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.