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Chapter One

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In the Beginning

In the beginning there was Adam and Eve, right? Wrong, it was Dallas and Finley. Yeah, not so exciting, but trust me, it does rate quite well in the ridiculousness department. Hang in there, you'll see. The night I met him was not a good one. I had worked a double at my server job which was the principle source of college tuition and beer money. The latter being most important in my small world. Back then I could out drink most of my friends. Yeah, something my momma would be proud of. He was a mutual acquaintance and my co-worker was his roommate. Who lives with chicks and doesn't sleep with them? Well, apparently this guy.

I was pissy and tired but that didn't stop me from participating in said beer consumption. I was besties at the time with a bodybuilder chick. If I weren't so straight, I'd want to fuck her myself. It provided a state of safety when we went places. I knew no one would mess with me. They were all into her. At first I was jealous. I'll admit it. Who wouldn't be? She was HOT. But after a while, it seemed to work for us. She got the attention she demanded. I got beer and fun, without the hassle.

This particular night, that roommate of his, thought she'd play matchmaker. I wasn't having it. Actually, the dude he was with, was more my type. I thought. Dallas was drunk, and annoying. He refused to leave me alone. I refused to acknowledge the badgering. It went well. I thought.

So well that the next day he showed up at a table in my section. I couldn't exactly ignore him. My nightly entertainment relied on this job, after all. So I did the next best thing, I flirted with the friend. Sad but now, years later, I don't even remember the dude's name. And in hindsight, so thankful I didn't continue with that bad decision, to come onto him.

Dallas was able to talk me into one date. We went to the same beer establishment that I frequented and first laid eyes upon him. I was probably known as a regular. Who cares when you're 23 and free of basic rules like going to bed at a decent time and I don't know, paying bills. I was bad at that second part then, still am. Some things never change.

Back to Dallas. He was a good ol' boy. I swore them off with my forever and a day relationship with "the redneck of the world", in high school. Okay, three years, but back then, that was an eternity. Obviously, I've got a soft spot for the country life. Dallas asked me that night, on our first date, to go to Costa Rica on a surf trip. It was months away but he was so sure I'd still be around.

I know you think maybe I came to my senses and declined, never looking back as the door missed my ass on the way out. Nope, can't say that happened. We went, we drank, a lot. We saw, and it was pretty amazing. Yes, I did it, I fell for him, hard. And I was okay with that. I dropped other possible "friends" and concentrated solely on us. It was a good focus for a while. I began to feel like an actual adult. One that was struggling to again pay those damn bills and finish college. But at least I had someone there beside me to endure the struggle. The sex wasn't half bad either. Which leads me to... our accidental surprise.

Yep, you guessed it, we got pregnant. How the hell did that happen? Talk about adulting... Still it was okay. We were in it together, that stupid quote on a billion hallmark cards. I believed it. It became my reality for a very long time. Essentially the mantra I repeated when the going got tough.

We got married when I was five months pregnant. My mother was appalled. She wanted to sweep our union into the corner, where no one would see. Of course, that's not my style. I planned a big event, more bills of course. But I didn't care. Get married once in your lifetime, it should be amazing, right. I believed it, anyway. The wedding was incredible and I won't ever forget it. They say some things you never forget no matter what. I'd agree to that one.

So we had the baby, a boy. Two years full of more adulting and struggle. Then Shocker, the accident happened again. What the fuck was wrong with us? This time we weren't quite as surprised. We managed and the joy of having a baby happened again. I could say and then we lived happily ever after but you know that's practically a never occurance. AND this would be one boring ass story if that were the case. Yay for messed up lives to entertain the masses.

So the years passed, good and bad times, the struggle is real, people. Haha! When the second boy turned six I got it into my brilliant mind that I had to have a mini-me. I wanted a girl for those of you who are slow. Again, what is wrong with me?

Somehow Dallas agreed. I'm convinced it was the trying part that convinced him. He agreed rather quickly. So we tried, a lot. Sex was great. Who am I kidding? Sex IS great. Finally, it worked. We actually tried this time, no surprises. Ha, I was the queen of the world with this grand plan. Unfortunately, my plans seventy-five percent of the time, don't exactly turn out well. I miscarried. It was more than devastating. I was finally in charge and I lost the small bit of control I had acquired. We spent a lot of time coming to terms with the loss. It was rough.

I'm not one to focus on the pain. We cleaned our wounds made some tough decisions and decided we liked sex too much. We tried again after the doctor's okay. Well not really. Since when do I listen to expert, authoritative, advice?

We got pregnant again and I'm proud to say, the plan worked. We even got lucky and that little mini-me came to be. I'm far from philosophical but at this point in my life I was a firm believer that the plan usually doesn't work out the way you envision it. The miscarriage carried that huge lesson. We all have those moments that teach us life lessons. I believe it's what you do with the lessons. If they don't change you or your actions, you're an idiot. Sorry, but true story.

About this point, I started to let go of the need for control. Many would say three kids will do that. I can't disagree. But knowing that the plan will always change helps with stress, anxiety, and disappointment.

We continued to live life, raising three kids, paying those damn bills and trying to stay afloat in every day happenings. Not only did life change with our kids growing up but we changed. They always say things change. Nothing remains the same. I never thought of this in terms of people. I always felt like we reached a certain age and we are hopeless for change. I would have said case in point, elderly folk. Again, I only know what I'm talking about, half the time.

But this happened. It was quite real and scary for me. What do you do when you've been married for a long time and it's nothing like it was when you had that blissful wedding day, the one you'll never forget? How do you even put that into words?

I couldn't so I didn't. I tried to share with my bestie, Avery. But no one gets what your reality is unless they live it. So I suffered in silence. Safe to say, it was ineffective. I became more and more unhappy and I couldn't figure out what to do about it.

What was wrong with me? I had three healthy, smart, wonderful kids. My husband still loved me, of this I was pretty sure. But our relationship had changed. I can't put my finger on the day or time but it was different. I wasn't sure if it would ever go back to the way it used to be. We were finally living part of the dream with a decent house, nice neighborhood and good jobs. But I, Finley, wasn't happy.

For a while, years, my silence continued. I reasoned that as long as everyone is healthy and the kids are happy, that's all that mattered. But resentment created a wall around me. I started hating small things I loved the year before. That control thing felt like fine sand flowing through my fingers.

I was entering territory I had no idea how to navigate. And then the ridiculousness happened...


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