I'd like to tell you a little story. It's a story that, for the most part, we've all been through. It's a story of love and loss; making love and making mistakes. The events are real. Only the names have been changed to protect the identities of the heartbroken.
There once was a man named PissBoy. He was a romantic. He's had his heart stomped on an innumerable number of times, but swore to himself to forge on, undaunted into the arms of love and life. He spent most of his day chugging through work, taking many 'breaks' throughout the day to surf the best damn movie review site he's ever known. One day, through the magic of random encounters on the Internet, someone contacted him. Her name was Marie. Out of tens of thousands of people she just happened to notice him. PissBoy and Marie exchanged IM's for a few minutes. Then for a few minutes longer. Then, just to make sure they'd said everything they wanted to say....just a couple minutes longer than that. When it was all said and done, nearly an entire workday had been spent chatting over IM. They weren't on opposite sides of the country. They weren't in different cities. They weren't miles apart. She was sitting in front of her work terminal a mere 125 yards from him in the same company complex. To say the workday was wasted on conversation would be a disservice to the hypnotic powers of conversation with Marie. Marie was funny, smart, quick, brutally cute, and fascinating. PissBoy started to look forward to work more to talk to her than he did to actually work, as did Marie. But really, who looks forward to work for their work?
After a few days of captivating exchanges, "happenstance" meetings in the halls, "bumping into her" in the cafe, Marie found a way to suggest PissBoy owed her a ride on his motorcycle. It was a great idea; something he'd been wanting to do since she first contacted him. The plan was set. Saturday evening, he'd swing by her place and take her for a ride on his bike. She'd never been on one before, so Marie was definitely looking forward to it. PissBoy made sure his bike was cleaned, gassed, and ready to go. He even made it a point to be early; "Early" rarely being a word used to describe him. After some general explanations of the ride and how to sit and how not to lean, etc. etc., they were off. Nice country back roads with gentle turns and beautiful scenery were the order for the day. A special stop off at PissBoy's favorite park was the highlight for the ride. Towering oak and pine trees, fragrant cherry blossom, gentle streams flowing into reflecting pools, and a slow walk provided the mood. With exception of a few keys parts of the motorcycle ride where PissBoy was tingling over the sensation of her arms wrapped around his waist, silence never occurred. They had so much in common. Halloween, music, singing, the arts. She was pleasantly surprised to learn that PissBoy was at one time a ballroom dance instructor for Arthur Murray, and even more pleasantly surprised when he pulled her into a rumba in the middle of the park. Patrick Swayze had nothing on PissBoy. (They both dance and wear no underwear.) Valley Garden Park was his Kellerman's and Marie was his Baby.
After the park, dinner was the destination. There was a quaint local restaurant serving good drinks and ravioli in a vodka sauce. The only moments without conversation occurred when PissBoy or Marie excused themselves from the table for a moment. Other than that, PissBoy hung on her every syllable, noticing over and over again the glimmer in her eyes, her infectious laugh, and this little dimple just below where the corner of her mouth meets her cheek. The dimple made him ache with adoration. It was just one of many things that made him unable to look away.
Just as dinner ended, a light drizzle began to fall. Luckily, Marie lived right around the corner. A quick flick of the bike's key, a whiff of exhaust, and a few stop signs later, they were plopped on her couch enjoying her homemade ice cream sandwich cake. The dessert was almost as sweet as she. PissBoy met the cutest dog in the world named Rocky Balboa. After an hour or so more of talking after dessert, PissBoy made his goodbye. A soft hug was given and he made his exit. But PissBoy was unable to say goodbye to Marie without asking, "Was this officially a date Cuz if it was, that would be super."
"I don't think it was because I asked you," she replied.
"Well then I'd like to do it again soon."
As PissBoy drove away there was only one word to describe the day.
PissBoy made an excuse to stop by the next day to show her pictures of Eagles training camp. Partially because she was an Eagles fan, mostly just to see her face. It's amazing what a classic, pin-up like beauty can do to melt the heart of a born-again cynic.
The following Monday at work, PissBoy decided to forgo every leaf of paperwork in front of him until he had her agreeing to dinner for Wednesday night. He would cook. She would provide the kitchen and the wine.
