I am currently sitting on my couch, screwing around on Apple Music, listening to all sorts of music I maybe wouldn’t have had I had to actually pay for it. Chances are good that if I had to pay $1.29 for it, it never would have made it onto my phone. But considering I am sitting in the first month of my 3 month free trial, I figured why not! Let my freak-music flag fly! So here we are, deafening bass and treble flowing through my blue beats, and cramming itself straight into my brain. Then it hits me – literally and figuratively. “I got all I need when I got you and I, cuz I look around me and see a sweet life.. stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight, you’re getting me through the night” and shivers ran up and down my spine, and my husband flashed into my head. A breath caught in my throat and I had to blink back tears. Sure, it may be a cheeseball song from a cheeseball movie, but that line struck a chord with me (pardon the pun.. haha)
For anyone who doesn’t know me or my husbands story, let me just say, it has been a sorted one. It was love at first sight, but also nothing near love at first sight. After a miserable month of school in this catholic high school in grade 10, my mom transferred me to the high school I should have been at all along. A month and a half into the school year, I was, once again, considered the “new girl”. But all of my friends from junior high were there, so I wasn’t all alone. I did a few days in this school, and felt okay. Then one day, rain. My gym class ends up in the drama room, in the dark, siting on the floor, watching a mind-numbingly boring video about tennis. And all of a sudden, there was a head in my lap and a hand holding mine under my knee. I looked at the boy beside me and whispered “who is this?!” and he snickered and said “oh, that’s just Trevor”. And that, people, is how I met my husband. We sat through that entire video, and I can’t tell you a single thing that happened on it, but I can tell you that my heart was racing! I was only a few days at this new school, and I didn’t really know anyone in my gym class. When the video ended, he looked up at me with those gorgeous brown eyes that I now get to gaze into every single day, and he smiled and said “me and Jennie’s like peas and carrots” and then stood up, grabbed my hand, walked me to my locker, kissed me on the cheek and walked away. Other than a few pleasantries for the next 3 years, that was the only real contact I had with Trevor in high school. How much easier life could have been if I had just kept him from walking away that day. We talk about it all the time. Our “what if” moment. We had another “what if” moment at our safe grad 3 years later.. but he was drunk (as all kids are at their safe grads, plus, he was 18, so it was totally legal) and he doesn’t remember telling me he liked me, calling me cutie, saying how sad he was that we weren’t closer, or hugging me like he never wanted to let me go. Funny to look back at moments in your life where everything could have shifted, just if only……
There was zero contact between us over the next 12 years. We became facebook friends in 2007, when facebook was taking the world by storm, but still no contact. Trevor and I lived very different lives, but at the same time, they were scary similar. It’s like life knew better, and just continued grooming us to end up together. I was with someone, and he was with someone. We both had 2 sons, and deep down inside, without showing anyone, we were both miserable, but always had smiles on our faces. We endured a lot, most of which doesn’t require any airing or attention. Lets just say, it was a very sad and empty decade of years.
Then, one night, after he endured the hardest year of his life, closely followed by me doing the same, us separated by 4 hours and what felt like a million years, I made a facebook post expressing how deeply I missed my grandma. And a couple hours later, at midnight, my phone buzzed on my nightstand. I remember my mouth hanging open, and saying out loud in my empty room “Trevor J… where the hell did you come from!?” Of course, I am saying this to myself, cuz I am crazy like that. So, I typed out that very sentence, and thanked him for the nice message. And just like that, a friendship was born. We chatted a few times, nothing too exciting. Talked about our kids, our losses, our lives, etc. I grew to look forward to our talks, because he made me feel like there was a rainbow just over the horizon for me, and that eventually all of my dark clouds would go away. I was, at that point, a year into my divorce and was more lonely than I ever really let on, but he somehow saw through it and made me feel like it was all going to be okay.
There is a lot of stuff that happened in those few months, most of which I do not feel like it needs to be aired, either. All I can say is, we were friends. He helped me through my divorce, helped me smile again, and when the time came for him needing someone to lean on, I helped him see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We were friends. Period. I was closed off, jaded, angry, hurt and broken, and he made me feel hope. Then, when some time had passed, we decided to give this love thing a shot. Let me tell you this, two broken people with that much baggage trying to make a long distance relationship work? That, right there, is a recipe for broken fucking hearts. And that is exactly what happened to us. Fizzle fizzle, crack, and we were done before we ever even got going. And it broke me even more. We had a couple of months where we held eachother together with hopes and tears, but it wasn’t enough. Sometimes, love just isn’t enough. I called him my bandaid, but it just proved that when bandaids are soaked enough, they just don’t stick. And our bandaid was drenched in buckets of tears. It just let go.
