There he was. Standing in my mom and dad’s kitchen. That contagious smile, those blue eyes…I was mesmerized once again. I can still remember standing in front of my mom and dad’s refrigerator talking to him. We had this invisible bond that pulled us together. We both knew that there was something there, we just didn’t know exactly what it was or what to do with it. He was still married. He said he just wanted to see how I was doing. I told him I was doing fine, and actually, I was engaged to be married. He just looked at me. I could tell he wanted to say something else, but the words that came out were, “I’m happy for you”. No! That’s not the words I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear him say, “Stop!” “Don’t do it!” “You’re making a mistake!” Since he didn’t say it, and me being the kind of person that doesn’t like things left unsaid, I told him…”Tell me not to marry him, and I won’t do it!” I will always remember that feeling when he looked me in my eyes and said in a soft voice, “I cannot tell you not to marry him”. My heart sank. My thoughts went into overload. Does this mean he does not love me? Why is he here? Why does he care about how I am doing? Did I just think we had something more than what we actually had? He must not love me the way I love him. I buried my feelings for Kevin once again. I told him I was glad he stopped by and that I wished him well. Then, I got married.
Scottie and I got married September 2, 1989. I know this was not fair at all to Scottie. I am so sorry for dragging him into my ignorant, immature way of thinking. I am so sorry for not loving him, the way I should have loved the person I was marrying. The words, “It’s complicated”, was exactly how I would describe Scottie’s and my relationship. We literally fussed and fought throughout the months we dated. Why either of us chose to be married to one another is still a mystery. Most people liked and still like Scottie. He can uplift you and make you laugh. I know that Scottie and I would have made much better friends than a married couple. It’s just that our marriage was like putting a round peg into a square hole. Individually, the round peg and the square hole are just fine. Put them together, and that’s where the problem lies. We were on two completely different pages from the time we dated, and throughout our marriage. I knew I had made a mistake shortly after we married. I was extremely unhappy. I remember one night, meeting some of his friends at a Motel in Brownsville, TN. They were talking and discussing some of their “old” times that they had together. Nothing really bad. I just remembering going into the bathroom, which was directly next to the room they were talking, and overhearing some of their conversations. I remember looking in the mirror, wanting to cry, and thinking…I don’t even really know this guy, but I married this guy for better or for worse. Marriage is a covenant. I have to make this work.
We had been married for a few months, and some of the managers and salesmen at the dealership he was working, were offered a position in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I thought it would be fun living in Florida, and I was always up for an adventure! We decided to move there. I cried a lot those first two months. I remember writing in my journal about how we had just moved into a townhouse, with no electricity, no phone, no furniture, etc. at the time. I remember sitting in the floor in the middle of that empty room, feeling completely and utterly alone. I didn’t even know where anything was in that town. It seemed nobody could even give me clear directions to the grocery store! We didn’t have Tom Tom’s, much less cell phones, back then. I was lost. Scottie and I continued to argue often. When we did get a phone, I would call my mom (long distance), and tell her I couldn’t stay married. I would tell her I was moving back home. I would pack the trunk of the car. Once, I got about an hour outside of town, heading home to my momma! Somewhere on the way, I decided I couldn’t give up on my marriage. I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t want to be divorced! I went back home to Scottie. Being the very intelligent, problem solving, 19 year old intellect that I was (NOT), I came up with an idea that would fix everything. Let’s have a baby! I was at a restaurant in Florida, having breakfast with Scottie, and I asked him if he was ready to have a baby. He said, “Sure”! Within 2 weeks I was pregnant with our first baby! I was so excited! I was already in love with this baby.
About a week after I found out the good news, I got a phone call from my mom. She had spoken to Kevin. He was doing good and checking in with us. Oh…and one more thing…she told me that he had gotten a divorce! I hung up the phone and fell to my knees. I wept. I didn’t understand! Why did we keep missing each other? If he had called 3 weeks prior, this story would have been very different. There was absolutely no way that I would’ve divorced Scottie, knowing that we had a child on the way. It wasn’t about me or my feelings anymore. I knew that child deserved to have his mother and father together. I convinced my mind that even though I knew I loved Kevin, we were always just meant to be friends. We ended up moving back to Memphis shortly after I found out that I was pregnant. We didn’t move back because of the pregnancy though. The dealership thing didn’t work out for most of the Memphis guys, and it just worked out that I was able to come home. Thankfully!
I had my first baby on January 23, 1991! I was so deeply and madly in love! He was and still is perfect! I remember thinking he was such a good boy, and not understanding why other parents had issues with their children. He was a pure delight to be around. Unfortunately, Scottie and I were still at it. We got into some pretty heated arguments, and even had complaints from surrounding tenants at the apartments where we lived. When management sent us a warning letter, I realized this had to stop!! I called my dad and told him I was leaving Scottie. I told him I didn’t want to fight anymore. It wasn’t good for the baby. I didn’t have any money, but a friend of mine, Kristy, said that I could stay with her for a little while. My dad gave me $100 for groceries and I went over to Kristy’s apartment with my son. I didn’t stay there long, but during that short separation, Kevin happened to call again to check on how I was doing. He seemed to pop in and out of my life like that. I didn’t mind! I could never get in touch with him when I wanted, but that was probably a good thing. He always seemed to find me. I spoke to him this time, and told him I was having marital problems and was in the process of getting separated. I actually thought that Kevin and I would FINALLY be able to be together. We could at least date and see where things led us. BUT…I couldn’t do it! I wasn’t strong enough to leave my husband and take my son from his father. So, I went back home to Scottie. This time was different. This time I went back a little defeated. I had changed. I decided that there would be NO MORE FIGHTING! I simply surrendered. Looking back, I realize that my spirit had been a little bit broken. I just wanted to focus on being a good mother and to try being a better wife. During this same time, Kevin lived in Moline, Illinois and had given me his phone number. I called him to let him know the yo-yo feelings that I was having. Instead of him answering, though, a girl answered the phone! She told me that he had moved to Nashville, TN! Seriously? Just like that, he was gone again.
TO BE CONTINUED…