If you’ve been following along up to this point, you may have noticed that there has been a considerable delay between my last entry and this one. It’s been harder to write about this than I thought it would be. There are so many things I want to discuss, but how does one condense 10 years of relationship into a few memories? I want to convey how absolutely madly in love we were in the beginning. I’m sure most teenage girls in love think that their story should be a movie, but I really believed that ours could be a blockbuster. Then after 10 years together, it ended horribly and in a way that even to this day still affects me.
Dave was just the kind of guy that everyone loved and respected. He was loved at work – he worked at Target. His siblings all looked up to him. Other musicians in our community respected him.
Our relationship moved quickly. He shared an apartment with a friend, but that didn’t last long. Then he moved into a small, apartment, by himself, and we spent a lot of time alone together. I had told him that I wanted to wait until marriage, and he said he understood, but it wasn’t long before he was pushing the boundaries just like Michael had. The difference was that I loved Dave. Because I loved him, I didn’t want to disappoint him.
About 4 months before I turned 18, we made love for the first time. I wasn’t forced, but I did feel pressured. Still, I participated enthusiastically. When it was over, Dave said he wanted to pray, which was bizarre, because he’d never had any desire to go to church with me. I felt awash with shame. I started to cry, and he asked me what was wrong. I told him that I didn’t want to do that again. He became angry and mocked me for the things I had said during our love-making.
I justified what we’d done by telling myself we were going to get married anyway. I was a senior in high school, and we’d begun to discuss what I’d do after high school. He told me he wanted me to move in with him. I told him I couldn’t live with him if we weren’t married. I didn’t want to lose him, but I felt like things were moving way too quickly. I had a recurring dream, that I was in a car speeding down a mountain and my brakes weren’t working.
I’d stopped going to church out of guilt. I spent so much time with Dave that I would skip school to spend time with my mother. My grades crashed. My life was sliding out of my control.
Then a day came when Dave proposed. He took me to Ellis Lake in the middle of Marysville, walked me out to a bridge, and got down on one knee. We got married one month to the day after I graduated from high school. I knew it was too soon, but I didn’t know how to stop the momentum. It was a formal wedding. I wore a white gown and he wore a white tuxedo. We had a reception in the dining hall next door. It was as much wedding as we could have hoped for; he was 21 and I was 18. Neither of us had parents of any means. He worked at Target and I worked at KFC.
We went back to our apartment and had our first married love-making. My heart was heavy with the slow realization that none of this is what I’d always dreamed of. I laid in bed and sobbed into my pillow. Dave held me and tried to understand, but I don’t think he did. Hell, I didn’t understand why I felt like this, how could he?
The next day we went to what was then Marriott’s Great America, and that was our Honeymoon.