Wednesday came, what seemed like 2 weeks later. The menu for the occasion was Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken with a rosemary crust, snapped Green Beans, and sweet buttered stuffing. Marie stood by in the kitchen keeping PissBoy company as he prepared the meal. A couple glasses of wine later, with meal complete, they adjourned to the couch...but not before PissBoy washed the dishes. Conversation was light, but there was a tension. PissBoy couldn't take his eyes off of Marie. She was magnetic. Every part of him was screaming to taste her kiss. So he went for it. And it was everything he thought it would be. Soft, supple lips and soft skin that he could spend hours exploring. Her hair was like the satin edging on a comfy blanket. It was only their first kiss, but to PissBoy, it felt like home.
Minutes gave way to hours. The living room gave way to the dining room, the dining room to the kitchen. Soft kisses at times, passionate kisses pressed against a doorway the next. PissBoy and Marie threw in the towel a little after midnight. It was two hours past bed time for any hope of a serviceable function the following day at work and PissBoy couldn't have been happier. The rub here was that Marie was leaving for the beach the next afternoon, which sucked. Neither one of them wanted anything other than to be with each other.
It was a great week. A motorcycle ride with a beautiful woman, VIP access to Eagles training camp, and a kiss that turned PissBoy's heart into a jackhammer.
Marie left for the beach. It was a yearly "Girl's Week" tradition. The cool thing was, the communication was still constant. One hundred miles separated them, and PissBoy and Marie were at the forefront of each other's minds. Fifty or so text messages and a couple phone calls a day. Picture mail. It was too much. Tuesday evening, PissBoy and Marie managed to talk on the phone for a bit. They wanted nothing more than to kiss at every moment. Randomly, PissBoy said, "I'll see you in 2 hours." This took Marie by surprise for sure. Without any notice and acting purely on desire, PissBoy jumped into his car and was speeding southward.
He arrived at her shore house a little after 1AM. But he felt fresh as a spring shower knowing he was about to see Marie. And then...there she was, Betty Page-like beckoning him with her eyes. She only invited him in for a moment so she could grab her jacket. Then they hopped in the car to steal away to a secluded beach. And hilarity ensued...
Beach #1 - populated with quite a few people.
Beach #2 - Sand flees that were biting like frenzied sharks.
Beach #3 - Busted by the local PD because it closes at Midnight.
But it didn't matter. He was happy to be there, and she was ecstatic. She had these amazing red shoes on that he couldn't help but notice that made her even more statuesque. They gave up their mission of secluding romance in the sand, and adjourned back to her beach house. They spent the wee hours in each other's arms, curled up on a lounge chair out on the balcony. Five AM rolled in and he had to go home, but he had one last trick up his sleeve. Two days later, he was back down to see her, only this time he was able to stay the night. A comatose patient in the hospital never slept as soundly as PissBoy did that overnight with Marie. Wrapping his arms around her was like being able to hold on to his favorite song, to hug poetry.
And that's how it went. They were inseparable. They were periodic moments of disagreement, but Marie is a strong person and was able to be the bigger of the two and bring any disagreement to an end. It's a story that everyone has been through. We all know those feelings. And we all love them.
But...all was not sunshine and roses. PissBoy began taking Marie for granted. Something at some point spooked him and the PissBoy that was started to fade. The real PissBoy began hiding behind this cloak of insecurity and excuses. He would flip disagreements around on her and throw them back in her face. He didn't listen. And after awhile, he started to not show his affection. This happens to a lot of people and they deal with it or just bury it inside. Marie did. And PissBoy was oblivious to the damage he was causing. But there was a skeleton in his closet he was ashamed to even think about, let alone discuss.
During a moment of selfishness, of pure unadulterated greed, PissBoy didn't think about Marie. he didn't think about what she meant to him. He didn't consider the repercussions. He slept with another woman. He violated everything that had been built between them for a few awkward moments of meaningless nothing. He said things that he didn't mean. He did things he should never have done. He talked about things that shouldn't have been talked about. And PissBoy never told her.
