Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chapter One - Over My Head

It was a hazy, hot, and humid day at the end of July. We were sitting in my car in the parking lot behind the building. We were headed to Dunkin Donuts' to pick up coffee for some of our co-workers. It was the first time, since I had started working there anyway, that I admitted to myself that maybe I was in over my head....and I don't mean professionally.

My job was great. It was the kind of job every college graduate dreams of. I was actually using my degree in the field I studied - Communications. I spent my days making sure commercials were in the station to be put on the air. I was working at the legendary WBCN in Boston. I was only 21 years old at that time and I knew this was the beginning of a fantastic future. I felt very gratified professionally and very capable of doing my was personally, in my love life actually that I was starting to sink.

The sinking feeling in my heart didn't happen gradually, or at least looking back now, I don't think it did. If you had asked me how certain I was about my love life, up to that point, even a moment before I got in that car, I would have said with unwaivering certainty that I knew where I was headed. I knew that my life would always involve him. I would have bet money on it; until I got in that car.

"I love warm days like this," I stated. Clearly a little nervous, not sure what to say, or how to proceed. so I stated the obvious, who doesn't like warm days in Massachusetts?
"Me too," he replied. "Nothing like an ice coffee run on a hot summer day.""Yeah," I agreed. "Glad we're on the list!" I said with a laugh.

The list was a huge joke at work. The cool people were on the "list" meaning they'd get coffee when someone went on a run, and I was one of the people on the list. And today it was my turn to go get the coffees, and he had agreed to help me.

In the month I had been working at BCN I had met so many new people. I loved working and would spend a lot of hours there. The relationships I had with people seemed to grow and develop quickly. Part of that was because we worked hard, but when work was done we'd go out and get drinks or go to a concert. We were never just "co-workers," we all quickly became friends. And now, it was one of those friendships that was going to get me into trouble.

The truth was, I was engaged. I had a fiance who I loved, who I wanted to be with forever, or at least up until this moment I wanted to believe that we were meant to be together. But in that car, I felt attracted to someone else, and I finally admitted it to myself. I smiled, I flirted and most importantly, I did the one thing that it took years for me to admit to myself - I hid my ring.

It's true. I'm not proud of it, in fact, I think it is truly dispicable to HIDE your engagement ring by keeping your left hand out of sight...but it's true. I HID my hand. I kept it out of view as much as I could. Maybe I did that so that I would be able to keep the shreds of doubt from creeping up into the forefront of my mind, maybe I did it so that I could feel what it would be like to be 21 and available to possibility. I really am not 100% sure why I did it, but in hindesight I think I did it to be free. I think in the deepest regions of my heart I knew something wasn't right between my fiance and I. Not that my feelings in any way justify my actions. I shouldn't have hidden my ring, but I did.

Now, it's not like he didn't know I was engaged. I am sure he knew. I am pretty sure that all my new work friends knew that I had a fiance in New Jersey. I had never hidden that from anyone, but in my car that day he went along with it. He smiled and flirted and I smiled and flirted back. when we got back to the station we lingered in the car for a few moments. Just long enough for him to smile at me and my heart to flutter. I liked the attention he was giving me. I liked being the object of attention. And it was that attention that was going to lead me into trouble just a few months later.

In all honesty, nothing ever happened between he and I, on that day or any day. It was his attention that served as the catalyst for several of the great romances in my life. I see now that hiding my ring was admitting that I wanted more, more than my fiance was giving me at least. I got that more, but it was never from the guy in the car that warm summer day. I ended up getting so much more out of my life because of that day in the car. This event let to changes beyond my grasp. The events of the next few months would prove that.

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