The semi-superhero

I don’t recall why we made the decision for John to come stay with me after being released from the hospital. But there he was, stitched up swollen lips and broken teeth sitting on my deck drinking coffee from a straw.

He had doctor’s orders not to drive because they were still trying to figure out the extent of his brain injury. So there I was waiting on him and nursing him back to health.

The guy who forgot he’d said, “I love you Loretta” to me the night before the accident.

The one who was facing a felony charge for running from the cops, and the man who now looked more like Sloth from Goonies than Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.

What the hell was I thinking?

Honestly, I wasn’t thinking. I was listening to my heart, which had gotten me in trouble more than once.

When John had left my house that morning, the last one before the accident, he said he had business to attend to. He wanted to take me to his favorite place for my birthday.

So just five days after being released from the hospital, I drove us to Pismo Beach to celebrate my birthday.

We were about half way to our destination when John got a phone call he said he had to take. It was from an ex-girlfriend who had learned of his accident. John was clearly uncomfortable chatting with her in front of me, and then told her, “I can’t talk right now, I’m in the car with…somebody.”


I was just reduced to somebody. A week earlier I was his girlfriend, only now I was just somebody. That hurt.

When he got off the phone, I confronted him about it. He responded that he didn’t want to hurt her feelings by telling her, over the phone, that he had a girlfriend.

The little girl inside of me wondered, “what about my feelings?”

But I kept driving. By the time we got to Pismo Beach, John needed to rest. He fell asleep at 6:30 and was out for the night. I walked downtown to grab dinner with a side of self-pity and celebrated alone. 

I have a weird thing about always wanting a photo of me on my birthday. This is the only one from that year, and just after arriving at the hotel in Pismo.

The next day the plan was to drive farther south. My oldest son lived in Santa Barbara and John’s best friend lived in San Diego where my youngest son just happened to be for Navy business.

It was a chance to see both my sons, and to meet John’s best friend. So once again, I got behind the wheel and drove “Sloth” on to our next destination.

Okay, he wasn’t quite Sloth…he had taken me out for breakfast and was profoundly sorry for ruining the evening. I remember he bought me a big cinnamon roll and sang happy birthday to me, which made him look more like Magneto for a second.

I couldn’t resist…

It was great to see my oldest son and get a Birthday/Mother’s Day hug from him. He had met John prior, so I wasn’t too concerned with that meeting.

I was a little worried, however, that my youngest’s first introduction to my boyfriend was not the John I wanted him to see. But luckily my son has a good sense of humor and just poked fun at him for it.

We drove back to the Bay Area on Sunday, Mother’s Day and I dropped John off at his apartment in Benicia. We hugged and said goodbye and as I drove away, I had to wonder if that would be the last trip we would have together.

Reader Comments

  1. Elizabeth Ramsey

    Wow, what a riveting post. Sometimes the most painful chapters in our lives are the ones that lead to the most growth. It certainly sounds as though that has been the case for you. I remain in awe of what a bada$$ you are!

  2. Barb Cowle

    I want more… that’s the sign of a good writer you know! As if I know. I just think I’m readIng a complete book, not just chapters of YOUR life.
    Good job we know the ending worked out, or non of us readers would like your John too much.

    Your photo on your birthday was beautiful. You were and are still a gorgeous woman.

    Bring on another chapter….. love it xo

  3. Anonymous

    Reading that reminded me of a time way back,when I felt like a “somebody” to my now husband and it hurt. Its been 20 years.Thank goodness for happy endings. Who would’ve “thunk” it? Sometimes you just got to follow your gut and hang in there.

  4. Wendy Allott

    If this were a book I’d have chucked it across the room on ‘somebody’ and left it there until I’d calmed down.

    It’s funny the things we do to each other in the early stages of a relationship, even though we might already be in love. I wonder if it’s a defense mechanism.

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