Part One is here.
Brock loved me. I loved him. We dove in just like that.
Those two weeks were a whirlwind. Restaurant dates and lake days and every moment spent together without pause. We laughed so much. The new love butterflies that catch you and take you over. “Where did my lips go?” (Try kissing someone and then smiling at each other before the kiss ends.) It was like something straight out of a romance novel. My hero. My knight in shining armor. My true love’s kiss. If only that where the whole story… happily ever after is just a literary device – very rarely reality.
I spent two weeks with Brock, and then flew back to Rogers. I got into my jeep, and, much to my mother’s dismay, instead of driving North, I headed East. I drove back to Brock.
For the first several weeks I “lived” with Brock, I wouldn’t unpack my suitcase. I didn’t want him to feel like I had ‘moved in’ and ‘taken over’. I didn’t want to make it official. I was still going back to Canada. I needed to be ready to leave… as soon as I was ready.
Now here’s where things get a little bit fuzzy. In the past, I have told people that I went home to Canada, and that Brock came a few days later and asked me to come back to North Carolina with him. That’s a really lovely story, but it isn’t actually what happened. He asked me not to go. He begged me to stay with him. He told me he wanted to marry me, and he couldn’t imagine me leaving, and please just stay with him forever. I told him that I would never marry again – that didn’t work out for me the first time around, and promises appear to be bullshit – but I wanted to stay. For as long as things worked. I had promised myself. (See Part Two.)
So we flew back to Canada together. We stayed with my parents, and hung out with my family, and visited with my BFF Crystal (and her ridiculously adorable daughter, Daisy.) We went fishing and had cookouts and did Karaoke night. I think I broke my mother’s heart (again) when I told her I was going to go back and live with Brock. I think she hated Brock for a while. But I also think she knew I was going to follow my heart, and she wasn’t going to try to stop me. We spent two weeks together in Canada, and then came back to North Carolina to be together.
I had to get a job. I wanted to get a job. Brock helped me to make a spreadsheet of all the local hospitals, and what kind of job they were hiring for, what steps I had taken with them, when I made my last contact and how far away they were. It wasn’t happening fast enough and I felt so much pressure to be making money, so I got a job working at Abercrombie. Yep. I worked at Abercrombie. For almost a year.
We weren’t together for more than three weeks when Brock asked me if he could start saving up for a ring. I told him, without hesitation, absolutely not. I reminded him that I wasn’t going to get married again. I told him I would happily stay with him for as long as we were good together, but I wasn’t going to be wed. Everything about that felt painful to me. It was around this time, of course, that Steve contacted me and accused me of manipulating him – apparently Jenna had reached out to him (not knowing he had left me) and told Steve that I was having an affair with Brock. I laughed at the irony, and even though I was in no way to required to reassure him that I hadn’t done anything wrong, I forwarded him every email that Brock and I had sent, which removed any question of our wrongdoing.
While I was living it, the days moved so slowly. Life wasn’t happening as quickly as I had hoped it would. I was having trouble finding a job doing what I had gone to school for (I would find out later that there are 3 ultrasound schools in the area, so the market was flooded with new graduates.) I wanted everything that needed to happen… to happen sooner. I had all of these milestones in my mind, and as soon as I reached them, I would be, could be fulfilled. We needed a new bed. I needed an ultrasound job. I needed to sell my Jeep and buy a Mini Cooper. I needed a baby (without being married.) I was waiting for all of those boxes to be checked. At the end of my list, I would find my happiness. When I look back on it now, it went by so quickly. All of it. Even the painful stuff.
During most days, Brock was at work while I was home. The first time I found pornography on his computer, it wasn’t a huge deal. It caught me by surprise, but I was completely honest: I wasn’t cool with it, it made me uncomfortable, and while I wasn’t going to ask him to do anything or to CHANGE for me, I wouldn’t stay in a relationship with someone who watched porn while we were together. Brock was charmingly reassuring. Of course he would stop, he didn’t know it would bother me, no problem at all.
To Be Continued…
Where is part nine?!