Readers Beware: This is a look into my life that few have ever seen or even know about. If you are shocked by what you will learn, just know that I have come far since then, but the reasons I am writing about it now are all personal. It’s not for attention or pity, I am not accepting any of that. I am who I am today because of the things that have happened in my life.
Story Continued from: Time Marches On
Spring was nothing but battle after battle. Nothing I could say was right. Nothing he did was right. We worked opposite shifts. We spoke as little as possible. We had lost interest in each other completely. It really wasn’t a shock. We knew we were good friends, but the rest of our relationship was just lacking. There was no sense of romance. No spark. There never really was from the beginning. Trying to force the connection only backfired on whoever was attempting that week, and eventually we just started to become cold.
One rainy day in April I got to work and found a set of orders with my name on them. They said I had to report by July 30th to RAF Mildenhall, in England. My stomach flipped. EUROPE! A dim ancient spark inside my soul flickered with anticipation. Me? England? London! Ireland! Scotland! Paris! Ah!!! I could feel myself shaking as I picked up the phone and called him immediately to tell him the great news. My spark was short-lived. He wanted me to see if we could get the orders canceled. I was dumbfounded. CANCEL A FREE FOUR YEARS IN EUROPE???
I couldn’t do it. This was a fight I would have to make a stance over. I did. It drove a giant wedge. What was tense became worse. He engulfed himself in work and when he wasn’t at work, he was at a friend’s house working on cars. While he was busy ignoring me, and I was busy day dreaming of Europe, another force was at work. Without my obvious noticing I had become very good friends with a guy that I worked with. He was on flight crew. He went all over the world, all the time. I heard epic tales of faraway places that I had only read about by Homer. He was only 4 years older than me, and there wasn’t a country he hadn’t visited.
I became enamored with his stories as the traveler in my soul was resurrected. He was smart, funny, and listened to me. There was a spark that I hadn’t felt in ages. So long that I nearly missed it. We had chemistry. He came into my office one day to tell me that since I was leaving the squadron and moving, he had coerced the managers for me to make one trip on the aircraft that we flew…with him. I would get to travel as an Assistant Flying Crew Chief to Puerto Rico and then to Mexico for Cinco de Mayo. It was only a 3 day trip over that coming weekend and we would return.I was elated. Puerto Rico? Mexico? And then England? Jack pot baby! I was packed and on board before I knew what hit me. Looking back now, I so clearly see my naivety… but then I was nothing but ready. Flying over the Gulf of Mexico into Puerto Rico my adrenaline pounded in my ears. He stood beside me pointing over the pilots shoulder different land marks for me to check out. When the tires hit the ground it wasn’t 30 minutes and we had the plane put up for the night. The flight crew waited for us to head to the hotel. I had never spent any time with flight crew. I had no idea what to expect.
The hotel was a party in itself… half casino half night club we played Roulette, danced, and drank all the rum we could stand until wee hours of the night. I had never felt that much desire for another person. He loved to travel, explore, learn… and it was a road I was convinced I wanted to go down. The romance was intense, and our relationship consumed us. I fell asleep beside a stranger that I felt I knew better than the man living in my home. The salsa music still pulsing in my mind, I decided to think it all through later.
The trip to Mexico was more of the same. Lots of flirting, site seeing, dancing, laughing, and rum. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, was a raving out of control party. When our plane got back to California, my mind was heavy. I nervously wondered how I felt deep down. I sat out by the curb waiting for him to come and pick me up with Hailey. He didn’t show. I waited longer. Finally I called him. He had forgotten and was working on a friend’s car, it would be an hour or so before he could come and get me.
My guilt that was churning in my stomach melted into an angry hatred when out of the corner of my eye a white Mustang convertible pulled up. Puerto Rico (as I began to call him) hadn’t left yet. He knew I was waiting and had been waiting to make sure I got picked up. I was embarrassed and tried to cover for my husband. But as I began to, I realized I was lying to someone I had been talking to for weeks. He already knew.