I remember feeling melancholy while driving home after dropping John off at his apartment. It was the first moment I had alone since bringing him home after the accident.
So much had happened in the prior weeks, and I had no idea where our future would go or if I even wanted one with John.
I knew the man he once was and wondered if that guy would ever come back.
We’d spent months sitting on my back deck getting to know each other. There were times when hours would go by in a flash as we sat together on that deck, overlooking a tree studded hill, sharing story after story.
He regaled me with stories of growing up and we laughed as he shared stories about his time in the military and going to college but his eyes would light up the most when he talked about being married and his little family.
He loved being a husband and having kids. I remember him telling me that when he hit 35 years old he thought he had life all figured out. He was exactly where he wanted to be and was on top of the world.
Just two years later, a divorce along with his world came toppling down upon him.
And by 40 he felt like he “didn’t know shit,” as he told me. Things happen in our lives that change us, but I knew for John that event along with a few others on its heels sent him down a path of dissolution.
He no longer believed happy was in the cards for him.
And then seven years later I came along. For seven years he had been “running with scissors” as I used to say, and to him that was how life would continue to be.
But I could see behind the veil of pain he held at the surface to shield him from women a man capable of deep love and affection. I was willing to wait it out and see if that guy would emerge.
So when the phone rang at 7:00 the next morning and John said that he wanted to come over and would I mind picking him up, I said, “Yes.”
The next month was busy with celebrating John’s birthday and facing some hard uncertainties ahead.
I had a party for his family at my home; and everyone came to celebrate, not only a birthday, but also a collective sigh of relief that John was okay.
Once the celebrations were over, it was time to pay the piper.
We found an attorney that met with us, and he gave us the rundown on how things would play out with John’s case.
He advised John to get a bail bondsman and then go remand himself to the court.
I thought sitting in the dingy upstairs office of the bail bondsman was bad, but that didn’t compare to sitting in the courtroom watching a police officer handcuff John.
John turned to look at me. He said nothing, but the look in his eyes spoke of concern for me rather than for him.
And just like that they took him to jail.