Looking Back at Love: Episode IV-A Girl and a Marine

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credit: polyvore.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of a personal reflection in hopes of catharsis. To start from the beginning, read here. Comments are always welcome, I only ask comments remain respectful of the writer and of other commenters.

She remembered thinking back on how she always gave up hope of love but then there was always another handsome face, someone who managed to sweet talk her. After Nick, there wasn’t much dating but then there was a blast from her past. She’d met “Jamie” at a Christmas party in 2006 and saw him again a year later – both times for the same set of mutual friends. She had the biggest crush on him! But he’d enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was about to deploy after the first party, and then again after the second. She never saw him or heard from him…until after the second try with Nick.

A friend request from someone who seemed like a stranger threw her for a loop. She opted to accept on a whim. After accepting, she realized it was Jaime. Shortly after, they began talking through the messenger program and eventually by phone the summer of 2009. They hit it off and she couldn’t be more excited. She held so much hope.

One night while talking on the phone, he asked a peculiar question. He wanted to know if she’d ever been to a ball. A ball? Um…no. He asked if she wanted to go with him to the Marine Corps ball that would take place that November. She couldn’t have been more thrilled at the idea. They discussed and made plans and she knew she’d take vacation from work and would spend a week with him. Work would end up changing suddenly, but it didn’t change her vacation plans. She was too set on seeing Jaime to allow her work circumstances to keep her from going. She bought her dress and prepared for her time in California all the while knowing she’d spend some time interviewing for a new job.

It was a week she’ll never forget. She was nervous once she landed in San Diego, there was so much anticipation. The plans were for the two of them to stay on Camp Pendleton in one of the beach cabanas. It ended up feeling like playing house with a man she’d really grown to care about and that week only made it “worse” in a way. It wasn’t a perfect week in terms of it being without a few hiccups – she was a bit sick early in the week, there were a couple of miscommunications but nothing devastating. How he treated her, talked to her, even with those miscommunications, was such a turnaround from all she’d experienced. She couldn’t remember feeling so safe with anyone before him.

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At the Marine Corps Ball – Nov. 2009; what a night!

Staying a full week in a private little house-like setting really excited her…probably too much. It gave false hope. As the week was ending, it became clearer Jaime planned to get out of the USMC and move to Alaska with a friend. His plans were to work and finish school to move into another career. While she knew that most likely meant nothing for the two of them in the future, as she opted to accept the California job, she hoped against all odds things could possibly work out somehow. It didn’t. Jaime previously revealed to her that he had a tendency to push people he cared about away whenever he was going to leave and not be around but somehow she didn’t really listen to that statement. Or at least the real meaning hadn’t sunk in for her. Perhaps arrogance kept her from thinking it would happen to her, but it did.

When she first came home, she had to focus on moving from Salida to first her mom’s place and to Needles for the new job all in a week. This meant not having much time to talk to Jaime but he understood. At first all seemed well, he said he missed her, etc., but over time, he was talking to her less and less. This fed her insecurity. Of course, when they were talking on the phone one night and he out of the blue mentioned meeting this girl when he was hanging out with his sister, things were set in motion. He said this girl was practically his twin, they had so much in common. Well, what does that mean? She said that made her feel badly and he tried to comfort her by saying there are different levels of interest but never explained what that meant or what level she was on and what level this other girl was on…the whole thing was upsetting. She tried to put it behind her and let it be but after that conversation, she heard from Jaime less and less. By that time he was getting ready to get out of the Corps and to move. It hadn’t dawned on her that he was pushing her away because he’d be leaving soon.

One bad phone call possibly compounded issues too. Her insecurities did get the best of her and was a bit more emotional on the phone with him than she should have been but his behavior and his commentary about another woman really triggered that, how is it her fault? Sure, she should feel confident enough about how he felt and who she was to not let it bother her but who wouldn’t be bothered by all of that? How could she have known that her emotions would drive him away. He did tell her once that he never really dealt with emotions and worked to keep even keeled but, again, she really didn’t hear any of that. The whole thing was frustrating. Anyway, he called her even less after that. Finally she got him on the phone knowing he was about to leave and she really wanted to try and see him one last time before he left, but it was too late. Turns out he was leaving first thing in the morning and never bothered to tell her beforehand…she knew he’d leave at the end of February or early March so she thought she had one more weekend, but no. She fought to hold the tears back and he promised to call her back after he came back from his friend’s place but that never happened. That phone call was about seven years ago. She’s never heard another word from him. She always thought they’d at least stay friends but apparently that wasn’t to be either. Heartbreaking. It’s like an open  wound that won’t quit scab over and heal.

Abandonment is rough! The person left behind just wonders what went wrong, why is this deserved, etc. There was never any closure so some days she thinks if she saw him again she’d just want to junkpunch him and other days, she’d throw her arms around him and kiss him…assuming he’s single. She works hard to not let herself even think that he could be single after so much time because how could he be? She’s certain he has at least one kid and is married though she doesn’t actually know any of that. She just feels it’s better to assume “the worst” and deal with it if that should be the case. After everything, she’s decided that hope is a terrible thing to have. As sad as that sounds, she just wants to protect herself now.

I Never Told You – Colbie Caillat – a song that made me think of him every time for so long.

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