I Chose Her

The Next Family

By: Tanya Dodd-Hise

Our first weekend together was amazing; it was like living a lifetime of smiling and laughing, all in two days.  While it was wonderful –with the joys and thrills of that first kiss, hand-holding, first snuggles on the couch during movies –it also went by very quickly.  Before we knew it, Sunday afternoon was upon us and we were packing up to head back to our respective homes.  There was a sadness in the air that afternoon, both of us knowing that our stint in fantasy land was coming to a close. I would go back to my single mom life of living with my boys and my mother; she would return to an almost unbearable unhappiness, to a husband with whom she shared a separate life within a household.  There wasn’t a whole lot of laughing and talking later on that Sunday afternoon, as we didn’t know what to say.  I wanted to see her more, to know her more, to be with her more.  She seemed to want those things, too, but grappled with her reality that she had no intentions of changing any time in the near future.  We were both very torn.

After we said our goodbyes for the weekend, I headed home, ready to see my boys.  Erikka seemed less enthusiastic about returning to her house, given that her husband had attempted on Friday to ruin her weekend away in every way that he could.  She hesitantly but eventually did head back home, only to discover that he – and a great deal of the household belongings – had disappeared.  What a shock to go home and find that he was gone! There was no note; there was no phone call.  I wanted to go over and be there for her, but was told by Holly that I should stay home –that Erikka was in shock and didn’t want me to come over just yet.  I remember feeling helpless, wanting to be there for her, and not knowing what was going on.  Holly helped her pack up some things and took Erikka to her house, where she stayed for about a week while figuring out where she would go from there.  I remember going to see her on my lunch break one day, not knowing what to say or do, because I knew that deep down inside, she wasn’t all that upset that the marriage was ending.  I wanted to spend more time with her, but knew that I had to do my best to stay back and give her the space that she needed to finish things.  It was hard to watch her, this beautiful woman that I was quickly falling for more and more, live in a tumultuous upheaval of confusion.  I wanted to go and help her get her house back in order, but she didn’t want me to come over or see it, saying that it was too messy.  She let Holly come and help her, because she had been there before and seen the state that it was in. I hated not being able to go and help her when she needed it most.

It didn’t take very long before life settled down. She got things back in place and proceeded with moving forward in this new phase in her life.  We saw each other some, most of the time at my house, while trying to keep any of our dating under wraps.  Because she was in the process of filing for divorce, we decided that it was best to keep our relationship private.  I was also unsure of how my ex would handle it, even though he had given me the impression that he was not only aware of my desires but perfectly okay with them.  I knew how my mother would handle it, and after having experienced her wrath after other attempts to come out, I just wasn’t prepared to do so again.  But THAT is a whole other story.  For the time being, I was having to deal with the fact that I had no choice but for this relationship with Erikka to go slower than I wanted.  She filed for divorce herself (she’s an attorney, and can easily do that), and decided that she didn’t want to settle into a dating relationship with just one person. So she dated me along with another woman, much to my chagrin.  That was probably the toughest thing for me during those first few months of our dating.

But here we were, and I knew that I had a choice.  I could either plant my feet, stomp the ground, and demand that she make a choice – either me or HER – and risk her choosing the other and being done with me for good; or, I could accept her wishes and be one of the people that she was seeing.  I hated it.  I hated knowing those times that she was out with someone else, and would sit at home and eat ice cream and cry like a big baby, wondering where they were or what they would be doing.  It was sad.  I was in bad shape, and I had it bad for her.  I knew that I had chosen, and I was choosing her if she would have me.

Now I just needed to figure out how to make her choose the same way…

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