Sobering Love: Part 3


Long before we broke up, Kristie and I were always good friends. Very close to the point she would tell me her deepest darkest secrets. The trauma she faced with her family and the abuse she felt at the hands of someone she trusted. It saddens me to remember this. When I broke the news to her I was now single, she became worried and asked a myriad of questions. Why? How? What happened? Are you okay? It was comforting knowing she cared so much.

We would text every week when she studied abroad in Japan. Just minor things such as, how’s it going, what’s new, and how ya feeling type of chats. I think it was after the first 6 months of her stay that it became clear she was homesick. She grew tired being alone in the land of the rising sun.

Many of her friends would say they would visit her and spend time with her in Japan, but I knew they wouldn’t. Most people are just that — talk. It’s cheap. I missed her a great deal actually. Unlike everyone else, I followed through. I had a crazy idea for her. Spring break 2014 was just around the corner, “How about I visit you in Japan?”. She was ecstatic and overjoyed, “Really? Are you for real?” she asked. I was dead serious. It was simple. Buy a round trip ticket to Japan and come up with a rough idea what we were to do for the week I was there.


Just a mere $957.90 later, the trip was scheduled. I could almost see her jump from joy when I first messaged her the confirmation email. I was going to fly half way around the world for one person and one that I loved and cared for deeply.

I remember arriving at Narita Airport and she was no where to be found. She had a habit of being late actually, 30 minutes late. But when she arrived, we hugged — hard. She couldn’t believe I was here. We bought tickets for the train and she said, “I can’t believe you’re actually here and with me. Dude, I just can’t even.” I told her, “Well, I always follow through. Don’t I? You know that.” She was thrilled beyond comprehension and looked at me in awe.

We went all over the country, every big city, Shinjuku, Kobe, Ginza, just everywhere. The countryside was the most interesting since it was so devoid of the tall buildings of the city and simple life was what everyone there grew up with. It’s warm and amazingly thrilling to see the world with someone. It’s the feelings words cannot fully describe or fathom in the confides of the English language. Just bliss — but that’s an understatement.

When we had to say good-byes, think of that cliche Hollywood scene of a couple hugging and crying at the terminal wishing this didn’t have to be and time could stop. We were that. My eyes grew heavy, her’s cried and rolled down her face. I felt an overwhelming sense of grief and couldn’t compose myself as a man. We embraced for what felt like hours. I held her tighter and tighter, but the plane was leaving soon.

“Don’t cry. You’ll make me cry. You be good now. I’ll text you right when I land. I promise.”

She cried a ton when I made it back to the states. Around this time was when the cracks in my wall began to widen and reveal more than I wanted her to know. This trip made us very close and I was her priority throughout the day. Naturally, she would begin to catch on. I never lied, but selectively chose what I said and told her. A carefully crafted interpretation or narrative if you will.

Some nights she’d catch me completely hammered beyond comprehension from drinking among other things, but played it off as just another night in this college town. This town had a reputation and she had no reason to think my drunken behavior was any different. My poorly written texts to her were just signs I was having fun as usual. There was no reason to think I took illicit substances beyond the typical ones found growing in the back of someone’s yard. She would always tell me the same thing, “stay safe and don’t party too hard”. She was just the sweetest thing ever.

What gave it away was my inability to not text back immediately after she did. I only do this for people I care about and she was atop that list. If I like you, I text back instantly. She frantically told me late that night she was about to miss her flight and needed my help with directions. Her phone was running low and I was her only hope. Locally, it was well past midnight and unfortunately, I took a number of things a few hours prior. I felt great — amazing even, however synthetic the feelings were. Unfortunately, I could not move. Think of that scene from The Wolf of Wall Street where Leonardo Dicaprio’s character falls to the ground after using the payphone — minus the spasms of course. Yeah — that fucking bad.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that right now.”

She sent a long string of question marks. She asked why. I’ve never been one to lie and tonight was no exception. It was time to come clean. I told her what I took, what I was on, why I couldn’t move off the couch and devastatingly, how long I’ve engaged in such activities. She. Was. Not. Pleased. Not the least bit.

I passed out soon after. I awoke to a few more texts and messages, but I knew the outlook was not positive. We were going to have a talk and a very heartbreaking one at best. It’s the fragility that lies within trust that makes relationships worth being vulnerable for someone, you balance it merely by being honest. No matter what you say, it must be all the truth and nothing less. I told half truths and soon she pieced together everything quickly. How I managed to keep myself from smoking cigarettes with her in Japan, why I suddenly backed out of going to a club with her while on our last night in town. It all made sense to her now.

“So you lied to me? Who the fuck are you?”

The person she met all those years at PCC was long gone. I had no other way of telling her. She was absolutely crushed. Her language and behavior became combatant as if I was the enemy. The one person she trusted and loved dearly betrayed her. I fucked this up and bad. I let her say whatever her heart or mind desired that day. I took it all in, letting it hit my heart and soul like daggers sharpened just for my body. I let her win, but I wanted to lose. I lost her forever and this was the absolute end of the road.

Years later, I sent her a message not expecting a reply back. It was an apology of how I ruined what we once had and what she meant to me before I changed into a monster. I was afraid of what she would think I had become, but looking back, I was not ready to accept myself. I crossed over to the dark side, alone and without anyone to tell me no. Drinking and drugs are only fun for so long. Reality comes back to bite you. Surprise motherfucker. I let myself down and costed our relationship.

Impressing a woman is easy, but being with her is hard if you think about the landscape of a relationship. It sets up an impression of yourself to her. If she likes it and isn’t preoccupied with other matters, you’ll see her more and more. Maintaining a deep connection is challenging. Your actions can’t just be thought of yourself. There really is no I anymore, but we. She would of always have been that sweet, funny, and upbeat girl I met in college.

Lessons Learned

  • sincerity is paramount
  • the fine line between drug abuse and late night fun quickly disappears
  • you have problems; don’t love until they’re fixed
  • ego takes over quickly; you need to stay grounded
  • Which Danny are you? Ask yourself this constantly until you have an answer.

Later world.

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