A Rainy Day For A Walk: Part Two – The Girl Without An Umbrella
As I started my long walk back to my dorm, I could feel the weight of every rain drop beating down on my body. As if mother nature knew I needed to be cleansed of what just happened…
It was an early and quite chilly Saturday morning in April, shockingly so for the Charlotte area. The walk from his apartment to my dorm was about a mile and a half. I had made the walk a hundred times, but this time it was different. It seemed like the walking paths and trails were never ending, with every step the paths were stretching and growing. My dorm room and my safe haven was nowhere in sight. It was so cloudy and my vision was blurred; blurred with tears and the fact that I had to carry my glasses due to the rain. My whole body had been soaked through before I had even made it fifty yards from his front door and at this point I was sopping wet. The rain was coming down so fast it was collecting in every crevice and the puddles were turning into tiny streams along the way. The rain was cleansing me, beating the tears right out of me, and if anything trying to sober me up from the fog I was in. I didn’t plan on being kicked out of his apartment that morning, so I was ill prepared for my impromptu walk home. I was wearing my uniform; black slacks, sneakers, and a blue t-shirt with a restaurant logo on it. My hair was pulled up into a pony tail, and I had my backpack on. It was the only thing that was keeping me somewhat warm from the elements, the slight pressure on my back giving me some comfort.
My body was moving, my legs were taking slow but steady steps, but I was starting to go numb. Have you every felt like you were on auto pilot? Getting caught in a daze so hard, by the time you snap out of it you’ve completely driven home or finished showering and you wonder how you didn’t wreck or question whether or not you shampooed your hair and wiped your vitals? Well, that was me… My legs knew exactly where I needed to go and I was grateful for that, because my brain was occupied with dark and melancholy thoughts this 19 year old was not equipped to handle at the time. Thankfully, there wasn’t a soul in sight, an early and rainy Saturday morning on a college campus was as empty as a Church on a weeknight. I have no idea how I made it back to my dorm room, but somehow I managed to get inside, gotten on the elevator and knew enough to hit the number six button to get me home. I could feel the skin on my feet and hands pruning, and my entire body felt like ice. I stood at the doorway to my room and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do next. The puddles at my feet spreading… I felt heavy and filthy from the guilt, shame, disrespect and hate that was verbally thrown at me. I did exactly what every little girl does when she finds herself in a situation she doesn’t know how to handle. I called my Mom. I explained to her what happened and hearing myself say it aloud made it feel real, because at this point I was hoping it was just a bad dream. She said several cuss words and made some idle threats and came to my rescue. Nothing she said made it better or reassured me of anything, but she came and got me, because that is what moms do…
After a night of celebrating his birthday, and partying like college rockstars there we laid, fully clothed, on top of the sheets to his twin sized bed. I pretty much had to carry/drag this thick mountain of a man from his friends place where I threw him his birthday bash. He was so unbelievably drunk and incoherent I didn’t know how I was ever going to get him back to his place, but I did. He got so violently ill at the party as soon as we made it back to his apartment we crashed on his bed. We must’ve gotten about three hours sleep when we heard banging at his bedroom window. It’s O’dark:30am on a Saturday, again on a college campus, the day after his birthday party, who the hell could it be? It was his Father, apparently they had decided to pay a surprise visit to their golden child the morning after his party. Visions of his father walking through the landscaped area near his window and peering through the open spaces of the blinds, with his judgmental, holier than thou face like a lunatic kind of makes me laugh now. I can only imagine the shock running through his body as he spotted pieces of our clothed, intertwined limbs sharing the same bed space; his 22 year old pride and joy laying in a bed with me. For all the trouble that would soon unfold, I kind of wish he had seen his son tied to the headboard, being ridden by me, it would have made for a better story. However, that was not the case. We were fully clothed, and sleeping, and his son was so drunk that night that the only thing that popped up were the blood vessels in his eyes from throwing up so hard.
Anyhow, a very hungover and still buzzed, thickish man quickly jumped out of bed and went to his window, then said, “It’s my Dad! He saw US! Stay right here!” I just laid there, not knowing what to do or how to process the fear in the voice of a 22 year old man, because his Dad saw us fully clothed sleeping in the same bed. A few minutes passed by, and I got up and started to change into my uniform. It was the only clothes I had packed, because I had to work that afternoon and was planning on sleeping until then, but that was obviously not going to happen now. As I was putting on my shoes he came barging through his bedroom door and said, “You have to get out of here. My Dad saw us laying in bed together, and my Mom is on her way. He doesn’t want her to know that I was in bed with you. You have to go. NOW!” Confused, and a little shocked at his request, I grabbed my backpack and headed towards the living room, with him following close behind me in a panic. When I walked around the corner there stood his Father, scowl on his face, wet from the rain, and disgust pouring out of his eyes.
