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Tuesday, August 05, 2008Your Name Here
Years ago the then love of my life wanted us to get each other’s names tattooed on our bodies. I balked at the idea because honestly that’s one hell of a commitment, one which I wasn’t prepared to make. Not because I didn’t love him but because from the moment I’d laid eyes on him my heart knew our relationship would not have a happy ending. It wouldn’t be ink worthy.
A smart female would’ve run away screaming from him but I wasn’t who I am now so instead I ran straight into his arms. He was an education in something my sheltered innocent self had never been exposed to. He brought harshness into my life and I brought gentleness into his. With me he tried to control his cruel nature but wasn’t always successful. I can’t even remember the amount of times he unintentionally broke my heart and like a masochist I’d pick myself up and come back for more if only because I believed everyone deserved a second chance and could be saved.
We worked great as friends but it was never enough for either of us. Whenever the relationship would get too intense for me and I was in danger of losing sight of myself I’d step away from him. Still he never fully released his hold on me. There was never a clean break it was as if we were addicted to each other. On occasion I’d come home from a date to find him scowling in my darkened living room waiting up for me. I’d join him on the sofa and we’d talk until I passed out from exhaustion with his arm around me or his head on my lap. He drew comfort in that he knew me well enough to know that I would never commit to anyone else as long he was a part of my life in one way or another.
The issue of the tattoo had come up shortly after he questioned me about a guy I’d been seeing a lot of. It was during one of our sabbaticals and I was certain that this was it, I was ready to move on and so was he at least I thought so since he was always talking to me about his latest conquests. So when he asked me if the guy had kissed me I responded truthfully. You know I’ve read about people shaking with anger but never really thought that it was actually possible until that moment. His face turned red, his hands started fisting at his sides and he took a step towards me towering over me. He was furious. He caged me with his body against a wall and basically snarled. “You let him kiss you?!” “News flash you and me broke up four months ago.” He just glared at me struggling to gain his composure until he was able to walk away. We didn’t speak to each other for weeks until he showed up at my house late one night with a quart of my favorite ice cream. “I’m sorry” he said I stopped seeing the other guy the very next day.
I knew why he wanted me to get the tattoo it was all about his ego, he wanted to mark me as his. He pulled me into his arms and hugged me tightly “You can put it on a part of your body that’s for my eyes only. No one but me and you will know you’ve got it.” his hand then slid down my back and rested on my butt,“you can put it right here he murmured into my ear as he gave it a light squeeze. “Oh yeah sure thing and where will you get my name?” I asked expecting it to be somewhere hidden like behind his knees. “Right here on my fore arm so everyone can see it or right here over my heart since it belongs to you anyway.” I shook my head no. “How about a compromise?” I joked “I’ll get a label inked on my behind that says ‘your name here’.” He laughed even though he wasn’t happy about it but he knew as stubborn as I am I’d never give in so he dropped the subject.
Months later I woke up one day and realized I didn’t like the person I was becoming. Thanks to him I was becoming hard, untrusting, and bitter, a female version of him. I stepped away and stood away for months growing stronger as time went on. He didn’t give up but no matter how many times he came at me my answer was always the same “No, it’s over.” The last time I saw him he was crying but he had hardened my heart so much I had no sympathy for him. He said I’d broken his heart I didn’t believe him. He said he loved me I didn’t care, he’d change. I knew he never would. As he crushed me to his chestI kept my hands at my side. The urge to soothe and comfort him was gone. I remember thinking that he wasn’t crying over the loss of me he was crying because of his wounded pride. No one had ever walked away from him it was always the other way around. I was the first and I was proud of myself.
The woman in his arms was the one he’d created. He’d taken a soft little girl and made her into a strong woman. I owed him gratitude for that much at least. I hugged him back and tried to joke my way out of the situation, “Aren’t you glad now you didn’t get that tattoo?” He hugged me tighter,” doesn’t matter anyway your name is tattooed all over my heart regardless.” He said before letting go of me and walking out the door crying. I haven’t seen him since although he keeps tabs on me via family members.
I got the news yesterday that he is married now and expecting a baby. I was genuinely happy for him and told the messenger so. “Has he changed?” I asked hoping he’d done so for his wife. “Na he’s still the same” the messenger replied. I shook my head and turned to walk away “Hey Mia he said to give you a message.”” What?” The messenger traced a heart on his chest he said, “Tattoo” I smiled and pointed to my butt, “Tell him I said your name here.”
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