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Jan 2016
Decisions are kind of a funny concept. Some people believe that everything happens for a reason. Others believe that each decision has a domino effect on other parts of life. Have you heard of the butterfly effect? This idea believes that every decision leads to various outcomes, and that there are multiple paths a person can take. I like to agree with this statement.

Decisions are what make a person. At least, they're what show a person's character...

I observe ordinary character on a regular basis. I work at a liquor store in a town of roughly three-thousand people. I know the regulars by name, and I can tell who's had a rough day or who is excited for the weekend by what they purchase. I know when Barb is furious at her husband because she buys two liters of *** and the smokes he hates. I can tell when Dave is on good terms with his fiance because he skips the Fireball and heads straight for his 24-pack. Bob... is really just Bob. He comes in and buys a liter of coke, a liter of Bacardi, and a pack of Marlboro reds every day at 4:30 on the dot. Each of these regular's decisions display part of their character. Many of their purchases can be influenced by their emotions... but what part of life isn't?

You're probably wondering when I'm going to get to my point. That'll be a couple hundred words further. You of all people know how great I am at ranting.

How is my minimum-wage job connected to decisions and character? That's a good question. Each decision leads to a specific outcome. These decisions are based on the character of a customer. Their character is displayed in their decisions at my dead-end job. Anyway, back to your decisions.

Decision Making
Relationships are basically a hurdle of decisions. Deciding how to sleep together. Deciding the best way to kiss despite the height difference. Deciding what to say when meeting the in-laws. Deciding when to say "I love you". It's decision after decision after decision.

I like to think that each decision can lead to various outcomes. For example, if I would have never lost my virginity to a one-night-stand and cried about it to the girl living across from me, I would have never met you. So, if I waited to take off my clothes or if I cried about it to my roommate instead, this last year would have gone a lot differently.

I'm beginning to work my way to your decisions. First, let me state that you were the most indecisive person I have ever met. You were passive. You were lukewarm. You were flat. You were only certain on one thing: your admiration for college basketball.

I have to admit that you were decisive on your verdict to be with me... for a time. I guess I have to give you a little credit. You weren't all bad. There was a lot of good in you. But, there was a lot of rottenness underneath your tall, dark, and handsome physique.

The Beginning of the End
You decided to avoid a decision from the very beginning. Sure, it was me that you wanted. I mean, I was great. I still am. I may be biased, but I don't care. You wanted me... but you didn't want the price-tag I came with.

What did I tell you from the beginning? Let me refresh your memory. We were sitting on a lime green couch in the lobby of our college. It was close to midnight and I was exhausted but didn't want to be without you. I told you that I expected you to:

1. Be honest.
2. Be faithful.
3. Pursue me.
4. Make me a priority.

I didn't ask for much. I was searching for... Oh, I don't know, a relationship that sounded pretty standard in my terms. I wanted something serious, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't looking for fun or liveliness. These requests were normal, in my mind.

I then asked you if you would choose me over your mother. I knew you were close to her... and I hadn't met her yet. Also, for some reason, I already had a feeling that she despised the thought of me, and the idea of her little man bringing a girl home... (God forbid she have a brain on her head).

I didn't want to be tantalizing. I believe I am gentle in nature. But, if everything worked out, I wished to be the number one woman in your life... not your mother. I restated my question after a few beats and you continued to ponder the thought. After a few seconds you told me, "No, probably not. But I might change. I want you." That should have stopped me in my tracks.

But it didn't. We were together for about a year since that night. We kept things quiet for a few months before becoming "official" or whatever. Your decision or avoidance should have sent me running... and it did... to you.

I think part of myself knew that I deserved better. Also, part of myself believed that there was beauty in maltreatment. But, I saw potential in you. You were my best friend.

You were... I was in love with you.

I was willing to fight for us. I was willing to fight for you. I was willing to battle it out... and I saw myself coming out victorious, like the warrior I truly am... but, you were a battle lost from the very beginning.

Whatever "Fighting for Me" Looked like to You
Things got worse when confusion arose between your mother and I. She thought I was sleeping with you (when I wasn't). There was a lot of yelling... most of it was in Spanish. I was scared. I was petrified. She believed I was ******* up her perfect son. This put us on unsteady ground.

This was also the first time I saw you cry.

It was a battle between what she wanted and what I wanted. She wanted me out of the picture. I wanted you to stand up for me, and to stand up for us.

You chose me. This would be the one and only time I came out as the number one priority. I believe this was because you were over three hundred miles away from her piercing eyes and thin lips. It was easy to put us first when she wasn't there to "knock some sense" into her son.

