I started writing this around the beginning of May. I started to post it as I wrote, but I remembered a story called "Darby Rutledge" that still begs for an ending, so I thought perhaps I should write it all out before I release any of it. So, I did.
It was intended to be three posts, but I realized I couldn't tell the story the way I wanted to tell it in three posts, or else they would be looooong posts. So, while we still have three acts, I'm breaking it up into scenes as well, and will be posted daily for the next week or so.
Stephanie and I discussed this as well... my fear would be someone in the audience would say to her "Are you okay with stuff he wrote?", and when confronted with that worry, she told me "Its your story. Write it how you want to." To me, thats not so much as a "write it how you want to" as it is a "I trust you that you'll say what you want to say in an appropriate manner". So I hope I have done so.
Of course, the question begs "Why even write it?" and I answer that in two ways... one, I found out some news that made me smile, but made me think, and finally made me want to write it out... and two, its my blog site. I can write as I want. I do hope, however, you stick around... and maybe even post your thoughts. I took me a year to get my dozen or so faithful readers, so I don't want to miss that. If you aren't interested, check back next week.
So without further ado, I give you "A Love Story in Three Acts: Exposition"
I'm almost 31 years old, and can honestly say that I've been in love twice. I've given my heart away two different times, once when it wasn't accepted, and once in 2004 when she gave me hers in return. I've said "I love you" five times in relationships--Cindy Howell, Katharine Gates, Amy Worthy, Amy Wible and Stephanie Campbell... the first time I sort of meant it, maybe, but who knows. The next two I don't like to admit it, because I didn't mean it... I prided myself on not tossing around "I love you" in relationships, but with those two, I did. The last two--yes, I meant it. We'll get to all of these.
Love stories are something different... something God given. Several of my readers won't have one yet. Perhaps a couple of you might have one, but you aren't sure... some of you have your own, maybe even several. I know Michael's love story with Susan Neese didn't pan out so well... but his with Ashley did. I'd like to think that Tommy, Amy, Michael and others can happily bear witness to the love story that happened between Steph and I (thats in Act 3, by the way).
Then again, some of you have a love story that didn't turn out so well, and are still waiting for the one that does. Or still waiting for one, period. It happens.
I found out the center of my first love story recently got married. I'm happily married to Stephanie, and have been for over two years, and yet when I heard this news, I twinged. Not a bad thing, just more of a reaction like Ocean's Twelve, when Rusty's car blew up, and he just turned around in classic Brad Pitt fashion, tongue-in-cheek and said, "...huh...". Like that.
And then it hit me... my proverbial circle had just clicked, and somehow, there was closure. Don't know why there wasn't before, she wasn't someone I thought of with loving eyes anymore, not by years, and yet it was like those five years were finally finished. And I smiled. And I was very, very happy for her.
Heartbreak is something a little different, I think. Its a nasty bugger to go through, though I still maintain that everyone should suffer through it once. If you never have your heart shattered, you'll never fully appreciate it when its whole and complete. Let's not overspiritualize it by the ol' "Only God can make your heart complete"... yes, thats true. But human emotion and human heartbreak is still very powerful.
The aforementioned newly married girl broke my heart once. Several years later, someone else did so in a completely different manner, so I've had to deal with it twice. Heartbreak takes closure and/or time to push through... the first one happened many years ago, giving me the time to be fine with it, so the closure was an added bonus. The second? I'm still waiting for enough time to pass, or closure to come.
Don't take this as "Man, he should just get over it, he seems unhappy", because I'm over it--and very happy with the life God has blessed me with thusfar. If I died tomorrow, God will have given me everything I could have ever hoped for and more, including Stephanie, whom I love so deeply and remind her of it often. She's amazing, unselfish, beautiful and the missing piece to me that God intended.
Anyway, to begin, I'd like to tell you my love stories, starting with one that isn't quite a love story, but sort of is. Her name is Cindy.
Next: Act 1: Cindy