I’m in the process of writing a short-story. I have two versions…One with a happy ending and one with a sad ending.
THIS POST IS THE SAD ENDING…..You’ve been forewarned.
Love in Time
By DJ Mandel©
Love can be quite messy. I know for a fact that it’s irrational, yet it is the one emotion that even scientists can’t figure out. Love is hope and eternal. Love is nurturing and caring. Love is also a troublemaker.
I had a lot of misconceptions about love at a very young age. I blame the Hollywood writers who have written every single corny, sappy love story on how love is supposed to be. Soaps are a total let down. They teach you how to fall in love many times, and how to be damsels in distress.
But that’s not life. Right. Tell that to my eighteen year old self. All I wanted was total freedom out from under my parents’ roof. I totally got blindsided, but there were some upsides to falling in lust.
I say, “Lust,” because there is a fine line between love and lust. You have to know the difference. I did not know that when I met my son’s father just a few days shy of my eighteenth birthday.
To tell the truth, I didn’t know what to make of this man. I did think that because he was a good eight years older than me, he would have stability. Boy was I wrong. I felt like I was in one of those comedy shows where they do specific skits on certain people. I only wished it was a comedy.
His name was Don, and like I had said, the only good thing he gave me was my son Connor. Don turned out to be one of those dead-beat dads. He was never around. He was always promiscuous, and to top it off, we were living with my parents.
Yes, I never got out from under my parents’ roof like I had planned.
Since those days, Don and I had broken up, and I was left to take care of Connor on my own. Being a mother to Connor was not an easy thing.
Connor was always sick. He would get infections and HRS would come and assume I was abusing my child. They thought that I was on drugs because I didn’t sleep much, and they also discriminated against me because I was a young mother. It never stopped me from taking care of my son, and it never stopped me from moving on with my life.
Just because I was a mom, it didn’t mean I was old or dead unlike what Don had thought of me. Or despite what any man thought of me.
Some men had a problem with the fact that I had a small child, and others would promise me the world. They were all lies, of course. I never understood what I had done wrong. Then one day, all of that changed.
I was at work, talking to a co-worker about my issues with men, and she pointed out to me that I was not setting my expectations high enough. The person that I am, I never turn down a life lesson from someone. What she stated was true.
I went out and got a book on the opposite sex and why they do what they do. It actually helped. From then on, I had set my expectations high enough.
One night, I was supposed to have gone out with some friends. I had my babysitting arrangements all set up, but then none of my friends could make it. My mom had convinced me to go out anyway. I felt rather weird going to a bar all by myself, but I knew the owners, and it was only karaoke night.
I had agreed and went out. When getting there, I had ordered a beer. I was already twenty-two years old, and I used to drink going out. In any case, the night turned in my favor for several reasons.
For one thing, I didn’t have to pay for my beer. Apparently there were quite a few people buying me beer. I had six bottles total, and I think I drank only two. I am only five-feet, two inches tall, and a little person like me can get buzzed fast. For another reason, I had just met the love of my life.
I didn’t notice him at first until he bought me a beer. I don’t know how it was I hadn’t noticed him. He had been in that bar for months. He sang and I had never noticed him until that night. I looked down at the table because I didn’t want to make it obvious. Then the strangest thing happened.
He was walking over to my table. Actually he more like hopped over to my table. He had taken one shoe off. I had no idea why he had one shoe off, but it gave me a giggle.
He said, “Are you going to sing?”
“I wasn’t planning on it,” I smiled.
“Oh, you should though. I’ve heard you before. You sound great.”
“Aiden,” The karaoke guy announces on the microphone. “Come on up.”
“I’ve got to go,” he said. “I hope you do sing.”
And as he sang, I fell in love. I didn’t want to make it seem obvious that I was in love with him, and so I left. I did go back the following night in hopes he might be there.
Sure enough he was, and we exchanged numbers. The rest is history. Well, that’s what I thought.
I thought I would have a happily ever after with Aiden, but things started turning for the worst ten years later.
I thought we would have gotten married and have more children, but children were the furthest from Aiden’s mind. My son had no siblings. He had no healthy competition, which led me to believe that was why he had troubles in school. But like many of my dreams, I let that go.
I gave up the idea of having more kids when I turned thirty-five. Aiden got sick. He had diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention kidney failure. I became his caretaker, and put away all of those silly dreams.
I never finished school beyond an associate’s degree, and I probably never will. I have student loans I have to pay for.
I thought I could become a famous writer, but that requires time and effort, which are two things that I lack for the time being.
I would love to tell you that I left Aiden a long time ago while he was healthy, met a great man that wanted kids, and we rode off into the sunset. Unfortunately, not everyone can get that happy ending they’ve always longed for.
I’ve lived my life in a fantasy world for far too long. I don’t even know how to get to reality. And why would I want to live in reality? It’s proven to be a very sad disappointment.
There is no happy ending for me, and I’m sorry if I made you think there was. But sometimes, real stories need to be told.