Click here to read part 3 in this series.
By Dana Flournoy McGaw
Missy said, “I can do better” and leaned in for another kiss. This time we lingered while the world melted away. All of time stood still. In the dark woods, our chemistry rose to thundering crescendos within me. I was at home in another world overflowing with feelings, sounds and sights I had never experienced. Every fiber of me was lit up.
Always cautious and conservative, I took her home shortly after that.
Once tucked in my bed, reality set in like a bad dream. Damn it. I needed to reset my priorities. I needed to not be such a dishonest asshole to my partner. She was home for now and I needed to make a go of it with her. I owed us at least that much after our many years together. Over the next few weeks, she regularly drank too much and hung out at bars until all hours. I continued to see Missy and we actually did follow most of our established rules. My partner and I had too much hurt and anger between us. Every conversation felt like a volcano ready to erupt. After an intense day of tip toeing around cracked egg shells I finally told her, “I need a change.” This was my first hint that our break up could be on the horizon, for real this time.
Luckily, I was staying with my nieces and nephews for a few days while their parents were out of town. My partner was to bring pizza for dinner and hang with us for a while but, she was late. Very late. I was just finishing up making dinner for the little ones when she arrived. She appeared drunk or high or maybe just out-of-her-mind angry. I know I was furious. She demanded my attention, was not helpful in any way and left in a huff an hour later. Thank God that was over!
But it wasn’t. Hours later, after the kitchen was cleaned up, baths finished and the children were finally asleep, pounding on the front door echoed throughout the house. Completely freaked out, I grabbed the hand free home phone and crept down the stairs. I knew I had locked the doors and set the alarm. I knew we were in a ‘good neighborhood.’ I knew the children were going to wake up terrified. The pounding was incessant. What if it was someone who needed help? I know this sounds like something straight out of bad horror movie, but I peeked out the front window. I let my partner into the house.
That was a mistake. She was loud and volatile. Nothing I did eased her anger. In retrospect, I think she knew we were on the verge of ending and was trying to figure out why and how to stop it. But in that moment I felt scared.
I didn’t know what to do so I called Missy. A few minutes before she arrived I heard my partner’s car speed away. Somehow the children had managed to sleep through all of this. Missy’s presence calmed me immediately. She helped me process the night’s events while we waited to see if my partner would return. Missy started a new job at 8:00 that morning so after a while I thanked her for coming to my rescue and said good-bye. She just laughed. She was not about to leave me, so we slept with one eye open until she had to go home to get ready for work.
After work she brought her twins over for dinner and a play date with my nieces and nephews. It went splendidly. The children played on the swing set out back while she told me about her new job. We decided she would spend the night just in case there was another ugly scene in the middle of the night. I had not heard from my partner but was very thankful Missy would be back after dropping her kids off with her ex. Once the kids were bathed and in bed, I headed down stairs to clean up the kitchen and dream about my quiet time with Missy. I lost my breath as my eyes welled up with tears the moment I saw her. She was loading the dishwasher in the soft glow of the kitchen lights. Like endless ocean waves washing upon the shore it hit me: I was completely and deeply in love with her.
Read the “Second Chances Are Two Sweet” series from the beginning: