bunch of pillows surrounding it. She looked up and stared at the lights I had hung in the tree almost as if they were the stars in the night sky. Then she noticed I had my laptop on the ground next to one of the pillows, with her favorite movie on top of it; Titanic. To be honest, I thought I was being kind of cheesy, but Jenna thought it was romantic.
"Oh my God, babe," is all she was able to say.
"You thought I forgot, didn't you?" I asked with a faint laugh.
She just nodded her head feeling like a jerk for believing I had forgotten our anniversary. She never seemed to give me enough credit for anything.
At that moment, I decided I was going to tell her. I didn't quite know how to phrase it, or how she would even react to it; but I knew if I didn't do it now, I would never have the guts to do it.
"Babe," I said with unsteadiness in my voice, "I need to tell you something."
"What?" she asked.
"Umm, I'm not really sure how to say this, but I guess I'll just go for it."
Jenna just stood there staring at me like I was crazy. She had no idea what I was about to tell her. Honestly, I had no idea what I was about to tell her, other than that I loved her. I was pretty much just going to wing it and pray that it came out right.
"We've been together for six months now, and it's been amazing. You make me so happy, and you're the only girl that I have ever been able to be myself around. You're perfect in every way. Umm… Jenna, I love you."
Again Jenna started to cry. Apparently I make her more emotional than ever.
I stood there feeling worried, because she hadn't said anything, not even a "thank you." At that point I didn't know what to do, so I just put my arms around her and pulled her in close to me. I leaned in and I kissed her.
"I love you too," she finally said.
To hear her say that she loved me too made me so relieved. At that moment I was happier than a fat kid with a slice of cake. So yeah, I was pretty dang happy.
From that point on, the night went exactly as I had planned. Actually, it went better than I had planned. I was quite shocked, because none of my plans ever seemed to work out in my favor.
Jenna and I laid down under the tree and watched the movie from beginning to end. Then we just sat there for hours talking and looking up at the sky, staring at the moon and the stars.
That night was perfect.
After that night, everything just seemed to go to s***.
As the years went on, Jenna and I both seemed to change. Our priorities were no longer the same, we didn't have the same interests, and truthfully, we both seemed to bore each other. Don't get me wrong, we still loved each other; well, I still loved her, anyways.
It was our junior year when the unexpected actually happened. Well, I guess it wasn't really that unexpected. That's the year I found out that Jenna had been cheating on me. And apparently it had been going on for a few months. I don't know how I didn't see the signs. I mean, I figured it would happen sooner or later; but I thought I would be the one to cheat on her, not vise versa.
Want to know the sad part, though?
My own friends knew about it from the very beginning and not one of them told me. They had all talked to each other and couldn't decide whether or not to tell me. They figured it would be better for me if I didn't know. This just gave me another reason to dislike my friends even more than I already had.
See, my "friends" weren't really what you would call friends. Yes, I had known most of them for years, and we did almost everything together. But, they were all just a bunch of users. If they needed something they would come to me to try and get it. And me being as gullible as I am, gave into them. I knew they were bad people, and that they really didn't care about me like they said they did; but, what was I supposed to do? It's hard to find an entire group of new friends.
Just think, if they were really my friends, like they said they were, then why did they have so much bad s*** to say about me? And why did they treat me like I was some red headed stepchild?
Anyways, when I found out about Jenna I confronted her about it and was going to break things off between us. Somehow through out all of our crying and screaming, I ended up being the one begging on my knees for her not to leave me. Typical Jenna always has to be the one in control of the situation, no matter what it is.
So, obviously things didn't go as I had planned, and Jenna and I were still together. Yeah, I know, I'm a retard. Trust me that's nothing new to me.
Our junior year went on like nothing had happened. Jenna actually forbid me from speaking to any of my friends, because she thought they had told me she had been cheating on me. I didn't put up a fight, though; I really didn't care if I talked to any of them again.
