The Long Run
By Jessica Davis
We stood with two feet between us in the window of my condo, looking out into the parking lot at his brand-new truck. It was one of those over-the-top, decked-out lifted pickups, and it was top to bottom black and red. His favorite colors. It was the most douche-y monstrosity I had ever seen.
“It’s very you,” I remarked.
“Thank you,” he grinned ear to ear, “I love it.”
He had brought over the last few boxes of my things, and I didn’t know it then but it would be the last I would see of him for a very long time. The date we had chosen for our wedding had passed two months ago. It was strange to be standing here with him now in my bachelorette pad, discussing his new life and his new girlfriend.
Both of us had our hands in our pockets as we chatted. The way he talked with his eyes closed never bothered me more than it did right then as he bragged about his new puppy and the house he just bought.
“How was your vacation?” He smirked a little when he asked, but I knew him well enough to see the insecurity behind it.
“It was amazing,” I cooed. And it was. My friend’s dad had bought my ticket, put me up with them in their condo, paid for all of my food, and even took me with them SCUBA diving – all so that my friend would agree to go on the trip too. A week in Kauai couldn’t have been more carefree. The beaches, the sunsets, the people… I couldn’t get enough. “I think I’m going to move there.”
He bent over a little as he laughed, his eyes closing in that condescending way of his. “You’re going to move to Hawaii?”
My eyes narrowed slightly. What had I ever seen in this guy?
“Yeah, it’s not like I’m doing anything worthwhile here. And if I’m going to make any big life changes I may as well do it while I’m single.” I let that last word linger. I knew it had stung him a little.
“Well, let me know how that goes,” he sneered.
There had been plenty of red flags. I had simply chosen to ignore them all for an extended period of time. It wasn’t until we had a wedding date that they seemed to be an issue.
“Cold feet” is what most people call it. I had felt it to be more of a large dose of reality. Once we were engaged, I saw him relax into himself. He stopped behaving as though I might ever decide to leave him, and I didn’t like how I was being treated.
We argued. I guess it doesn’t really matter what we argued about. We never found a resolution. He seemed more concerned with ensuring that I would go through with the wedding than he was with actually fixing the problems at hand, and I was adamant that I couldn’t marry someone whom I wasn’t certain I could spend forever with.
“Let’s just get married, and if we get divorced we get divorced,” he tried to reason during one particularly emotional discussion. He wanted so badly to be a dad. I was starting to see that he was more in love with the idea of having a family than he ever was with me.
“How can you consider getting married when you think we might get divorced?” I sobbed incredulously.
It was difficult to find the courage to call it off. I can see why it would be so tempting for someone to just go through with a wedding, it seems easier, less embarrassing. But when I finally did end it, I was surprised to hear from a handful of married women how proud they were of me, including his mother. What was easy in the short term for them had become far more difficult in the long run than what I had done.
It took five weeks from the day I ended our engagement for him to become Facebook official with his new girlfriend. I didn’t need any more proof that I had made the right decision.
A year later I booked my flight – one way – and started my life over again in Hawaii. The beaches, the sunsets and the people still don’t fail to deliver. While I very rarely hear from the man I almost married, his mom always likes the Hawaii pictures I post online.