I love Johnny.
It started as a realization in the back of my mind. A shade of reality that I knew I did not want to face. We didn’t even have any kind of fight really. Just;
A moment of clarity.
Johnny was not going to fit into my life.
Maybe I knew it from the moment he got off the bus. Maybe I’ve always known it. You can take the boy out of prison, but you can’t always take the prison out of the boy. The way he stands, walks and talks all scream hard time. He would always be an ex-con, a felon, and it would prevent him from truly being successful in life. He really has turned his life around and has vowed that he will never again get in trouble like that. But no-one would ever be able to accept him in my life. They would always be asking why I was with him. I haven’t even told my aunt or my cousins that he is here in town because they would raise all kinds of fuss. I talked to Johnny about the idea of him getting dressed up and going to my work Christmas party at the Country club, with the CEO and all my bosses – and he knew that it would not be a place he wanted to go. Awkwardness personified.
He came into the living room and asked if we could talk. I said sure and he sat down next to me and held my hand. “Maybe I should go back home.” He wasn’t being an asshole, he was being honest. I loved him even more at that moment, for his maturity in knowing what I knew. That we were not right for each other. I started to cry. Partly because I knew we were breaking up for the last time and partly because I knew that once again I would be waiting for someone that may never come. That I would be alone again. My head was making this decision but my heart wanted Johnny, even more for the kind way he was handling all this.
There was a time when I would have followed my heart. I would have MADE it work. I wouldn’t have cared what anyone thought or what red flags may be around. The more Johnny and I discussed this and the more we shared our feelings with each other, the more we both knew the truth. I would not be able to fit in his life either. It would be wrong for me to quit my job and leave my little house and furniture behind and move to the armpit of Oregon to work at the onion-packing plant. We would always be struggling for money. His children would hate me, but I could try hard to make them like me and try to make a life.
No. Oh my God. No.
It was decided that when I got paid in a couple days, I would buy him a ticket home. He offered to keep working at labor ready until he saved up enough, but there was no point in waiting. It was going to be hard enough to wait a week, and if we waited too long – maybe our resolve and maturity would crumble and we would be unable to go through with it. No. It was better to do it sooner rather than later.
I gave him the Johnny quilt. Even though I love that quilt and it is warm and beautiful and I will miss it. It is right for him to have it. We talked about how glad we were that he came out here, how the Lord was giving us some much needed closure. Because a part of him would always be wondering if there was a life out there for him in Wyoming and a part of me would always be waiting for him to show up on my front porch step.
Now we know, and our relationship is healed. We will always be friends and I will answer his texts and phone calls to see how he is doing. It is going to be okay.
Lots of love