I’m going to tell you the story of me and Keith. It’s a long, ongoing story that can be disturbing and might make you question things between us, but let me be perfectly clear right off the bat: we are happier than we have ever been. Things are still rocky occasionally, but it’s no longer a constant stressor.
Now check what this involves and then you can judge if you want to read it. Domestic abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, severe mental illness, PTSD, and various mentions of relationship problems like sex and divorce and marriage and cheating. And young, stupid people doing young, stupid things.
This may be a series. We’ll see how far I get before I get emotionally drained by this retelling.
I saw Keith one time, a year before I met him. I was walking home from school, and some jackass in a black, huge ass Jeep was blaring some kind of screamo/rap? Something loud and strange. He zoomed down the street and took the corner so his tires squealed. I thought, “What an idiot.” I found out later that that idiot was my future husband.
Keith and I really met in college. He and and a buddy of his were in my acting class, and he did a killer Jack Sparrow impression (it was 2007, okay). One day, we went out for a smoke together and got to talking. I thought his friend was cute. I was in a relationship with a guy, my only boyfriend ever, whom I have written about on this blog (yep, that one) but I wanted to meet new people and was working up to leaving him and I thought, it’s college!
But I didn’t talk to the cute friend. I talked to Keith. He had so much to say (mostly about cars) and I thought, “What a cool guy.” So naturally I had to set him up with my recently singled best friend.
Thank god that didn’t get past the introduction. They’re friends, which is nice because we can all hang out together now. But then, I started hanging out with Keith more.
In the meantime, Keith didn’t waste any time to start hitting on me. He asked if I wanted to go out with him sometime (he asked it roundabout–you’ll notice this trend). I said oops, got a bf, but thanks! And then I dumped the bf, and asked if Keith wanted to go to a party with me. He said, sorry, but there’s this girl I’m really into, now, and I don’t want to mess things up with her. So I stepped back, and went, “Holy shit I do like this guy” because I was suddenly jealous and I knew what that meant. And being ace, I was not really overly attracted to anyone, sexually speaking, but I formed an emotional attachment. Not that you would’ve heard me admit it–I’m an intensely secret person about my feelings, or at least I was until I found blogging. I still am with most people with me in the real world.
But back to Keith. I wanted him–his attention. So I…kinda made myself available. I made friends with his friends (they were the COOLEST people when I first met them) and I hung around the student center where he liked to hang out and I went out for smokes with him and was his friend. I felt drawn to him.
And then one day, I guess he decided the girl wasn’t important at the moment. He and I joked, and flirted, and finally he made innuendoes and I returned them and he just flat out said, “You know, I would invite you back to my room, but I respect you too much.” And then I saw the look in his eyes–he was totally making fun of himself, he was laughing in those eyes. He knew it was the cheapest line ever. And I laughed and understood his humor and just flat out got in my car with him and went back to his dorm.
We had a friends with benefits thing going. But then he wanted to end it, after I was starting to develop feelings for him, because of that girl he liked–she found out we were fucking and threw a hissy fit over it and demanded he stop seeing me. No, she was not his girlfriend–she had been stringing him along for months, and the moment he started moving on, she seriously got mad at him for doing it even though she wasn’t actually interested in him. She was with somebody else and hadn’t told Keith so he’d keep pursuing her. She was a piece of work.
But then…Keith just couldn’t stay away from me. He invited me back to his place to “watch porn as friends.” Yeah right. We picked up right where we left off. He got weird about it, and finally I was just like, “Dude, I like you. I want you to know I am an option for you.” And he was like, shocked out of his mind. But…eventually he got over it, and made his decision. His decision was me.
To feel chosen, after only being chosen in a bad way all my life? That was fucking balm for my wounds. Keith asked me out by saying, “Will you…be my Valentine?” (in November). I tried to make him say it, but he was so bashful and playful. So I let him off the hook.
And then he left. He was a Marine Corps reservist, just finished college, so he was being shipped off to Iraq. He went to North Carolina for training, and then he went to 29 Palms, CA for desert training. We kept in very close contact–we visited each other every chance we got. We wrote letters and sent texts and called and continued our romance long-distance.
And then, I was hanging out at a friend’s apartment, and Keith called my friend. My friend took the call in the other room, and I was like, what’s going on? Friend came back. Said, “Just got off the phone with Keith. He’s gonna propose!” and then he spilled all the secrets to me and asked my ring size because he had been tasked with finding that out and then sent it back to Keith and calmly pretended like he hadn’t just told me everything.
So on July 4, under the fireworks, I waited for Keith to pop the question, as planned, about a year after we’d met. And…nothing. My information was bad. Keith had changed his mind and didn’t want to marry me after all. I was a little disappointed. I was so unsure, and a little relieved too. But then we got inside and made love and right as we’re naked he pulls out the ring. And I’m like, “Buh, wha?” Because I can’t shift gears that fast. And he was like, “It’s a ring.” And I was like, “I know.” And he asked me, and I said yes.
21 days later, we were married. His family didn’t know. We were gonna keep it a secret from his family, and have a second wedding when…if he came home. But if he didn’t, he wanted to take care of me, so he made it official with me fast. I was in his benefits and will, I had power of attorney, and he was going to a heavy war zone as Marine Corp infantry. It was terrifying. But I wanted to get through it together and then start our lives.
I’ll continue this soon.