Life is not always a fairytale. Each day is not always warm and sunny. Sometimes life hurts, it does not always catch me when I fall, nor does it care whether I succeed or fail. This is why I believe in strength, I believe in never giving up, I believe in getting through hard times, and overcoming obstacles, I believe in me.
My mom has always told me that I am the only person who has the power to overcome any hard times in my life, and that I should never look to anyone else for help. This was proven to me not long ago. Cory was my best friend and my companion. For four years, he was the one I ran to for support, for courage, and for kisses. I ran to him when I wanted to have picnics, or late night country drives in his pick-up truck, and even to help me tie a knot in my fishing line before each frosty morning we spent on the lake in his canoe. We filled each other’s heads with dreams of finishing college, getting married, and living together, even if it were in a small one bedroom apartment until we could save enough money to buy our dream house where we would raise a family. His green eyes held all the answers to my questions in life, and as the years passed we grew closer. I knew his fears, his secrets, and the exact pattern of breaths he took each night while falling asleep. I knew that he hated onions, he loved his Jeep, he was capable of eating up to six cheeseburgers at a time, and that he absolutely loved poetry, yet would never tell a soul. He was everything I knew, and everything I wanted.
Cory moved to Washington D.C. in March of 2006 because of family issues. He kept his promise that he would be moving back home in only six months, and that this was only to help out his aunt whom needed him, assuring me that I would be a part of every thought that passed through his head. As I waited for September to roll around, I kept myself busy by reading and re-reading his three or four page letters I received at least once a week. They often enclosed supporting words ensuring that if I could “just wait two more months” or “one more month” that he would be returning and we could get back to life. He often called me on the telephone to catch up on the latest small town gossip and to remind me that he loved me. For those six months, I focused all my attention on school work, basketball and volleyball, and ‘laying low’ with my family and closest friends, all while listening everyday to mine and Cory’s favorite singer, Bob Seger. It was a hard six months, I had been separated from my best friend, but I believed in him and I believed in our relationship. There was no doubt in my mind that things would be the same as soon as he returned.
When he returned in September, our relationship took a new turn for the better. We were absolutely inseparable for the next few months, and were as excited as elementary school kids on a playground. We got back to our normal lives as we had promised each other, filling our days with laughter, fishing, piggy back rides, and often attempting, yet failing, to teach help me understand how to change my car’s oil or its tires. Cory and I never really argued. We would have small disagreements usually over where we were going to eat, or what time we should leave the house to make it to our destination on time. I, being young and naïve, never thought for one moment that things could turn completely around.
On a Sunday morning in June, Cory said words I will never forget. I remember waking up to his constant stirring. It was especially early because I remember just barely being able to see the sun come through the window, and Cruiser, our puppy was still asleep on the floor beneath us. I looked over and was a little alarmed by how deep in thought he seemed. I remember reaching over and playfully shutting his eyelids, and whispered in my very croaky morning voice that it had to be six o’clock in the morning and that he should go back to sleep. He took my hand off his eyelids and rolled over to me. He said, “Becca, I have to tell you something. I don’t know where to start; something has been on my mind for a long time. It has been almost two years since I left D.C, you know that.” He paused for a long time, and then continued. “I’m just going to get this out quickly-I met a girl while I was there. Her name is Alyssa.”
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. All I remember was holding myself back from getting sick. I didn’t want to hear this, and I damn sure didn’t want to look at him. Was he joking? He continued, “I’ve been making plans with her for the past few weeks to move there. I am packing everything today and will arrive in D.C. sometime tonight.”
Cory packed his bags right in front of me that day. As most girls would have ran out that morning cursing and throwing objects at their boyfriends, I couldn’t, I was stuck. I was a statue on his bed. Sometimes to this day I wonder why I hadn’t reacted differently. All I could do was play with that silly piece of red thread that was attached to his blanket, tying and untying it into knots. I never said one word until he left for D.C. that night, only listened to his apologies over and over. I leaned into his truck window as he was about to pull off and said the only words that I had been thinking all day. It was a whisper, “You are a coward for not telling me until now. You are not even a man. I pray that you hate yourself for this, you piece of shit.” Words like that had never been spoken between us, yet on that day the words felt perfectly fitting.
It has been almost a year now since that Sunday in June. Cory and I have only spoken to each other once since then and that was only by chance that we had run into each other in the middle school of our hometown. I was co-oping there, and he was picking up his little brother afterschool. He was only in town for one day to finish moving the rest of his belongings to D.C. The conversation was short and awkward, and left me crying for the rest of the evening. What hurt the most was that he was the one person I never thought I would have one of those awkward “artificial conversations” with; after all, we knew everything about each other.
To this day, I still talk to his mom who considers me ‘the only daughter she has ever had.’ At some points I feel she is taking our break up harder than either of us. Through her, I have been in touch with the events in his life. Although I know, it’s going to hurt me, I still ask her how he is doing each time we speak. As I feared would happen, Cory has turned over a new leaf in D.C. with Alyssa. They have two dogs and a home together and are planning to have their wedding in the fall. I feel Cory has never looked back to his life here in Kentucky nor looked back to me.
About three months after the break-up, my dad forced me to start seeing a therapist because I wasn’t eating and I completely excluded myself from the world. My grades dropped and my ability to stay focused in my sports suffered tremendously. Since then, I have put all our pictures and belongings away and have not seen them since that Sunday. I have only seen his face once since then, standing on the polished floors of the middle school. I feel my mind has blocked out a lot of him and the memories we shared. To this day, I cannot visualize his face as a whole. I can only see bits and pieces, such as the scar above his top lip, and the freckle below his left eye, and I can still see his teeth perfectly. But I cannot piece them together to make a face. I can’t visualize his eyes at all, which make me think they never really were honest enough to remember.
I am much better now since time heals everything, yet the words “full