Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Beginning Part 3

Before I continue, just a reminder that the newest page of the comic is up at
Entry 1, "Rain" sketch preview.
The Beginning Part 3 

I had the notion that because I was his little sister’s friend that Shep would not be interested in me. I was afraid that he would see me as immature the longer we spent time alone with him. I prepared for my first date with Shep full of apprehension. 

The serpent called doubt had thrown its coils around me and tightened as I wondered if Shep had only said “yes” because he felt sorry for me. It was a sob story, I had JUST gotten out of the hospital and my boyfriend had unceremoniously dumped me. Was this just a pity date?

I had dressed and undressed about six times before I finally settled on an outfit that was more me than cute or sexy. I wanted him to take me seriously and to you know, like me. It might have been too low key, just shorts and a fitted Slayer t- shirt, but it was genuinely me.

I paced and fidgeted when eventually sat down on my couch as I waited for Shep to arrive. I thought about driving to meet him at the restaurant but it wasn’t like it was some blind date, I knew the guy for about a year and he was my friend. The idea of driving with him wasn’t all that bad. But I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep a serious conversation with him.

Shep showed up a little bit early and we just started talking. I was foolish to have felt so worried. We lost track of time and got a good sense of each other. The conversation carried itself. I am not ashamed to say that we didn’t make it out of the house. It was a steamy beginning to the relationship.

Both of us had been badly hurt and we skirted around using the “love” word. People throw that word around too casually without meaning it to manipulate people into doing what they want. I’ve known guys to drop the “love bomb” to get girls to open their legs and girls to get guys to open their wallets. Or to excuse abusive behavior.

“I only get so upset because I love you so much.”

It’s a goddamn lie.

I swore I would never use that word again unless I meant it.

A year of dating Shep later, probably sooner, I felt it, I was certain that I loved him. I didn’t want to say it unless I was certain. Sam made me question the validity of my feelings, did I ever truly love Sam? I said that I did. I thought that I did. But was it really?

Some people say that you can only love one person, ever. That’s how monogamy is supposed to work. You pick one person to be your shiniest lunchbox, marry them, and that’s it. That’s your one true love, your soulmate. But how do you know when that person is “the one”?

I think determining when what you feel is real is one of the hardest things that you can do. Truth is easily the act of simply being. We know we are alive because we are. We can quantify the minutiae of each moment to validate it: we draw air into our lungs; we can close our eyes and listen to our heart beat, and feel its pulse beneath warm skin- we are alive without saying that we are. Is love truly different?

To quantify it, being in love is like having an addiction. You live for the moment you are with that person and it hurts to be apart. You wait for your next fix- another kiss, another brush of warm fingers against yours, or sometimes, just the sound of their voice over the phone is enough. You can’t imagine your life without them, you just need them, want them to be with you always.

I had never thought about marriage. I never planned my dream wedding. I think the closest I got was putting a Barbie into a wedding dress that my grandma had made for me. So when Shep proposed to me, I was dumbstruck. I said yes but I had absolutely no clue of what to do afterwards.
Luckily, I guess, my mother, Dawn and Tammy took charge and forced me through the whole process of being a bride. I just wanted to be married. My mom wanted this big ceremony, so she planned it and interjected my handful of demands. 

A few months later, we were married. I never imagined our marriage would be anything but monogamous. Things did not evolve until Shep and I had our seventh anniversary as husband and wife...

To be continued in part 4

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