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The Honest Truth

Today's writing prompt at Sunday Scribblings is "honest". This is my story...

In the beginning he was honest with her. He told her that music was number one in his life, marijuana was two, and she would be  number three in the hierarchy of his love. She laughed, unconcerned, believing that before too much time passed she would find a way to move up on the list, someday becoming number one, the thing he most loved.  She had no idea back then how deadly accurate his pronouncement was, and that thirteen years later she would find herself not his highest priority and most cherished possession, but rather having slipped to number four, behind the women who adored him for his charming ways, just as she once had.  But they didn't live with him 24/7, they had no idea who he really was, and what he could be like. She knew, after thirteen years she knew, and finally after one screaming outburst when he pushed her too far, she made a plan that would end his reign of terror and tears, and if lucky, it would save her life.

Flash forward five years... she is on the phone texting with the one who replaced her when she left him. They had become good friends quickly, being far more alike than different.  She wondered to herself why that was, why her ex's always seemed to choose for their next partner someone who was very  much like herself, maybe with a few enhancements such as youth or beauty, but deep down much the same. She always ended up friends with her successors, odd as that seemed.  To her it was a natural result of loving and knowing the same man, of shared awareness of what that experience was like.

The new woman, now his on again/off again partner for several years was despondant. Long since he had lost the house the once lived in due to the continued bouts of unemployment which had plagued her marriage to him.  At that point her replacement had no choice but to return to her mother's home, a situation that did not work well and caused much unhappiness. He returned to live with his own parents, content to have a spare room in the garage, since no rent was expected, and meals were free.

She longed for the life they had shared together, and lived for his continued promises that he would get a good paying job, save money, and buy them a new home. The dreams never materialized, the home never happened, and the years keept passing.

Finally she thought her luck was turning, he cleaned up his act enough to secure a regular job with decent pay and began putting aside money that would eventually give them a home.  Funds multiplied and she grew  hopeful.  Then something totally unforseen happened -  long-lost relatives resurfaced in his life and brought with them financial woes which tugged at his heart.  An easy mark, he pulled out his savings and handed it over, without  question, with requiring repayment, and without asking her. In an instant her dream of a home together vanished into thin air.  Adding insult to injury, he failed to tell his new found family that she even existed, that she had been more or less by his side since his wife had left him years ago. He told them about his ex, obviously still missing her in some ways, but he didn't tell them about her, the one who continued to hope and to wait for a life shared.

Last night she broke down, the texts came fast and furious... "I can't take it anymore" she said, "the hoping, the waiting, the believing... only to find out once again that I don't matter, that I don't even rate an introduction much less being welcome to share in the family reunion. His family doesn't accept me, they never will."

The ex-wife nodded silently in agreement. She wanted to say "I told you so, I warned you" but in her kindness, and in her sadness for her friend's heart that was breaking, she could only say that some things never change, some leopards will have the same spots till the day they die.  She knew now that he would likely never get his priorities straight, though they'd discussed that many times both in the past and in recent years.  Number one in his life was not music or marijuana.  Number one was and always would be only himself, and himself alone... and in the end all alone is what he would most likely be. It saddened her really, it made her too sad for words.

8 comments:

  1. Some lessons are hard learnt. Maybe she will create a new list - for herself - where she is number one..I think maybe she has started..I hope..what an honest write..Jae

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    1. That is exactly what she was encouraged to do Jaerose, to give up the fantasy that caused her so much pain, and to accept reality, and to move forward with her own life, hopefully she can find the strength to do so... just as I once did.

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  2. The patience of Job seems to be abounding in your tale. What has not been shown in the story is the charisma that allowed these women to waste their lives on him. Love gone sour is one thing but you don't keep drinking it if that is the case. Even the first wife is still living in the past, life is too short for that. A sad post of lost dreams.

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  3. Sadly, it is a common tale OldEgg, women who waste their lives hoping their partners will someday live up to their expectations, believing somehow that if they just do everything right it will turn around. The truth is, as we know, love does not conquer all, and it takes two to tango. If only one parter is committed to a relationship it doesn't stand a chance. Older and wiser, I wish I would have left much sooner, and I encourage others to do so. I disagree though, that the first wife is still living in the past, she has moved on to a much better place in life, and only looks back now and then wistfully. It is said that when someone or something dies, you mourn not only what is lost but also what you never had. In this case that is true. I have also learned that it is impossible to get anyone to move on until they are ready, despite how many people tell them it's long since time. You must reach a point where you value yourself enough to choose life again, living in this kind of environment it is hard to do so.

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  4. It is so hard to see from the inside out, it's much easier to see from the outside in. I'm glad that you were there for wife2 to help her pick up the pieces of her shattered life. PotHead will never learn from his mistakes and will never change because he doesn't see that what he is doing is making mistakes. So sad. Two lost loves; two lost chances.

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    1. So true, L, anyone can see it was a hopeless situation, but when you are in that place you don't see anything clearly. I too used to ask, "Why didn't you just leave him?" Now I know the answers are far from that easy. You are right that he will never learn, he believes that life does bad things to him, it is never that his choices result in the things that happen. I was hoping for his sake that he'd "get it" this time, but apparently not. Once again, his loss. In both cases he was truly loved.

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  5. A few of the realizations in here stabbed me in the heart.

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  6. I am sorry for that hurt, Linda. I assure you that when I finally came to these realizations and was honest with myself for the first time, it took my breath away. I hurt so badly I wanted to die. But then I grew angry, that I had allowed this to happen to my life. Anger can be a good thing, it motivated me to draw the line, it motivated me to say enough. We all need to decide where to draw the line in our lives, what our own value is and should rightly be! HUGS Dear Friend, may you find your own way!

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