I released Teardrop Road on June 23, 2021. I think it was a Thursday. It was pretty devastating to put it out in the world on the big stage. Having your secrets on a blog is one thing. The worldwide stage opens up doubts and fears that I expected but could never prepare myself for. However, this release is a win. It’s a win for me. It’s a win for my family. For mental health in general. And I hope if you’re in pain and you’re going through anything, any kind of abuse, any kind of loss, I hope this book can help you and that you can see it as a win. I’m celebrating the release of Teardrop with another blog blast. These are chapters of the second volume of Reality of the Unreal Mind, called Normal Street. I’m releasing a chapter from that book every two hours and fifteen minutes. This is the story of Hollow Man. This is the story of how I figured out love through a series of heartaches and confusing episodes. Because love is not easy to navigate for anyone, and it’s almost impossible for a shattered mind to prepare for their soulmate. Here is Hollow Man 23: Mary Part 4.
She was in Virginia when my grandfather had his last heart attack. Mary had saved every penny she could so she could come visit me, and when she found out he had died, before she was invited she told me she would come. She could not make it in time for the funeral, but she could make it a few days after. She would be there. She told me to hold on.
At the wake, Shadow sat by his grandfather’s coffin with no one but family around him. Not one of his friends had made it. None of them had come to see him or help him through this. He sat hurting and lost and missing his grandfather, until he heard Rose gasp and he looked up to see Destiny walking in.
He went to her. She wrapped him in a hug and told him she loved him. He burst into tears and she walked him to a pew and sat down with him. She never left his side.
That night he sat in a car that had been loaned to him and waited in the parking lot of the funeral parlor. He just wanted to be close for a little while longer. Just be there with his grandfather in the only way he had left.
Destiny flirted with him. She smiled and winked, and she was sassy and funny and comforting, all the things Shadow needed and when he could take no more, he kissed her.
It was like coming home. Rose would be so excited. He wanted her now more than anything, and if he just could get Mary out of the way, they could be together. She was told that Mary was coming, and she said she didn’t care. She was in a relationship, too.
Then she gave us a hickey.
When Mary got into town, she fumed. I made some terrible story up about it being an allergic reaction to some perfume a little cousin had sprayed on me, and she let herself believe it. She had just gotten there. She had nowhere else to go, she had to just take it.
She vowed that we would not have sex. Said that every one of her family had begged her not to take this trip, and the only way they would be satisfied was if she vowed that she would not have sex with us.
Less than twenty minutes into the visit, after just seeing him with a hickey on his neck, Shadow had her in bed.
They spent a week together. It was a nightmare. They had grown to hate each other. They talked of beating them all, all the odds stacked against them, if they could just make it work. But she was not moving back to Missouri for him, and he was not moving to be around her family. They both knew this was the last time they would see each other.
The final straw for Guardian was the moment he realized that her parents had gotten to her. Their brain washing had finally reached its target. She had bought into it.
I had the car I had been loaned, so I offered to take her to Springfield for a fancy meal. She chose Olive Garden. She was getting ready for the date when she walked into the living room and looked at Guardian. She said, “Olive Garden is kind of a fancy place.”
“Are you going to feel comfortable?”
They had won. They had convinced her I was trash.
There was a fight. She apologized profusely and Shadow berated her, but it only told him what everyone knew. This was the last show for Mary. We had played it out well. Had hammered every bit of respect and care out of the mess as we could.
Shadow fucked her one more time, then he slammed the door closed on that one altogether. She went home and he waited until she told him that she had gotten her period and was not pregnant, then in the next breath he broke up with her.
He was done with her. He was ready to move on. He was ready for his final love.
Shadow was ready for Destiny.