If I look like I am struggling again – I am. I am hurrying through this as it is very hard for me to write and for reasons I do not wish to divulge.
“There is one thing I want you to do if you are going to marry me,” he said one evening as we sat in his big chair together. “I want you to quit chatting with your friends on the internet. I especially want you to quit chatting with that guy in Ottawa.”
I felt numb as I sat there and thought about D. I didn’t want to do it and it must have been written all over my face as he sat there watching me.
“I want you to tell him you are marrying me. If you don’t – then you obviously don’t want to get married.”
Writing that letter was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried endlessly as I put the words on paper that would let him know I was getting married. Having to explain that I could never speak to him again was just as hard. When I went to post the envelope – I almost tried to snatch it back. Not only was it going to be tough for D – but he was going to get that letter right around Christmas. I felt terrible that I would be ruining it for him as I knew it would. But once it was done, I also had to let Cid know.
“It won’t change anything,” I tried to tell Cid.
“It changes everything.” he said.
My mother did not like John which wasn’t anything new – she didn’t like most of the guys I dated, but I didn’t care. The unusual diamond didn’t impress her, and impressed my father even less. I thought my marriage might change the way my mother saw me, but it didn’t. One morning as I arrived at work she screamed at me for using the internet for my personal use. She informed me that she had called the internet provider and had the service terminated. Little did she know how happy that made John.
We decided to get married sooner than later and I set about making wedding arrangements. John left everything up to me and I started looking for a Justice of the Peace to marry us in the barn. I wanted to go to Mexico for a honeymoon and John had to apply for his passport. We took a day and went down to Calgary so he could get it quicker. From there I let my best friend know that we were going to get married at Easter. She bought tickets for her family of four to come for the long weekend and everything was beginning to shape up. John moved a few things into the barn so he could be closer to me and to his children who lived in the same small town. He began working on his house in the big city with the idea that he would rent it out once we were married.
I still spoke with Cid as often as I could, but he was calling less and less. John didn’t say much when he called but I could tell he didn’t like us being friends. I was still having trouble with the old hernia repair and the doctors decided one more surgery was in order. I opted for having it right away so I would be recovered by the time the wedding took place. John took me to the hospital and stayed beside my bed when I came out of recovery. His gentle administrations were endearing and he almost carried me to the car when I was finally allowed to go home. It was almost impossible for me to walk and he got a wheelchair for me to use around the barn. I was restricted to the second floor, but he hardly left my side for the first day I was home. He followed me to the bathroom to make sure I didn’t fall, and then stood anxiously outside to check on my progress. The recovery was long and difficult and I was continually wracked with pain.
I continued to work on the wedding and honeymoon plans – happy to be distracted. I was so distracted that I barely noticed the varying times that my fiancée would arrive back from work. One day he didn’t come home for supper and I worried that something had happened to him. His children added to my worry with their phone calls. They were looking for their dad or their mother. Apparently both of them had been unavailable all afternoon and evening.
The ex-wife ran a restaurant in town and John often stopped off to visit with her and ‘talk about the children’ on his way home. The fact that neither could be found got me wondering and when John walked in at 9pm, I was waiting for him.
“I’ve been wondering about the wedding John. I’ve been wondering if you actually do love me or if it is something else.”
“I’ve been wondering about that myself,” he said. “What do you think about putting the wedding off for a while?”
I could feel a coldness creeping over me and I knew I didn’t have much to lose anymore.
“You’ve been with your ex haven’t you?” I didn’t need his answer in words – his face gave it all away. I sat in the wheelchair as he packed his bags and watched him walk out into the night. The following day he came for his furniture and clothes. I sat on the steps and watched him as he hauled everything down the sidewalk and out to his truck. I could feel the loneliness sweeping back in and taking over once more.
“We were supposed to get married in six weeks.” I could hardly force the words out of my mouth as I tried to make sense of it all. “What happened John? Why did you do this to me – to us?”
“I’m sorry,” was all he said.