Months passed after the most devastating breakup either of us had ever endured, and we all but stopped talking. I couldn’t bear the pain, and he, too, just blocks out pain. So we went from being friends, to best friends, to in love, to nothing, in a mere few months time. It would sound like it was no big deal to most, but that was one of the worst pains I had ever felt. It felt like I was losing oxygen and could not breathe. And deep down inside, as much as I told myself I hated him, I still felt like we were supposed to be together. Who breaks up, tears running down their face, and says “I love you more than anything, and I WILL marry you one day”? I’ll tell you who, my husband. We both just knew we were too broken to be a part of anything at that point, so we broke it off, at 2am laying on my hotel room bed, heads on our tear soaked pilows, and fell asleep holding eachother. Almost 6 years later, and it still hurts my chest.
One day, during our “off” phase, I was at my weekend job, and this song came on the radio. I remember listening to a bit of the words, and falling to the floor in a puddle of tears. “I wish Trevor thought this way about me” I thought…then picked myself up, swore I would stop thinking about him right then and there, and carried on with my life. Fast forward a few months, and I went to Calgary to spend the weekend with my best friend. I finally felt free of the pain, and like I was going to be okay, after all. We had a great weekend, and I felt happy for the first time in months. After leaving her house, I texted Trevor and told him I would be swinging by to “get my shit from you, cuz there’s no need for you to have it anymore” So we planned for me to stop and grab my book, blackberry and PVR. I had several people texting and calling me while I was there, to check up on me, and make sure I didn’t get sucked back in.
I got out of my truck, felt really good about myself (helped that my thyroid meds kicked in while we were apart and I lost 35 pounds.. haha) and grabbed my stuff, threw it in the truck (making sure to flash my tiny ass at him) and said goodbye and started to leave. But he wanted to talk… 2 hours later, we were still standing in that parking lot, talking. And before I knew it, he grabbed me and kissed me. It was all over after that. I tried to keep him at bay, I tried to keep my heart locked up… but he is supposed to be in there… he was always meant to be in my heart. Always. He texted me at work later that week and said “look up the lyrics to this song. Every time I hear it, I think of you and miss you” What song do you think it was? Yeah, the exact same one I thought “I wish Trevor thought this way about me” a few months earlier. When people are meant to be together, it always finds a way.
It wasn’t easy. It still sometimes hurts. I still have moments when I let this all in and I cry. But it is part of our story, as sorted as it may be. Had all of that not happened, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. That’s not to say I don’t wish we could have ended up together without all of the hurt and pain. I am so insanely jealous of people who do it right on their first try. I will never know what that feels like. I have an ex. He has an ex. And no matter what we do or where we go, they will always be in the background. I have kids from a previous marriage. He has kids from a previous relationship. I have a failed marriage. He has a failed long term relationship. I have trust issues. He has trust issues. We still fight fights with our exes, with eachother. There is still baggage at every single turn. And I wish on a daily basis that we had a do-over. But that just isn’t real, nor is it ever possible. This is our life. This is what we have built. We have a beautiful son together. He is an amazing dad to my older two boys. We have a sturdy as hell marriage that isn’t going anywhere.
Trevor is my person. He is my oxygen. I have a lot of issues from my past, but instead of wishing them away, he holds my hand and helps me see in the darkness. I would give anything to go back to grade 10, and never let his hand go… but that’s not my life. Nor is it his. We have overcome some insane stuff in our relationship. We have stood together and let life try to knock us down. But with him by my side, I have no doubt in my mind that I am in the middle of my forever, and nothing is ever going to rip us apart. He still gives me butterflies and tingles, I still get giddy when I hear my phone tell me that he texted me, I still miss him every single time he goes to work, we still text eachother any time we are apart, I still get nervous when he kisses me, I still crave his hugs….
I know if we had been together sooner, it would have been amazing and magical and everything that dreams are made of… but it also may not have worked. Because at our core, we are the same people, but we have both changed a lot over the last 2 decades. And in some ways, I think that Trevor and I had to break before we got together, so that we could help each other put ourselves back together the way we were always meant to be.