Months passed. PissBoy was being eaten alive by his actions. He couldn't look at Marie anymore without feeling the purity of absolute shame for his betrayal. For him, the end seemed inevitable. One way or another, be it through the grapevine, or from his very own lips, Marie was going to find out. And she did.
And not from PissBoy.
The other half of the cheating equation managed to contact Marie via email. And revealed all. PissBoy was never clear on all the details because the details didn't matter to him. If he had been with another woman 10 times or only once, it would have been the same. If he hadn't have been draped in self-doubt and emotional apprehension, he never would have said things to the girl that he said. How he wasn't sure about Marie. How he wasn't sure if he'd made a mistake by not being with the other girl. Those were his words at one point. It was at a moment of weakness and vulnerability, and he felt manipulated. But none of it mattered to him. he did what he did, and it was absolutely killing him. The fucked up part is, while dealing with how and when to tell Marie what happened, the idea of how he felt came to mind. He realized that while he was dealing with inner turmoil that had yet to be unleashed upon a beautiful, innocent woman, that he was, in fact, falling in love with her. As the weeks of the holidays into the new year progressed, he always thought about Marie. he knew he was fucking it all up with his behavior, and he was trying in the lamest and most desperate ways possible to repair that growing gap. But there was still that night. That act of selfishness.
How can you hurt the person you love?
How can you lie to the person you love?
It was a double-edged sword, and because of his cowardice, PissBoy ended up swallowing on side, and having the other jammed up his arse. The person he loved now hated him. The truth he wanted to reveal, had become a lie. A kept secret that he never revealed.
And now PissBoy is paying the price. But that price is minimal. It's only his heart. Marie was the one suffering. He had broken her. He had torn her apart from the inside out. He had violated everything important to her. He had brought the sickening taste of a history too close to home into her daily life.
And he has never been more sorry. He's been to see her. He's begged for forgiveness. He's begged for a second chance. And all he can do is hope for one. There was something, that up until minutes before she found out what had happened, Marie had loved about him. It still has to be there. As a born-again cynic, PissBoy has never gotten a second chance. He's not saying he deserves one right now, but all he can do is ask. It doesn't matter to him how long it takes. Everyone knows what it's like to fuck up worse that can be explained. Everyone knows what it means to feel pain. And everyone knows the feeling of ultimate longing.
Begging forgiveness, PissBoy had had the most difficult conversation in the world, easier than any of the simple arguments they had had previously. Marie unloaded on PissBoy. She told him everything she could remember that made her suffer. And he accepted it. And he does accept it. Rarely do people ever get a chance to atone for their sins. It's hard for most. It's hard for someone like Marie to put herself at risk of more pain. It's hard for most people to realize what they did wrong and make a difference because of it. But it's clear to PissBoy. Everything he did is clear in his mind. It's not a question of change. It's a question of forgetting. It's a question of knowing what he did. It's a question of undoing the change that took place in him, that inexplicably made him act the way he did. But that isn't enough.
It is up to Marie. It is up to Marie to believe in him again. It is up to Marie to decide if he's worth it. It's up to Marie to let her guard down and trust him again. It is a hard road. It's a road littered with casualties, the most important being Marie. It's also littered with her friends; friends that believed in PissBoy. Best friends.
A friend will call Marie to make sure she's okay. Best friends stand beside her catching her tears on their shoulders. It's not only Marie that PissBoy needs. He owes her friends apologies. Apologies for his betrayal. Apologies for hurting someone they love. Apologies for violating their faith. Pissboy also owes them thanks; the purest of thanks for cleaning up his mess. Without them, Marie may not even be functioning right now.
The hurt that PissBoy feels is extreme. But it's not out of concern for himself. It's because he can't believe what he did. To know how Marie is suffering. That he could ever in the span of his now meaningless life do something so vile to the woman he loves unconditionally.
For awhile, PissBoy tasted heaven. Every day was the best day. Every day she smiled. Every day he saw her dimple. Every day was WOW. Every day was a song. Every night was a poem. Every breath was a breeze. That's heaven. And without her...
...I'm in hell.
Here's to hope and second chances.