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 24: Destiny Part 3.
She made me wait. Destiny knew me and Mary had broken up, but she made me wait.
It was good. If anyone ever needed to detox after a relationship, it was us after Mary. We got about nine months’ separation time, and then Destiny came to us one day like the flutter of wings.
Wings of hope. As soon as she showed up, we knew it was all over. The looking was done.
Rose knew, too. I had never seen her so happy. She was ready for the wedding. But I said nothing about it. Because there was darkness between me and my Destiny.
She seethed. She was angry about me leaving her when she was a sophomore. How much of her life since then she blamed on me, I did not know, but she was mad. I just took it. All the biting comments, all the shitty things she said. I waited for it all to die down and I let her go on.
We did things, sensual things, but it never got too far. She was not comfortable giving of herself that way and I respected that. I didn’t want to push her. I just hung in there and waited for the anger to go away.
Her family fell apart. It was pretty horrific, and I will get into part of that. I haven’t decided how to jump into that one enough to tell my story and not betray her life to everyone. That is a puzzle for another time.
We dated for a month. I was done looking when she let me know she was not.
She wrote me a note. Duct taped it to my front door. In it she said that she had found another guy. He had been hitting on her for a while, finally she had gone on a date with him, had made out with him, and she was going that way.
Rose took it hard. Here, in about two weeks, we will be done with this drama. You’ll find out in a paragraph or two why, but Rose will hold on to this for a long time. Destiny had been Rose’s only hope for years. A good Christian girl who would know her place and do as she was told. A girl Rose could manipulate into the perfect family member. She had seen it all so clear. Had it in her grasp when it all fell apart.
I kinda felt sorry for her.
The guys came over that night, the Droogs and Taste. Taste wanted to get me drunk but I didn’t do that. I never drank at all. I just had to sit with it. I told them all what I had lost and none of them agreed with me. The Droogs had never liked Destiny, and they painted a picture of a new life for me that I didn’t know how to see. They stayed as long as they could, but after a while they had to go.
Then I was visited by Chanel. She said Destiny was bragging that she had finally done it. She had gotten her revenge. After years of waiting and planning, she broke my heart. Chanel told me it was the plan all along. I studied just how much Destiny let herself care in the course of our final month and I knew it to be true. She had played me.
I knew Destiny’s schedule, so I grabbed my bag and started walking.
Every morning she hit a restaurant called Mitch’s. She was there at eight, had breakfast with the guys she worked for, and then a short walk to her job. I knew I could find her there. Seven-thirty found me sitting in Mitch’s with a comp book in front of me as I tried to make sense of my life now. I saw her car pull into the parking lot, snatched up my stuff, paid my bill, and went out to meet her. When she saw me, she got a slight smile on her face. She could see I had been crying, but she saw no anger, just a quiet resolution.
“I know what you did.”
And she fought back a giggle.
“I know that for over a year you’ve been planning your move, planning to break me. It actually worked. I’m very proud of you. All your plans and deceptions and lies. The biting comments and the hope you gave me. The cheating on me was a good touch. I don’t think any girl has ever done that to me before.”
Then she did giggle. I looked into her eyes and did not find myself sinking into them. Brown pools I had once bathed in were now just drying puddles of mud.
“Proud of you for your revenge.”
And she chuckled.
“I suffered. I wept. I hurt. For about 15 hours. Chanel came to tell me about your plan, your gloating, your revenge. And now as I stand here looking at you, I feel nothing but numb. Knowing it was all fake has washed me of you. All the love I once had for you, my quiet obsession as I watched you date Tony, the yearning, the aching, it’s all gone. As I stand here and look at you now, I see a beautiful woman who I do not miss, who I do not care about, and who I wash myself of. This plot of yours was the greatest closure you could have given me. Had you really just cheated on me,” I looked at my feet, gripped the bag on my shoulder, then I looked into her muddy eyes as her smile faded. “If you had just cheated on me, I never would have got over it. You would have haunted me for the rest of my life. But now it’s over. I’m clean of you. I’ll never think of you again in any way that matters. So I guess this is me saying goodbye. I’m so proud of you. And I walk away from you clean. I actually have hope. Thank you for that. Your revenge lasted 15 hours. Your plotting, your waiting, your hickey, coming to give false love during my grandfather’s funeral. You worked so hard and I admire your diligence. I say goodbye to you now. I want nothing from you now. Go have a spectacular life, and stay out of mine.”
I looked at her as she stared at me, and the face I used to be able to read so well was blank to me now. She started to say something. I held up a hand. “Your actions have spoken as much as I will listen. I wish you a long and happy life. Goodbye. Good luck.”
I turned and walked away. And on the way home, I felt it all lift off of me. There were no hidden loves, no secret desires. I was clean of that now.
I no longer had her around my neck. I was set to do anything with anyone I wanted. My future was open. No one held any grasp on me. I had no old feelings lingering. No soft spots for anyone, no secret crushes. All of it was over. I was clean.
Destiny was the last of my baggage. After nine months of no Mary and being freed of Destiny, all that was left was my future.
Me and my Droogs were gaming one night, and in busted Bliss and Misty. They had something they needed to stick in my fridge. They were not staying long. They just needed to put it in and walk out.
Bekah was in the car, waiting.
I jumped up. I ran. I just wanted to see her. I just needed a hug.
I went to the car and asked with bated breath for a hug. She came to me immediately. She had just broken up with Brett. She was still sore from it. She hugged me and stepped back, then looked at me and said, “Why doesn’t he love me?”
I was overcome. All the years of watching her from a distance. All the years of watching Brett treat her like an ass. I couldn’t take it anymore. With my heart filled with promise and no care in the world to the consequences, I yelled to the sky. “Because he is a fucking idiot!”
Years later she admitted to that being the reason she started hanging out at my house.
There was the prospect of a new girl. A fresh start.
Who knew, maybe there was a new kind of destiny waiting?
And she was so cute.
Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 1: Teardrop Road available on Amazon now.