Friday, May 21, 2010

The Shining

No, not the Stephen King story...although it did seem rather terrifying for Becky.

The thing she and I have perfected during our stay at the motel has been laziness. In fact, yesterday was the part where we took it too far. I caught the writing bug, so I've been putting a file onto her laptop that covers how she and I became a couple. Sure, it's all here on my blog, but I decided to write it as best I can from her perspective. Here's a sample:

Okay…It should be known right off the bat that Rob is actually writing this story. He’s the writer; I’m the artist. He tends to explain things better than me. However, it should be noted that nothing here is written without my approval. And with that out of the way, we begin with… …a metric ton of flirting. It all happened on City of Heroes, an MMO that Shawn, my fiancĂ©, and I played regularly. This guy, “Adjective-Noun,” seemed like a funny, yet lonely guy. So I would occasionally let him flirt with me, or actually start the flirting with him. There was never anything serious about it. The private messages we would send back and forth were taken with such little seriousness that my fiancĂ© even encouraged it every now and again.

While I wrote, Becky slept. We managed to waste away the entire day, me scribbling while she slumbered. By the time we actually got out and ate something substantial...Well, Becky's metabolism (which makes her hypoglycemic) didn't react so well. Thus, we decided to make an early night of it and get a decent start on today.

That didn't work out so well. For starters, we didn't turn out the lights to get some sleep until around 1:00 AM. For enders, the idiots in the room directly next to us aparently have no "indoor voice," thereby keeping me awake until 3:00 AM. The cherry atop this misery sundae was that I set my alarm for PM instead of AM, so we awoke closer to 10:30 AM instead of 9:00 AM as planned.

Moving as slowly as possible for two people that are actually fairly mobile, we finally made it out the door around noon and headed for the mall over in the next major town. Absolutely nothing was out of the ordinary until we reached our destination. That's when Becky encountered...THE SHINING!

That is, she encountered the shiny objects I was simply LOOKING at. And all I was doing was looking. We'd had enough conversations about it, and the verdict was that any serious decisions we planned on making would require time, thought, and discussion. So all I was doing was looking at engagement rings in order to see what kind of prices I'd be facing. It figures that I would first look at rings that would take me 10 years to pay off, possibly having to offer up my firstborn's soul when he/she finally came along. Becky, in turn, was looking at the least costly of all the rings. I think if they had a plastic ring with a cut piece of quartz she'd have been happy. Finally, I settled on a half karat, round, solitaire diamond ring for the low, low price of about $700.

Yeah, that's not happening any time soon.

As we left the jewelry store, I took her hand and asked, "So...any problems getting your heart back inside your chest?"

My curiosity over the price of rings scared and excited her at the same time. But...

The truth is that I completed this post in a very different manner. It included other information, like how we managed to gloss over the stop at that jeweler and move on to far less important things, like buying a few things at a used book store. But then tonight happened.

There's been a lingering topic throughout this day. I kept saying that Becky had altered my life plans. I still dread dying alone, without someone I love at my side. But I no longer believe such a scenario is an absolute certainty. Tonight, I explained how I actually had very little faith in our meeting. Experience had taught me that these things never worked in my favor. She would change her mind. There would be a car accident. (...which was faked in the past to avoid coming to meet me. (Too long to explain right now.)) Or she would drop "the truth" in my lap, and leave me to pick up the pieces of my heart afterward. Whatever happened, Becky wouldn't be in Kansas when she said she would be.

When did I believe it was truly happening? I confessed to Becky this very night that it wasn't until I saw her in the motel room during her mid-trip break that I finally accepted she was on her way. Oh, she could have been renting a room in the motel in her home town and talking to me from there, but that never even crossed my mind. There'd been just enough hope left that when I saw her on the camera with that fairly generic background, it FINALLY clicked that this one...this woman...Becky was, in fact, on her way to see me.

Really...Has my life been such a long list of betrayals that I would believe this woman a liar like so many people before her? I suppose it has. I've heard "I love you" from many people, only to have them prove otherwise.

Robin, the longest romantic relationship of my entire life, had vowed "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health" long before we were going to take any ceremonial vows. I took her at her word. I mean, when you love someone and they make a promise, you don't sit back with a skeptical expression and demand they prove it. Yet when growing disability made it impossible for me to hold down a job, Robin's promises became a series of empty words.

Supposedly there is nothing stronger than a mother's love. Well, my biological mother certainly disproved that when she found me overdosed on two different drugs and my left arm sliced up. "Get up, clean up, pack up, and get out" still echo in my head, despite the fact that my mind was almost completely shattered at that moment in time.

My brother was dying. I busted my butt to get to his side so that I could tell him that I loved him. I made it just in time for him to make a truly miraculous recovery, (thanks to the aid of some of the most amazing human beings on the planet). When my time of need came, he declared that I was welcome inside his home, and promised that it was me, his brother, that he wanted. But his actions spoke louder than words. The moment I pointed out that living under his roof would cost me almost as much, if not more, than living alone, he exploded with unreasonable anger, and hasn't made any effort to speak to me again...even though I called back in January to wish him a happy New Year.

Finally, there's Julie. Nothing would stand between our friendship again. Well, I gave her plenty of time to cool off since the blowout so many months ago. The phone number I have is no good. She made no effort to tell me what was happening; she simply vanished. And the lack of contact all stemmed from the fact that I became so worried that I asked the police to check on her. Now I have no idea if she's dead or alive.

These people, all of whom claimed to love me, managed to damage my faith in people's promises that I probably have every reason to remain skeptical of anyone who followed in their footsteps. But here I am, in love, typing what's in my heart for all the world to see at the click of a link. My instincts, etched into my mind via repeated experience, tell me to hide my feelings, back away, and start running. Start running and never look back.

And what did I do instead? I sat on the bed tonight, talking about these very things with my sweet, beautiful, beloved Becky. Her promises are very much like those before her. Instead of running...instead of closing my heart to her...instead of making any kind of move that indicated a backward step, I asked her permission to start saving for that ring. I took a step between asking her out and asking her to marry me. I warned her that my life will likely not improve; that my medical conditions will either stay status quo (at best) or decline (at worst). She said she didn't care. So I asked if it was okay for me to ask her to marry me within the next year.

Becky smiled, kissed me...and said yes.

For the first time in a long time, my future is shining.


Anonymous said...

That... is truly wonderful. I wish you the best of luck on this.

Please do invite me to the wedding, too!

Rob Meadows said...

I'll be sure to do that, Anonymous! Of course, that means a lot of invitations will be going out to people with your name. Here's hoping one of them finds you. =P

Zeb The Troll said...

Okay, Rob. Of course you know that you now MUST attend the Johnson City meetup. And so must she. You wouldn't dream of denying us the opportunity to congratulate/well-wish you in person, would you? 8-D

evan said...

This is the best news I've had in weeks, if not months. I'm truly thrilled that this is happening for you.