We were married on a Thursday in September, on the very cliffs where we had blown dandelions only a few months earlier. Of course, there were a couple of hiccups, like the photographer got lost, the violinist never showed, and the little white carpet for the isle didn’t get put down until the last second. None of that changed the fact that we were getting married. The carpet was put in place just as the photographer finally found us and the show went on even without the violin’s music wafting through the air. I was happy. We chose to keep things simple, there was no need for flowers or decorations. We had a beautiful sunset, rocky cliffs, and the ocean no need to embellish the natural beauty of the day.
Everything was great, and I was so surprised that in the moment just before I left the limo, I got cold feet! Siting in the parking lot less than 100 feet from my future husband and a wave of doubt slammed against me echoing the sounds of the waves that crashed against the cliffs below. I thought cold feet was just something they made up for movies. How could I have doubts? Adrian was amazin? He loved me? Life was good right? We were about to live happily ever after. My heart was racing, and my mind was a mess. I had this deep fear that none of this was real that he really didn’t love me. That I was about to be married to someone who really didn’t want me. I cried. I drank some wine. I loved him and so I got out of the car and walked down the aisle. We said our vows kissed and we were off to the reception.
I was at peace! I was excited and had no doubts that this was the man I was meant to be with. We had a brief honeymoon in Vegas, and I got to visit he Grand Canyon for the first time! My cup runneth over! I was awe struck. I had imagined this life of love and adventure but never really thought I would actually have it become my reality.
After the honeymoon he had to head back to Lemoore and I went back to work. It sounds hard for a newly married couple, but I thought it was cool. We talked a lot, we wrote wonderful letters, and we were always so happy when we got to spend time together. Adrian didn’t have my same romantical spirit. He was not enjoying the distance and grumbled about it and that made me love him even more. The fact that he expressed his love for me, that he missed me so, and could not wait for us to be back in the same house was so sweet. It was us against the world.
Just as things were getting to be a routine, I got orders to a ship. I was assigned to the U.S.S. John C. Stennis. It was an aircraft carrier docked at North Island (the base I was currently working on). It wasn’t much of a change. I just drove to a different spot on base and instead of a building it was an Aircraft carrier. My sister did not like all the changes. She had also been talking to her son’s father more frequently and had decided that she would move back to Arkansas and try to make things work with him, so they could be a family. I understood but didn’t want her to go. Within a short time, she had packed up and headed home. Adrian and I decided that we would get rid of the apartment in San Diego and he would find us a small place in Lemoore. I would be moving there after I got discharged. So, I packed up our stuff and shipped it off to our new place. After that I technically lived on the ship but mostly stayed with friends.
Adrian and I talk constantly and now that he had the apartment in Lemoore, I would go up there as often as possible. We would find restaurants or wineries or simply lay in our lumpy futon all day. It was complicated but still so good. We were young and in love and I truly felt like this was our struggle time. We would have to endure, and in less than a year we would be back to the fairy tale. It was so unlike me to be open and understanding of the distance. To be at peace and comfortable with being loved. To just happily accept the difficulties and focus on our happy future.
I think I was love drunk. You know how when a guys get drunk and say women are more attractive than when they were sober? Well love drunk is when you get so drunk on love and all that it promises. When you are love drunk situation that you are in is way more attractive than if you were sober. During that first year there were so many little things that should have been warning signs, but I was too in love to recognize them.
I moved to Lemoore in early November 1999. I was so excited! The plan was to go back to school and work somewhere part time until Adrian decided if he would re-enlist or if he would opt out. Whatever the decision we would be together and that was all that mattered right? Apparently, I was mistaken. All Adrian could think or talk about with me is how he hated Lemoore. He was distant and his actions were changing. He no longer wanted to do date nights. He wanted to spend more time with his coworkers and friends. I didn’t understand what was happening. We were finally together all of the letters all of the planning was for this to be the beginning of us without having anything or anyone else to hamper our time or space. This was supposed to be the height of our golden era! Shoot we had just been married for over a year we were still supposed to be in the honeymoon phase. Instead we had transitioned into some unknown stage where I was trying to recapture the glow and he was now a nonparticipant. When I would try to talk to him about it or ask if I had done anything wrong, he would just say “I hate it here” and “Things will be better after we leave.” I tried to explain that yeah it wasn’t the ideal city, but we could still make the most of it. I was his ride or die. The Bonney to his Clyde. I could hear Tupac’s voice “All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend. Down to ride to the bloody end, just me and my girlfriend!” That is who I thought we were. To me it didn’t matter that we were in some small country cow town. We didn’t have kids or any responsibilities we could drive all over California and do whatever we wanted! Unfortunately, Adrian didn’t want to do anything except wait till we were somewhere else.
My inner voice was convinced that it was me. That he realized he made a mistake marring me and wanted out. Maybe he had a girl on the side. Maybe he just wasn’t attracted to me anymore. I was afraid and had no one to talk to. I had friends but not ones that I felt I could talk to about this stuff. My inner voice happily filled the silence. I was unsure of what to do so I ignored my stupid inner voice. Told myself that it was just my child hood fears trying to bring me down. He was just unhappy with our situation and things will get better. We are husband and wife things like this happen, we have our whole life ahead of us. One day we will look back on this and laugh. I would just try to find cool things to do, I would cook his favorite stuff, be extra sexy, and just kept trying to cheer him up. He resisted all of my efforts. I felt completely lost and alone.
One evening after work Adrian came home and immediately changed to go to the pool. I was surprised!! I had been trying to get him to go to the pool with me for weeks and he refused every time. When I asked what was going on, he just mumbled something about some coworkers asking him to come down to the pool. I was pissed! Not only was he going to the pool with them I had the feeling that he would prefer that I not join him. I went but just really to observe his interactions and after a short time I went back to our apartment. When he came back, I was sitting on the balcony. He came out and asked me what I was thinking about. I replied,” I was just thinking that if you don’t want to be married now would be a good time to say so. That way I can just pack my things and leave.”
The golden era had ended.
*** my wedding day cold feet came from a conversation Adrian and I had a week or so before the wedding. We were all giggly and cozy half clothed and laying around. I playfully asked him how he knew I was the one. He replied, “I was ready to be married.” I said that I understood the desire to be married but how did he know that it was me that he wanted to marry? He stated that he didn’t know just that he was ready to be in a relationship at that point. My inner voice went wild. Laughing and teasing me. “So, you thought he actually wanted you?!” “you are a space filler, he wanted a relationship and you were the most convenient option!!” my inner voice laughed and continued for the rest of the day. Late that night I could not sleep because she kept whispering “its not real” over and over in my ear. “You are a check mark in the box labeled relationship in his life.” “its not real” “open your eyes this is just a show, its all pretend!!” “He does not love you!” I didn’t want it to be true because I sincerely loved him, so I shut that shit down!! I tried to block the voice out completely, but she managed to slip through for a few min here and there. I never listened because my heart wanted what it wanted.***