Well, darlings, it’s been quite a while since I wrote a chapter of my life down here.  July.

It seems like something always holds me back–time, distraction, projects, & growing traffic that makes me even more vulnerable.  But hey, what’s life without a little risk, right?

If you haven’t read the rest of my story, you’ll be quite lost.  You might want to start at the beginning.  I’m writing it for my daughter.  For your daughter.  For us.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

CHAPTER FOUR

We had a date the night after he kissed another girl.

What the heck am I doing going out with such an idiot?  I am basically asking for pain and chocolate binges, but hey, why not?

Brent picked me up around 6, and despite my overwhelming desire to kick him in the shins, or possibly somewhere else, I graciously hopped in his truck & struck up a polite conversation.

I was a good girl, after all.

The night went well.  We laughed easily & I found parts of myself stirring that I didn’t know existed.  I felt like I might melt right into his chocolate eyes, and if I held my breath ever so faintly, I could hear his heart beat.

There was a conversation–oh, we had a conversation about the kissing.  I was not to be treated like an idiot or a piece of trash or any other dim-witted cliche.  Brent got that loud and clear, and while every bone in my body told me to walk away from him and never look back, I agreed to see him again.

Our days and nights together in the next few weeks flew by quickly and with little event.  I think I was in his truck the first time he kissed me–and sadly, it was a mediocre kiss, filled with awkwardness & the scent of last night’s beer binge.

His lifestyle & lack of gumption offended my very being, and yet…a desperate part of me longed so badly for connection.  I longed to be desired and held up–to be wished for with the same measure I hoped for love.

In my longing, I grew weak.  I grew dependent.

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Brent had no dreams, really.  He hunted night and day during deer season & worked on his daddy’s farm as he made time.  I loved the farm, the land, and seeing him work.  But somewhere in the back of my mind floated the notion, “he may never leave here.  ever.”

It wasn’t the farm, really.  Location had little to do with my concerns.

I loved to write, to think, to do…to dream.  I happily had no idea exactly where my feet would land, but I knew it would be among a field of possibilities that extended beyond a Brundidge, Alabama, farm & drinking each night away.

These subtle fears I tucked safely away in the corners of my heart, burying any serious doubts about Brent and where he would take me.

I had no idea that as I tucked and folded those corners, little pieces of my heart were chipped and pinched, bruised and deformed.

I was trading my heart for another.  For a heart made of stone-cold denial.

Our hearts need to stay soft, I now realize.  They must bend and give, and beat around the ups and downs.  Hearts darkened to understanding lose their flex–and ultimately, they can shatter.

to be continued…

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