The drive was awesome. It always was.
Every time me and Bekah had ever or have ever gotten in the car to drive a long distance, we have had a blast. I drive. All the way no breaks. She talks and gets me snacks and drinks and we laugh and play. I tend to talk about different things when in this environment. I tell stories that no one ever hears and talk about things that never cross my mind any other times. We plan out big events. But the greatest part of it is when we are on the road we dream.
We talk about the things that we want. We talk about the things that we will one day have and this time we were talking about our wedding because it is Thanksgiving and we are driving to her parents’ house. This is the first time they will see me since Bliss’s wedding. And we have no idea where they stand now.
Her mom could still be mad. Bliss probably is. Her father sided with me on the knife thing but he still looks at me with a dismissive look on his face every now and then. Every time I am with her family we talk and we laugh but I can sense the tension and I know they still don’t trust me. They still blame me for the two break ups. And that infuriates me but I am beginning to let that soak in.
I’m getting further and further away from the knowledge of what really happened and more and more I am accepting that I am to blame for all of it. For the first wedding being called off, for Normal Street. I am letting myself take the blame for all of it and I will continue to for a decade and a half.
It is not until I write this book that I accept that it was not my fault. That everything was stacked against me and Bekah from the first and that we never had a chance. We never should have worked, not with the Corrupter and Grasp, not with the fallout of the Battle of Normal Street and the scope of Siren’s vision. Nothing stood with us. Nothing was pulling for us except the undying need we felt for each other. And wild, insane, dumb luck.
So, when we arrived at the house, I was braced for whatever I might get. I was greeted at the door. I got a hug from Hymnal, I got a hug from Vigil, and we walked into the house and waited for the moment.
We were so excited. So excited.
They had loved the shitty first ring I had gotten her, well this one had been specifically designed for her finger. No other woman had ever tried it on and no other woman would ever wear it. No one in the world had one like it. It was perfect for this one brilliant, unique person and I was excited to see the look on her parents’ faces when they saw what I had done.
We were shown in. They talked to us for about an hour and we just kept waiting for them to bring it up. They had been told the night I had proposed. They all knew. The entire family knew that she was engaged and they would ask to see the ring anytime. Any minute now.
But they didn’t. And when the doorbell rang again and Plan walked in, the entire place exploded.
Plan was pregnant with her first child. The first grandchild to come to this family. The first grandchild Hymnal and Vigil would ever have. Plan was pregnant and as soon as she walked in the door the baby talk started. They stood in the living room, all four of them talking and laughing and rubbing bellies, and me and Bekah just watched.
From the kitchen we watched them celebrate the coming of the new child and ignore our wedding. Now a baby is big business but we had been with them for at least an hour before Plan even got there.
I leaned against the sink beside Bekah and I looked at her and smiled.
“Nice ring,” I said. “Have you picked a date?”
Bekah laughed and we waited.
The next afternoon Bekah woke me up laughing. “Well, I told them,” she said. “You should have seen their faces.”
I leaned up and grabbed the drink by the bed. I wiped sleep from my eyes. “What?”
“Well after lunch we were all sitting the couch and I turned to Mom and I said, ‘Would you like to see my ring?’”
I laughed. “What did she say?”
“She went crazy. She said she was horrible and she apologized. Plan looked at the ring and loved it. They wanted to start talking about the wedding and planning it,” Bekah said.
“No, not like last time. That is not going to happen again, but we started throwing around ideas and thinking about things. It was so much fun,” Bekah said. “They love the ring. They love it.”
“Awesome. I love the one wearing it,” I said. I kissed her. That same feeling when her lips touched mine happened again and I smiled. “That never gets old,” I said after pulling away. I got dressed. We had a big weekend.
The first day was Thanksgiving and we had it with her parents, Plan and her husband and us. The meal was great, things turned out and everyone ate too much. That night Bliss and her husband showed up and everyone tried to get a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow was Christmas.
Now before we get there, I need to show you a little more about Plan.
She wanted to meet them.
She had so many questions about my alters and she wanted to meet anyone that would come out and see her. Her husband too wanted to get to know them and put in the time.
They talked to Shadow and he cussed too much but they didn’t blink. Her parents rolled their eyes not thinking that sort of language was necessary but that was kinda the point.
They talked to Shade. He had matured to about 18 now and had taken over as the leader of the body. This was the first time any of us had an appointed leader and it was working out pretty well. Shade made sure that everyone had what they needed. He made sure that every one of the alters felt heard and appreciated and he made sure that Bekah’s needs were being met.
And this right here was the answer for us. Appoint a leader and things come into line. Every one of the alters has to respect them. Every one of the alters needs to feel inspired by them. They all need to be respected by him and they need to be allowed to live their life by the leader and they need to be prioritized, but if a DID survivor can find one alter to take ahold of the life they are living then peace is possible. This was our first attempt at this.
Plan and her husband talked to Assassin. And everyone was treated well and Plan and her husband were happy to meet them all.
The next day Christmas. Now we will have Christmas again very soon. On Christmas Day everyone will come to Waynesville and celebrate the season with Bekah’s grandparents. It is a Leap Year so the entire extended family will make the trip back home from the far reaches of the nation. But for now, we are here at Hymnal and Vigil’s to celebrate. I remember all of us having a good time.
Bliss has a talent. She is by far the greatest gift buyer I have ever met. The gifts she picks are perfect. They are masterpieces. Some funny, some crazy but always there were a few that were powerful and meaningful. She did Christmas shopping all year long and she always had lots for everyone. When we got older and we all had kids we stopped buying for the adults and just concentrated on the kids. We don’t buy presents for sisters and brothers-in-law anymore. But when we did Bliss was the greatest.
My mother always said that it takes a kind heart and a great amount of love and attention to buy someone the perfect gift. Bliss had all of those things.
We opened gifts and we all had our last great Christmas before grandkids. It was a good time. I will remember that Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration as the first time that I stood back and squinted and saw what would become of our family.
They still disliked me, but if you stood far enough back, and you tilted your head just right, you could see the life I am living now.
That night when Plan and her husband started talking to me they asked if anyone wanted to talk to them and Shush came out. He grabbed a piece of paper and had his first real conversation outside of therapy. He talked to Plan and her husband and felt safe when he did it. He felt loved and he felt at home.
This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 2: Normal Street.