A story of what happened to me in a relationship, around 1993. When you have stared death in the face, it teaches you so much more about what’s important, and why being present is the most important message of all.
My intuition has served me well over the years, but has also been the bane of my existence when I chose not to listen to it. One particular time I didn’t listen to it, is when a friend of mine decided to fix me up with a friend of hers from Dayton. He actually hailed from Trotwood, but I didn’t care either way because I didn’t know Dayton that well, and never really had a jones to go there for anything. He was an attractive guy, but something inside was telling me to steer clear of him. I however, passed the feelings off as “silly” and decided to jump into this new venture.
Jumping ahead a few good months, and the relationship is a quagmire. He is a perfectionist, and because I was a people pleaser and an easier peach to bruise back then, abandoned everything that made me uniquely me, and had turned into someone that resembled my sister’s unique style at the time, more than myself. She was Sporty Spice to my Crazy Spice. My curly hair was now pressed straight, I abandoned my ripped jeans and silver, bohemian, rock and roll style for those swishy track suits, tennis shoes, and gold jewelry. I didn’t even recognize myself and I was beginning to hate it. I had now become the quintessential soccer girlfriend, and I hadn’t ever had anything to do with soccer. My cat even hated him. I was miserable, and kicking myself for not listening to that voice inside that said, “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!”
Well, after realizing that I hated who I had become emotionally, and felt equally about this guy because of the comments he would make and repugnant things he did because he felt like it, I decided to get my identity back. That is when the real fun began. The arguments became more intense because I could care less what he thought about the real me, and my deep, hot-blooded, Sagittarian soul resented any attempts to tame her. I had grown tired of his cheap-ass dates where we would go to Applebee’s and split an appetizer, and he would try and eat the majority of it. After a while, I refused to eat anything , because he was always keeping score regarding “what he had done for me.” Had I been interested in keeping score and throwing it up in his face, I would’ve informed him how I was the one coming out in the red, by being associated with such a lame duck in ALL aspects of our relationship.
Well, he had gotten me to the point that I wanted to throw open the car door and tumble out into traffic for fun whenever I was in the car with him. The last straw, being his ungratefulness in not accepting a gift because it “wasn’t in style” where soccer shorts were concerned the day he was to play an alumni game at Trotwood. Had he worn the shorts, he would’ve looked better than what he did trotting out there on the field. Trotwood colors being black and yellow, he had other colors mixed in and looked like a jacked up bumblebee in cleats. My friend then apologized profusely for fixing us up, and we ducked out early and threw a party at her house without inviting that thing that was running around in front of us hours earlier.
Upon returning to Columbus, I decided to keep a low profile where he was concerned, but knew the break up was on the horizon. I had a Symphonic Choir gig and came home to a message from him, for me to call him. He wanted to go get something to eat, and wondered if I wanted to go with him. Not wanting to go and basically watch him eat, I figured that I could use the time to tell him that we were through. So I wolfed down a sandwich and went over to his apartment on Chittenden so we could get the whole thing over with. Upon entering, I found him in his room messing with a gun that his uncle had given him. Ever since he had received this gift from his uncle in Baltimore, who he said was a retired MP, he thought he was pimped out to the hilt–a true gangster. Now having grown up around guns, knives, and hunting my whole life, and being the kind of girl on the scene to help skin rabbits and such, I knew this guy had no business with a gun. He had no business being in control of a squirt gun–much less a military-issue .45 with a hair trigger.
He took the clip out and began to pose and flex and all of that punk shit, and then put the gun to my head. I told him to take the gun away from my face and never point a gun at me as long as he lived. He told me what I could see as obvious, that the clip was out. I asked him if he had checked the chamber, and he said the clip was out–obviously illuminating the fact that this guy needed a gun like I needed a hole in the head this very moment. So, wanting to get going before happy hour was over and Mr. Cheap would have to pay full price for an appetizer, he put the gun on his desk and we walked toward the front door. We were arguing about the gun when a knock came at the door. It was his friend.
Now having the kind of door that unlocked from the inside, I amused his friend while I thought that soon to be ex-boyfriend was going to get the key. When I turned around, I saw him bringing the gun with him, in an attempt to “scare” his friend. Being mortified at the whole display of bravado playing out in front of me, I watched as he opened the door, jumped, and the gun fired–hitting his friend in the thigh. The gun that he had held to my forehead, not even twenty minutes prior, was now responsible for this life and death situation we had been thrust into. This gun with the clip taken out, had a bullet in the chamber and did not have the safety on. Boyfriend was frozen, his friend was bleeding profusely, and I began to bark orders at him to help me carry him over to the couch.
While the paramedics and police were on their way, I applied pressure to the friend’s thigh. When the medics got there, they took over and thanked me for what I had done, while Boyfriend and his friend proceeded to spin an attempted robbery story to the police. I knew they weren’t buying it, and I wasn’t going to say anything unless they asked me specifically, which they did not. I wished they would’ve, but I wanted Mr. not so original gangsta, to handle the mess he created on his own., and feel the brunt of emotions that he had caused by his stupidity. Since his friend did not wish to press charges and go forward with an investigation, the case eventually went cold. The friend was transported to University Medical, and we followed along–all the while Boyfriend is snotting and crying and I was inserting my comments in whenever and wherever I could. I could’ve been on the way to the morgue because of this man’s ignorance and necessity to play with something he had no business playing with.
After sitting in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity, his friend came out and we found out how lucky he really was. The shot, which ripped through his thigh and exited, was millimeters in one direction from killing him, and millimeters in the other direction from paralyzing him for life. His friend was truly blessed that day. We all piled into the car, and as I looked down at his friend’s blood that decorated my white blouse, I listened to the both of them reassure each other that they were still “boys”. His friend thanked me for all that I did and for remaining calm enough to help save his life. I told him that I just did what I felt needed to be done–that panic wouldn’t have helped the situation at all since Boyfriend had completely frozen up after the shooting.
I didn’t say anything to very, very soon to be ex-boyfriend the whole ride home. He was being unusually gracious and attentive, but yet I refused to speak. I sat there contemplating how his stupidity almost killed two people that night, and definitely killed our relationship cold. I promptly dumped him when we got back to his place, and walked to my apartment. As I opened the door my cat, Miles, greeted me as if he knew that I unloaded our burden. I sat down in the middle of the floor with Miles in my lap, and cried as I stroked his fur–glad to still be alive on my terms.
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