“…Melvi, he wasn’t raised like you were and he has never behaved this way until, you. You are never to see my son again, and if he chooses to, it will not be in his best interest, because we will completely cut him off. We will not pay for his college, his car, his phone or anything. Do you hear me? If you want to act like this with other boys, fine. NOT with my son, he was raised better than that. Now, get out of here right now my wife will be here any minute, and it will just break her heart to see someone like you, laid up with her son. Go!”
Someone like me? I wasn’t raised like he was? No, your damn right I wasn’t raised like he was. I didn’t grow up fearing God, I feared my Mother’s wrath if I stepped out of line, and your son would’ve been a better behaved young man if she had raised him. This man had absolutely no idea who I was or how I was raised, and was completely delusional in thinking that I was the bad influence on his son. He didn’t know that I had tried for months to get his perfect little boy to stop drinking so much. He wasn’t aware that his church going, Sunday school raised, church camp, bible loving and God fearing son acted this way with girls prior to me, and that he was going to continue acting this way long after me. He didn’t know that his golden boy had to prep his friends and roommates not to cuss or say the wrong thing, and rid their apartment of all alcohol and drug paraphernalia before they came to visit. This man had painted me as a whore, and had blamed me for his sons behavior not knowing that I took care of his drunk, vomiting sons ass more times than I could count. This Christian man, who thought he raised his son better than my parents raised me, kicked me out in the pouring rain, without a jacket or an umbrella so that the lie that his son perpetuated would continue to live on, after he threw the problem out the door.
The thing is that that golden boy, that perfect son he described him being before me – I loved the real him. The every day, average college guy, who was goofy, imperfect, and who I thought would one day grow up to be a wonderful man. I loved who he was when he was with me, raging red flags and all, and in my youth and ridiculousness I thought that he was it for me. The weight of his Father’s expectations wore heavy on him that morning, and it is what made him completely unrecognizable to me at that moment. That boy, who I thought loved me, stood there and never said one single word. Never said a word to defend me or even question the decision his Father made for him. He let his Father talk down to me and throw me out in the rain, without explaining to him who I really was or what I meant to him. He didn’t offer to at least drive me home so I wasn’t washed away in the rain, and he never even looked up to see my face as his Father tore me apart. He let me walk out that door, and whether he loved me or not he wasn’t going to let the mask of his lies be uncovered to his parents for someone like me. He was just a kid.
Later that night he picked me up from work and told me that earlier that week he had asked God to give him a sign as to whether or not I was the right girl for him. He took what had happened with his Father earlier that day as the sign that he needed to break up with me. NOT the fact that his Father was going to completely cut him off. I was devastated, and looking back I wish I had handled things better, but I too, was just a kid. An extremely emotional one at that. For months, he would toy with my emotions, give me false hope, tell me he still missed and loved me all while pursuing other girls that would fit the mold more appropriately. We had secret meetings, dates and rendezvous for almost a year until I finally got enough confidence and courage to say no. I wasn’t going to be his dirty little secret anymore. It was all or nothing, and my heart was just going to have to get over it, and it did. I honestly hope that God is too busy to give drunken college boys signs to help guide them in love, and if not, he should be. However, I would like to think that if God was trying to give any signs that day, it was intended for me. In my stubbornness I ignored it for a year, but I finally got it. It took a while for me to see through the love fog, but I made it to the other side. It took me being disrespected by his father, then by him, and finally by myself. Letting myself get played and pulled through the dark alleys of a secret affair, but slowly I began to realize my own worth. Now, I can say with absolute certainty that he was not my person. He was just the person and one of the challenges I had to get through to learn to make better decisions and pay better attention to the red flags. He was just one lesson that I needed to learn to continue putting the pieces of this woman together and I’m grateful for it. I’m sure my lessons would have been more fun if I had dated #1 on the basketball team or had gotten enough courage to ask the atheist out, but it may have changed my course and I wouldn’t have what I have now. If his Father would’ve been a better man or if he had had the courage to stand up for me, I wouldn’t be here. Besides, I like the fact that I have the good sense to always carry an umbrella now, the rain doesn’t always come, but its nice to be prepared.