Sometimes we are faced with making decisions that we may not even know we are making in life.
This story is an example of that: The Unknown-
Starting back in November 2003, I had my first relationship where my girlfriend and I lived together. It was a real learning experience for me the whole way around. I never shared so much with anyone before. And the funny thing is, growing up, she was my neighbor, until I was thirteen. So I thought, I already knew this person pretty good. Well, towards the end, and after that, is when I would learn the most. And I really had no idea of what people are capable of doing. I thought I did, but I was just starting my journey-
Val and I dated for the better part of two years. And through her actions, for the most part she treated me very fairy. And I the same. It was a very good relationship while it lasted. Towards the end, we drifted apart. And because we had very few fights, the silence grew between us. But to the naked eye, nobody could tell - If we were walking down the street, you wouldn't be able to tell that we weren't getting along as great as we once were.
Her parents and my parent were good friends, and we were what looked like to be a model of the perfect couple (so I thought). And what started as her-having a longtime crush towards me, ended the night I came home from working second shift, on a Sunday night, in the summer of 2005. That night when I came home, all of her stuff was gone. I walked around and saw that I wasn't robbed, I knew what happened - Goodbye! She had moved out without a trace.
Then I got a phone call from Val:
"You need to change, and I'm going to have to decide on where I want to go to school, and you got to start thinking about school, you can't manage in retail all your life (in which, I made good money, although, at three points-in-time, I demoted myself, and also was promoted again with some time). You need to start thinking about yourself, and I need to start thinking about myself. I just can't do this anymore Jesse."
And I responded:
Yesterday, you said how we make a great team. What, and where did this come from? How did you go from We-to-You-and-I? And how could you sleep in the same bed as me, and always say -don't go to bed angry- without bringing up anything. And you know I'm starting a new job tomorrow morning and I switched working retail, to part time nights. So What do you really mean?
Jesse... I just can't do this anymore...
Then there was the silence again.
And then, on and off we talked very little, until we had our first real argument. It was over -he said/she said- rumors created by my friend, and her best friend, while I was working an overnight shift, doing security for the WPGA tour. And on that night, I spent most of the night trying to get things straightened out, in which I ended up falling asleep towards the end of my shift. Another friend of mine, who I had given a ride to work that night, woke me up, and covered my back to the boss, then my shift ended. My friend and I left work. We headed home at 6am.
And Arnold said to me "you don't look to good?"
" I'm just tired, I haven't been able to sleep really until this morning for some reason or another." I replied.
-then Arnold's phone rang... "Hello..."
And that's when I went to ask the question "Hey, where's a dunkin' do..."-
BOOM!!! Car tires-screeching in the after effects of me falling asleep behind the wheel, in a split second, for a split second. And the truck that I had hit had flipped three times and rolled and hit a light post. The cab (where you sit) had separated from the bed (where you put stuff) of the truck I hit. It was the worst accident I had seen or been in, to that point in my life. I had prayed for the well being of the person I hit, over and over. And all I was trying to ask was - where Dunkin Donuts was?
So then, without a car, a girlfriend or a way back to work, let alone I wasn't able to work. I was back to where I started, right after high school. Just a part-time job- that I couldn't even take part in, because I had injuries that hindered my work progress.
Out of work, for a month, depression had got the best of me; but I never knew it-I had never been depressed before, I was a young twenty-something year old guy, with a few bumps and bruises. That's when I learned about anxiety.
I started over with my life. I went back to work, doing retail-part time. I started thinking about all the goals I had for myself in high school. "Was it too late for college?" I often thought. So I went back to my high school, and talked to the Principal. Who happened to be a friend of mine, as a former teacher. I had been able to make a plan on where I wanted to be, later on in life, with his help. His name is Mr. Daft. He also helped me get in touch with a hero of mine, another former teacher -Ms. Carlotti- she taught high school French, is what she was paid to do; but she taught me more valuable lessons about life, than I could ever thank her for. And that, she didn't get paid for, she did it out of the kindness of her heart.
So I started a new job, in construction, with a new goal in life. To focus on getting ahead. Life was making sense... until... that's when I got a phone call. It had been almost two and a half months - it was Val: "Jesse, can we talk?"
I was floored, I never expected this now after just moving out in the way that she did. But I let her say what she had to say.
"Jesse, I just don't know what makes me happy anymore, I moved in with so-and-so, and it just isn't working. But we have a lease on the house we rented, and I just don't know what to do?" She said.
And to cut to the chase here, now is when I learned something about honesty. That was the point I stressed-
"Jesse, I know I haven't been honest with you, there's been other guys too, but, Jesse, how was I to know if you were to really stick out above the rest." Is what she told me, which was the truth. And I respected that, didn't like it, but faced it.
"What am I suppose to do now, huh, I mean if this isn't some kind of a rock and a hard place..." Is the only thing I wanted to respond with-
However there was more to the story, as a few days went by I visited her. and we actually had a conversation for the first time, and I actually learned a lot about what was going on with her, and how confused life had gotten for her. I was able to try and keep my own feelings back, but once we met up, we had that connection again, like in the beginning again. And we were falling for each other again, but she felt trapped in another relationship. And a few days went by I learned of how she was also attracted to an older guy that she was working with.
And in the chaos of all of this, an affair started between my ex and I. In which, broke up her unhappy relationship, and ended our affair. Our affair actually ended on a good conversation, in the wrong place; with so-and-so, getting the worse end of the bargain. And the older guy in the situation, which is what I believed she truly wanted, I told her to be with, if she thought it is what would make her happy. Because, I still had to focus on getting myself into school. I just had to now.
But we kept in touch, my ex and I, as friends. We would talk over the phone from time to time, and as both of our families knew each other's pretty good, they would talk too.
That's when I got another phone call, it was Val again: "Jesse, My boyfriend's been arrested, I don't know what to do?" There was an old bench warrant against her boyfriend, who had just been pulled over and arrested.
And I said "if he just moved in with you, and then this happened, then you're all he has right now. Even if he isn't there-if you care about him, and you think he makes you happy, then you got to be strong for him because it's only a bench warrant, he'll be out in not that long of a time. And it'll be the difference of whether or not he comes home - to a HOME or not, and a girlfriend, who calling me because she cares about what to do about her boyfriend? right?"
And over a three months, her boyfriend was released. And he is actually a pretty cool guy. And I became pretty good friends with my ex, on a different level. This was a form of open communication that I never had-had with an individual before, and we both grew tremendously from it. Then maybe a few months or so went by, and then I got a letter and a phone call - the letter was from the college I applied to, and I was Accepted! Then the phone call came, it was Val: "I'm Pregnant!" she yelled with surprise. "You know how I always talked about children! Now it's for real!" (and her boyfriend is the father, not me, in this story) She was finally discovering, we were both finally discovering what paths we were suppose to take upon this life. And we talked some more and that's when I learned that we can be tested, or what feels like being tested by a higher power, just to help guide another. That's when she said to me "You showed me I can be strong enough, even now, to be a great mom!"
And as time went by, I got one more phone call, from Val: "It's a Boy!" Elated as could be, after giving birth, I could feel the excitement in her voice. That was the outlet to show me what the big picture was all about: *The Sum Is Greater Than It's Parts* I was just a piece to the puzzle, in this situation, that added up to a much better start for a new-born baby boy.