Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today

I had been a high school graduate for all of three months and was still fighting with my parents about why I hadn't joined the armed services. They, after all, both served in the Army. My brother had chosen to enlist. Recruiters were calling me everyday.

April had just turned three on September 10th. Mom was making breakfast and I was rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I turned on the t.v. to get the weather. But there was breaking news. A plane hit a building in New York City. There weren't a lot of details so I turned to CNN.

They saw it differently. They didn't think it was an accident.

I yelled to my mom, "A plane crashed in New York!". She said a quick prayer and said this would probably be like the Kennedy assassination. People glued to the television all day but the news never changing.

And then, from the right side of the screen, looking like a home movie of a little boy playing with his toys, another plane hit the second tower.

This wasn't an accident. Someone was killing Americans. In droves.

America was on lock down. Every major city was being put on high alert. Armed Forces went on Operation Delta. Schools were locked down. And I just sat. And stared. And cried.

I cried as I watched people with no hope jump eighty stories to their deaths. I cried as I watched Tower Two fall like a house made of sand. I cried when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. And I cried when Flight 93 crashed into a field.

I prayed for it to be over. My mind couldn't stand anymore shock. My heart was cloaked in fear. It's hard now to think that it all only lasted ninety minutes. Because those were the longest minutes of my life.

Not knowing what city would be next. What metropolis was unfortunate enough to be the next target.

I was at home on September 11, 2001. I spent the entire morning standing in our living room glued to the television wondering what else could happen. Who else would die that day. Had anyone gotten a chance to say "I love you" one last time?

Never forget where you were in September 11, 2001. Never forget the feeling of oneness and comraderie that you felt that day. Never forget what a privilege it is to be an American. Never forget that freedom has a price.

God Bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Truth Be Told

It's not everyday that I lose my cool and air all my business online. Yes, I know that I currently maintain four blogs and you should totally stop judging. But the reality of it is that I tell all my business to you. The chosen few who have decided that I can, at times, be entertaining.

I try to keep my internet and real lives from bleeding into each other too much. Which should explain why I was surprised that she knew my name. The Scropio's girlfriend, I mean. She knew my name.

I've been angry with him for months. Not because I can't trust him;  I already knew that. I've been angry because of all the lies. I'm naive enough to believe that if I give you license to sow your wild oats you should have no cause to spew falseness. Because even though I agreed to having string-less encounters, I never expected to be lied to. I should have known better.

Her name is Abrielle. And the 25th would have been their one-year anniversary. Would have. It's such a sad phrase. She came to me because in a fit of anger I blasted The Scorpio for being the "lying, cheating son of a bitch with no respect for anyone including [himself]" that he is. And I did it on Twitter. She saw it and wondered what would make another woman, a simple friend from high school, so angry.

So she messaged me and asked if we could talk. I'll be honest with you. Based on our brief encounter months ago, I was expecting to be yelled at by a gold-tooth-sporting, bra-less, God-less cretin . What I got instead was a kindhearted, soft-spoken, wounded, professional woman in search of the truth.

I told her that how he and I dated four years ago and that he cheated on me throughout our relationship. I never told any of you this, but none of his friends knew we were dating. They thought I was just another harlot in his harem. And if you ask him when he and I broke up, he'll give you the wrong story.

I told her how he tweeted me in February, how we had an easy-going dinner where he swore he'd never done any of the horrible things to me that he was admitting having done to past lovers. Then we started sleeping together in March and it continued through late May.

I told her how he called me by her name.  How that inspired an even bigger fight between us. I told her about being at his football game because he asked me to. She remembers the bet. He was smart enough to tweet about it.

I told her how I asked why he was still worrying with her. After all, she was just an ex that wouldn't let go. Someone that he had tried to block on Twitter but one of her suitors was feeding her information from his time line. I told her that he painted her as a wild woman who showed up at his job and attacked me online for no reason.

I told her how he would be in my house, on my couch with me while texting her. I told her how I asked him outright if he was sleeping with her while sleeping with me. I told her that he said yes.

At first, I'm sure she didn't believe me. Or at least, didn't want to. What woman wants to be on the phone with their boyfriend's lover? But it's hard not to believe someone with a vivid memory of the 13 weeks that they allowed your boyfriend into their bed. It also helps that I put a good bit of it on the internet for the whole world to peruse and explore.

I knew that every truth that spilled from my lips was a knife to her heart. But I couldn't stop. Not because I wanted to hurt her but because I wanted her to choose for herself. Abrielle has a right to know the truth and to make her decisions from that knowledge. No woman, no human being, deserves to be manipulated for another person's gain. Whether that gain be financial, romantic, or, simply, time.

There were some things that I kept from her because I was ashamed. I didn't tell her that I was jealous of her because I wanted to be validated in my righteous indignation. I wanted to be the wounded one and instead I was inflicting the pain. I didn't tell her how I cried the night I finally accepted that he'd been lying to me and that even the things he said then were more lies. I didn't tell her how he spoke softly and said that he was only trying to protect me. That he had hoped that one day I could find it in my heart to forgive him. (That's a quote.)

I didn't tell her about his half-birthday dinner where we talked about love and life and future. I didn't tell her that, at times, I thought that maybe he and I could start again. I didn't tell her that he swore that once upon a time, he had tried to show me that he loved me everyday.

I've been cheated on before. And I've been used in another man's scheme. Neither feels better than the other. They are both equal villains. I'm not ashamed of the role I've played in Abrielle's life and I'm not proud either. I'm sad that I was used to hurt her so deeply. I'm sad that it took me four years to see what I should have realized in three months.

I'm not going to 'thank' The Scorpio for being a douche canoe because he doesn't deserve it. This isn't something he should be proud of. But I will say that this time the  bridge has been doused in kerosene and set ablaze. And that's finally the truth.
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