Your mother didn't speak to you for months. She was furious. She was angry. Her dislike toward me grew with every passing day.

Letting the Bruises Heal
For the next six months, things seemed to get better. We fought but made up. We talked of the future while understanding that we were still young. We grew as lovers and as friends. We made promises and kept them.

But, the semester was ending. The snow was gone and the grass was nowhere near green. Three months of separation were just around the corner and I knew of the trials to come. I also knew that if we could make it through the summer, that we could last. That is, if we could make it with your bitter mother by your side.

Seperation Leads To...
Three months of fifteen minute phone calls every once in a while dragged on. I was patient with you. We were both working our tails off. I was taking summer classes. You spent any and all of your extra time off working for your dad or training for soccer preseason. Still, I was patient.

We saw each other twice during the summer. Those days were some of my happiest within this past year. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder. Those first moments of seeing you were like revelations. All of the time away made sense. The eight hour drive to see you made sense. We made sense.

It was during your stay at my house when I realized I didn't want to be with anyone else. Ever. It was the first time you told me you were in love with me. I felt the same. We didn't just love one another, we were in love.

It was during my stay at your house, a few months later, when I realized things were heading south.

We fought. We fought a lot during the month before I drove to Wisconsin. It was almost daily. Somehow we made up... somehow. You were stressed and I was anxious. I was anxious and afraid.

But, I came down to see you, nonetheless. Most moments, I believed we were healed. We could conquer anything. Others... I knew your mind was elsewhere.

Although, when we said goodbye, I believed we were true. You made me a promise I was sure you would keep. Our goodbye was the second time I would see you cry.

Looking back, I think I know why. You were tempted. You were more than tempted.

Decisions and Indecisiveness
The day after I got back home, you said you "wanted to take your promise back".

Two days after that, you left home to go to a camp I knew nothing about. You "couldn't take your phone" but I knew better than that.

We went an entire week without talking. And I knew something was wrong. I had never felt so sick in my life.

You eventually returned home from camp. But, it took you two days to respond to me. Once you finally called me, you told me you "couldn't do this right now". Then you hung up. That's when I knew it was over.

I was furious. I was jealous. You were tagged in pictures on social media with a few girls in particular.

1. Phones were allowed.
2. You were awfully close to one girl.
3. You were lying through your teeth.

We met up on campus a few days later. I had a list of questions that just about vanished into thin air when I saw you. You were ruggedly handsome... And I was still in love with you.

You greeted me with a hug. I just about cried.

You explained to me that your parents gave you an ultimatum. It was me or college. Stay with me, and college was out of the funds for you. Break things off with me, and college would be paid for. You told me you chose college.

You explained how you "needed to do this for yourself".

You also told me you didn't love me anymore.

You decided against me.

The Entire Truth
I was confused. I was heartbroken. Nothing made sense. It was like you gave me a puzzle that was missing more than half of the pieces. I spent the next month trying put the thing together. I came up with one single solution... but I didn't want to believe it.

My hypothesis rang true through a friend. I believed you cheated on me. Yes, I was sure your parents pulled their big levers; but I believed you were hiding information from me. You were.

I can't go into the details because I don't know all of them. In fact, I probably never will. I've ran through every scenario a thousand times in my head, and I still come up short.

All I know are your decisions. Your decisions show your character. Your character is flawed. Your decisions broke a large part of me. I am still attempting to put myself back together.

Out of all of your indecision, out of months of tug-of-war, you were so decisive on leaving. You were set on cheating. If anything, I wish I could ask you why.

Why did I always seem to come up short? Why wasn't I good enough for you? Why did you choose money, college, and your family over me? Why did you choose her over me?

So many questions I will never get closure on.

Deciding to Decide
I have moved on... for the most part. There are still days (like today) when I miss you more than anything. But, I am stronger. I am certain that I was good enough for you, even if you couldn't see it. I am also certain that you were the first person I was truly meant to be with.

Remember when I mentioned the butterfly effect? I know that different decisions lead to various outcomes. We have the choice. We decide where our life goes (or we choose indecision).

Your decisions led to a different life. A life without me.

And I think, as of right now, I'm okay with that.
For WY

Not poetry. I don't know where else to put this.

Insanely long. A lot of ranting. A lot of heartache. A lot of decision making.

I can't pack our story into one piece... but I tried.
Allyson Walsh
Written by
Allyson Walsh  Minnesota
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