Come our senior year, I decided I was going to break things off with Jenna for good. I couldn't take it anymore. She was stopping me from living my dreams. She flat out told me I wasn't allowed to move away to college. She would rather me live in this hellhole of a town surrounded by all the people I despise most: her, my family, my "friends." That truly was the final straw for me.
Like usual, though, my plans never seemed to work out in my favor. See, when I went and tried to end things between Jenna and I at the park, she hit me with a curveball.
"I'm pregnant," she told me.
It honestly felt like the world’s strongest man had hit me in the gut. I had no idea what I was going to do. I was still a senior in high school and didn't even have a job for Christ sake. I wasn't ready to be a dad yet. It felt like my life was over.
We just sat there on that bench for hours. Neither one of us was saying a word. Honestly, I don't think we knew what to say to each other. I just stared at the ground, almost as if I was in a trance.
Finally Jenna put her hand on my leg and tried to get my attention.
"Look, I want to keep this baby," she told me, "and you're going to be there for it."
There wasn't one ounce of sincerity in her voice. It was cold, harsh and demanding. She gave me no other option. Honestly, I was fine with that. I knew that this was my child, and I was going to be a father to it, no matter what.
"How are we going to tell our parents?" I asked her.
Taking her time thinking of what to say, she finally replied.
"Don't worry about it."
That didn't make me feel better.
The two of us eventually told our parents. Her parents were far more accepting of it than mine were. My mother basically threatened to kill me. I knew she wouldn't do that though; well, I had hoped she wouldn't.
On a positive note, both sides were happy to be getting a grandchild.
Sadly, the thing that both of our families care most about is their appearance. They we're ashamed that their children were having a baby in high school, and that we weren't even married yet. So, they forced us to get married, so we wouldn't ruin their image.
Honestly, if it hadn't of been for both of our families and Jenna, we wouldn't have even gotten married. Basically I was the only one who didn't approve of the marriage. I didn't care about their image. I mean, kids get pregnant in high school all of the time. It only ruins your image if you are a bad parent.
Okay, now don't get me wrong, just because I didn't want to marry Jenna didn't mean I wasn't going to be there for our child. I planned to do anything and everything in my power to make sure my son or daughter had everything they needed. I planned on being a better father to my child than my own father was to me. But, I didn't need to get married in order to do any of that.
Eventually Jenna and I got married. As hard as I tried there was no stopping it. And the more I fought about it, the worse everyone made my life. Lucky me, right?
As the months went on, so did Jenna's pregnancy; she got bigger and bigger. It actually made me laugh because Jenna always prided herself on being thin and in shape. Sucks for her. She also got moodier than ever. I can thank hormones for that.
We had finally reached Jenna's due date. By this point I was actually kind of excited, because I wanted to know whether I was having a son or a daughter. Jenna wanted it to be a surprise so she wouldn't let the doctor tell us the sex of the baby. That basically made it harder for us, because we had no idea what color we needed to buy everything in.
One week past due date.
Two weeks past due date.
Jenna was already 3 weeks past her due date. The doctors finally decided to induce labor. I never understood why they gave you a specific due date, when more often than not the kid isn't even born on that day.
After 18 hours os being in labor, our child was born.
It was a boy; Dominic.
Seeing him for the first time was actually the happiest moment in my life. You know, when you see a baby for the first time or otherwise, it's kind of cool and things like that. You really don't express too much emotion toward it or feel much emotion. When it's your own child, though, it's a completely different thing.
It's been three years not since Dominic was born, and not a day goes by where he doesn't put a smile on my face. Jenna, on the other hand, she just seems to make me queasy.
After being together for 5 years and going through everything that we have really takes a toll on a persons life. I'm only 20, yet I feel as though I'm in my 40's. And the fact that I have a child of my own makes me feel like I'm one of those old dads.
So there you go. I've told you my story and spilled my thoughts and emotions out here on this park bench for all to hear. Now I have a question for you: Do you believe in me when I say that my life has been nothing but hell since I told the "girl of my dreams" I loved her, or do you believe that all of this is just a story to make myself look like the victim trying to get some pity?