Monday, October 22, 2012

Worth It

I went and got the new Taylor Swift album today. I went after work to Target with my sister, Kari, to get the CD with bonus tracks. I came home with the intention of making spaghetti, but I got really frustrated that my pasta pot wouldn't fit under my stupid-doesn't-work microwave and I just couldn't even face the whole cooking meat thing. I turned off the burners and told Bryan to have cereal and that I hated food.

Bryan then said that he liked me better when I was in a good mood.

I said me too and walked to the living room. I popped in the CD, laid down and listened. He made dinner because he? Is a saint.

I only have a few songs left before I'm sure he'll pull the "I listened to Taylor Swift for over an hour so I want to watch something that is loud, has guns and bad people blowing things up" card and that's what we'll watch. He deserves it.

He started his new job today and tomorrow he figures out the treatment stuff for his non-active not contagious tuberculosis. Yaaaay.

He can watch whatever the heck he wants, I say.

This post was not even remotely going to be about my evening.

When I was....12? 13?  I went to a Christian play, Acquire the Fire. I ended up befriending a girl and we became best friends. Every weekend, every summer break, every church service, we hung out. We were closer than close. I was one year younger in school than her, so when she graduated and went into the service, naturally, our relationship changed.

Then she met a guy... and it really changed. I fought as much as I could for the relationship. I called, texted, myspaced. I tried to be a part of her new life, even though we were states and worlds away from each other.

It all kind of came to a head when I went to visit her and I met the guy. I hated him.

Truly, there is nothing worse than hating your friends boyfriend. Ugh.

He was in the service and had seen some pretty bad stuff at war. He was angry and messed up; He did not want help.

We went to their friends' house and I remember that I felt really uncomfortable because there were kids up, it was late and the parents were drinking and cussing. So, I went into the kitchen with them to color and the boyfriend came in a little while later.

He was drinking whiskey. I was stone cold sober because that's kind of my thing, but you wouldn't have caught me drinking in a place I didn't feel comfortable in. It was just me and him and we were talking. I had asked some lame question because I felt awkward, and he looked up from his glass and he said, "You know... sometimes when we [him and my friend] are play wrestling, I want to really hurt her."

I stared at him a long time, trying to keep my face calm. I was seething. I've seen domestic violence, I've been hurt by someone that lived in my home. WHY would he tell me this? Why would he tell his girlfriends BEST FRIEND this?

So calmly, I said... "Katie has told you my history, right?"

"A little." he said.

"You know her Dad was in Vietnam?"


"....If you ever, ever hurt her, we will kill you. And there won't be a body to find. Is that clear?"

Mind you, I was 19, all of 5'3 and 128lbs and this was a near 6'0, tall, lanky infantry dude. My voice was steely serious. He got a surprised look on his face and said, "Yeah. I won't."

I nodded and before I walked out of the kitchen, I said, "Get some help."

When we got in my friends car, I was shaking. I begged her to break it off. She made excuses. Reasons. Validations. I told her to just break it off until he gets help. That it wouldn't be a healthy relationship.

She ended up dropping me off at her barracks and going back out with him. I slept on the bottom bunk, watched movies on her laptop and cried. I was sad because we never saw each other and she left me in her room, in an unfamiliar place to be with a douche-bag. I was sad because I could see the warning signs and couldn't help my friend. I was sad because I knew our relationship had shifted and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

The next day, she bought me an iPod. I had never had one before and I told her no. She had said, okay, she wouldn't. She insisted that she buy me a Danielle Steele book for my flight home. I kept looking at stuff while she bought it and she came back with both the book and the iPod.

Every time I see that iPod I think of that trip. I flew home listening to music she put on it, praying that she would leave him. When I got home, we were further apart than ever before. She wouldn't talk to me about her boyfriend and soon I stopped trying.

A few months later she called me to tell me she was pregnant and I started crying.

A few months after that her new best friend emailed all of her family (by pressing reply-all to one of her status updates) asking her when she was going to change her name. They had gotten married and no one knew.

At least I didn't.

I sat there stunned. I was so sad. After all those years, she didn't even tell me she got married.

I still tried. As much as I could. I would try to Skype with her. See her new baby. See them when the visited.

They were married for a few years and her birthday came along. I called her all day. Over and over and over again. I was devastated that she wasn't picking up my calls and I was worried.

She called me very late that night saying she had just gotten out of jail. That her husband had been cheating on her and they had gotten in a big fight and it got violent. He and his mistress lied to the authorities and blamed it on my friend so she went to jail.

I couldn't believe how it had all turned out. She's still dealing with the drama of that relationship and we talk only occasionally. Our relationship is all that it can be at this point.

Every once in a while I'll get so sad that our relationship turned out the way it did. That her kids won't know me as Aunt Megan, and my kids won't know her as an Aunt either. I doubt very much that if her son saw me he would know who I was. I wasn't there for his birthdays or Christmases. It breaks my heart.

Now I have another relationship that is falling apart. We haven't spoken to each other for a few weeks now, not about anything important. Our friendship is in this huge limbo and I can't help but wonder...

Will my kids know her as an Aunt? Will she be around for the delivery, birthdays and Christmases?

The circumstances of each relationship failing are absolutely different. I fought for the first one and I guess that's made me not want to fight for another. Why didn't/haven't either of them fought for my friendship?

I've been thinking about that question a lot. All I can come up with is, maybe I'm not worth it.


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