Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chapter 4 - Is that Fred Savage?

Just a few drinks and it will all feel better. That's the philosophy right? That's the thought process. The idea that if I have a few drinks, mix and mingle with other single people, and perhaps go dance on a crowded dance floor that I will forget my life for the moment. For that moment it will feel better, almost ideal even. So that is what I did.

After agonizing over the drive to New Hampshire, I got in the car. I drove the nearly 1 hour to my friend's house. I was greeted at her door by her mother, who rivals my mother in true coolness. The fact that I had called her home looking for her daughter at 1:30am the night before didn't bother her, she knew what I was going through. She heard the anguish in my voice and knew. She woke up her daughter, my best friend and gave her the phone. That phone call had led me through the darkness to this moment. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in August. I was a 21 year old woman who in less than just 24 hours had gone from somebody's something to absolutely no-one's anything, or so I thought at least and she knew I needed to find that distraction. She knew that a night out with give me a renewed sense of who I am, who I could be, and who deserved to know me...too bad I wasn't ready to accept that last one, not yet anyway.

My friend and I spent the afternoon talking about the situation, discussing it, dissecting it, analyzing it as only young women can do. Looking back at that day, I can't remember the specifics of our conversation, but I do guess we probably just spun our wheels. It was easier to talk about it with her, to let her in. We had been through a lot that last year at Norwich. We had talked about a lot, been through a lot and to have her really understand where I was coming from meant the world to me.

After the talking was over, we put on our "party pants" as I liked to call them, and headed out downtown. It was a warm night, the kind of night that you felt alive. There was a warm breeze blowing off of the land and as it met with the cooler air hanging over the ocean, it gave you goose bumps. The air around me caressed my skin with a sense of possibility. The feel of the night gave me hope, hope that no one could look at me and see the scar on my heart.

Just a few drinks I told myself. A few drinks and I would forget, I would feel better, I'd fade into the crowd. And after a few drinks I did forget, I did feel better. I felt this strange courage, a liquid induced courage I'd guess. It led my friend and I on an adventure late into the night. An adventure that changed my life.

We talked to a group of guys at the bar. Now, I can't for the life of me remember their names, their faces, or really anything about them, except that one of them looked strikingly like Fred Savage. Now not older sort of unattractive Fred Savage, but the younger, hopeful version of Fred Savage that all girls my age were naturally attracted to. I do believe that anyway, I remember him looking that way. I remember wanting to talk to him, believing that the hopefulness would rub onto me. That sense of hopeful romanticism I believed that Fred Savage embodied. That being said...we ended up on a boat, in Portsmouth Harbor, with Fred and his friends.

I don't think we were on the boat for much longer than an hour. We sat there, talked to Fred and his friends in the cool night. The bars had closed at this point so there wasn't much going on. It was late and the air was still. Fred and I sat looking out at the ocean. It was lit dimly as I remember, by the lights from the boats in the harbor and the half moon that hung over us in the clear night sky. Though I am sure Fred said something to me that was meant to be cool, calm and most likely somewhat implying his interest in me, I have no idea what he said. All I know is I let him kiss me. I let myself fall prey to that moment in the moonlight. I let my heart bleed and break as his lips touched mine.

I felt weird being so close to someone other than the man who a little over 24 hours ago had left me sitting on my parents front porch. It was awfully hard to kiss Fred Savage back, but I did. I had too. If I didn't, it was like I was admitting I was broken, and even though I was broken, I had to push through.

In the depths of my soul, I knew that my heart was going to have to heal on it's own. The same way I knew he was going to end it, I knew that the man who broke my heart was not going to come back and fix it. I knew I had to move on. I was going to have to cancel the reception hall order, return my wedding dress and essentially become a better more independent version of myself.

That night on the boat with Fred Savage changed me. I saw possibility in his hopeful eyes. I felt the future in his kiss and I knew when I got off of that boat that I was going forward into a moonlit future of unlimited opportunities. Opportunities that were going to lead me on an adventure that I had never imagined possible.

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