Wednesday, August 11, 2010

and so it begins....

I didn't try to keep him.

Brown Boot.

I could have fought harder to get him to say he loved me. I could have fought harder to have our first New Year's together. I kept having the same dream, with us kissing at midnight for the first time with fireworks going off in the background.

But I didn't.

And it wasn't easy at all. It was one of the hardest things I had to do.

I waited for him to say something. For him to do something. I'm not really sure what I was waiting for, but I was waiting for something. Some grand romantic gesture? For him to randomly show up at my doorstep or at work with a massive bouquet of lilies? I have no idea what I was waiting for.

No, I do. I was waiting for the bike. He told me so many times that he wanted to give me a real bike.

I need to backtrack a few years. Back to our first pretend Christmas together. We never got to spend the actualy holiday together, because he was always with family in other states. So over a month before he left one year, we decided to have our own.

We set up a little tree and lit the fire and baked the Pillsbury orange rolls, because that's part of Christmas. That was the year I made the quilt for him. I have no idea if he still sleeps with it at night. Last I heard, he still has it. But who knows if it's even in the same state as he is. I tried to make it like his favorite things... The fabric had snowflakes on most of it, and then there was fabric I picked because it reminded me of the ocean. Two seemingly different things coming together to form something beautiful... A tribute to us, if you will.

He kept going off about how excited he was about my gift, but he wouldn't tell me what it was. He kept dropping hints... and all the hints were totally off.

He was so excited to see me play on it.

He couldn't wait to put it together.

It's going to be so exciting!

The last one was right, but the others were totally off. Of course, I had no idea at the time.

So when I sat in his dad's old white(ish) chair while he went outside to get my gift.

Um... Outside?

That chair was comfortable... worn down from years of relaxing... worn down so much, that the stuffing was coming out of the armrests. And it was very hard to tell the chair was ever bright white. The chair was comfortable, and I was nervous.

Then he walked in with my gift... which happened to be a bike with some wrapping paper wrapped around the middle and a bow. It was his dad's bike. And he was beaming.

He had apparently bought the bike from his dad to give to me because his dad was giving me a new one. He had the biggest grin on his face, and was literally bouncing up and down with excitement.

"Go ahead! Ride it! I want to see you use your gift!"

Um.... okay....?

I climbed on the bike and started to steer it outside, and felt his hand on my elbow, and I heard him laughing. He told me to stop, and told me to sit back down, that the bike wasn't really my gift.

The bike went back outside, and I went back into the chair. Nervous. Palms sweaty. Heart racing.

Then he brought out the little silver bag.

A little silver bag, with white and green tissue paper poking out of the top.

He got down on one knee in front of me and waited for me to open the gift...

I pulled out a little red box, with a tiny little snap that kept it closed. And my heart started beating faster. Tears started forming in my eyes, but I didn't want to get too excited until I saw what was inside that little red box.

I opened it.

I looked into his eyes.

And I started sobbing.

Inside, I found one of the most unique rings I have ever seen. White gold and small diamonds. A heart with three diamonds on either side, and seven diamonds forming a flower (or what looks more like a snowflake to me) in the middle. I loved it.

I wrapped my arms around him while he told me how it wasn't an engagement ring... It was a promise ring. A promise that no matter what happened, he would always love me. That one day, he knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

So, since then, we joked about him giving me a real bike. He promised me multiple times to make me an actual mountain bike so we could ride together, and he promised to get me a different kind of bike.

Was that what I was waiting for? No. I could have gone after him. I could have kept pushing to talk to him, but in my experience with him before, that didn't work. So I tried my hardest to let go. I tried to push him out of my life and out of my mind.

Drinking helped. Drinking gave me liquid courage. It gave me an escape... so a good part of my life in Florida became a drunk blur. I can't tell you how many nights after work we went to the bar, because it was pretty much every night. Usually the same bar.

The same freaking Coconut Willy's. I gained courage and sang a lot of karaoke as time went by. I got my confidence back. I tried to find myself outside of Brown Boot.

That's why I left Utah in the first place. I didn't go to Florida so he could follow me there. I went there to find myself, specifically to not date anyone or get involved with anyone in a romantic way.

I was knitting a sweater.

Sometimes, before you can get the courage to find yourself, you have to be able to totally lose yourself. And that's exactly what I had to do.

My songs for Brown Boot at this moment?

"Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie
"Sober" by Kelly Clarkson

To this day they still make me think of him...

(That will be it for Brown Boot for the next few posts... because after this, things really started getting interesting.)