Stories We Tell
A Fictional Series
At the age of twenty-two, I was weeks away from marrying Dylan – a young man I had been engaged to for a year – when he had sex with another woman.
The two were found in the cloakroom of Eleven Palms – an upscale restaurant that we had been considering for our reception.
We had an appointment there, for a tasting, but we had been arguing the entire week and Dylan said we should cancel. I told him that we ‘had’ to go, because the appointment had been really difficult to get.
So, as I sampled hors d’oeuvres, Dylan snuck away to the bar where he downed outrageously priced Glenfiddich, and then helped himself to dessert; a bartender named Claire.
The two were discovered by the maître d’ who had no qualms about making a scene in public, so everyone within earshot – which included me – knew what they had been up to. I know it sounds cliché, and totally unbelievable, but let me assure you – I could not make this shit up.
I was beyond fuming, and thought I’d never get over the embarrassment. My mother came to the rescue on that one; assuring me that the only one Dylan embarrassed was himself.
The engagement was off, but once my wounds had healed I was able to see the role that I had played in the debacle. I had teased Dylan, again and again, telling him that our relationship was hot, but my feet were getting cold.
My parents, Levi McGee and Martin Bale, had never gotten married, and their relationship was insanely perfect. Most of my friends had parents who were divorced, and the stories that they told me were downright scary.
My Aunt Dizzy had a story too. Her parents didn’t even make it to divorce – her mom just ran off, never to be seen or heard from again. My point is, marriage scared the hell out of me and I never hid that from Dylan.
When the anger subsided, I saw things more clearly. What Dylan and I had was what you might call a ‘beautiful disaster’. Our love for each other was fierce, and our relationship was built on lust and passion.
Passion can be a good thing, when it’s kept in check, but ours led to volatility. It was animalistic. We were either f-ing like rabbits, or fighting like cats and dogs. And when things started to unravel, before the marriage even began, Dylan went on the prowl – for a new doe.
But, enough about Dylan… because my story’s not about him.
About a year after this happened, my Aunt Dizzy came over all excited and told us that she had been in touch with my old friend Ben, the boy she and David had fostered.
“He’s absolutely gorgeous Delilah,” she said. “He’s all grown up and he’s coming over for dinner Saturday night. You need to come!”
And I did.
Ben and I didn’t say much during dinner. It was hard to talk because Dizzy and my mom monopolized the conversation. They acted like giddy teenagers who had just met their favorite celebrity idol. They even took selfies with him, and posted them on social media. It was just weird.
By the end of the meal, Dizzy was either drunk from the wine, or she had a food coma. Maybe both, because she was pretty zonked. My mom said that Ben and I should skedaddle while she and David finished the dishes and put Dizzy to bed.
We walked to the lake where we used to play. My swing was gone, but everything else was the same. Ben and I talked about the fun we had together when we were twelve, and some of the bigger things that had happened in our lives since then, but we also stayed quiet and looked out at the lake.
Sitting in silence, watching the moonlight dance on the water, I felt connected to Ben. It wasn’t like the lust or passion that had bound Dylan and I together so destructively. It was much deeper, but ever so tender. It was soulful, and within it I found peace. Ben felt it too.
Life went on. I continued to date people, and Ben continued to date people, but we stayed in touch and maintained this bizarre connection that was difficult to describe.
It wasn’t until several years later that Ben – unknowingly – put it into words. He sent me a long email, eagerly filling me in on all of the details of his latest adventure, and at the end of his email he had signed it: “Eternally yours.”
The description that I’d been looking for was right there in front of me, and Ben had nailed it. The relationship that we had was “eternal,” and to this day… many moons later… it still remains.
A Note From Me
First of all, I hope you can see the image clearly. I know it’s pretty dark. I looked at the small version on my phone and it was hard to make out, but I’m done and in no mood to fix it.
I also hope you liked the story. I’m trying to stay under 800 words, which I usually do with ease, but this time I was having too much fun with the tale of the ex-fiancé.
Speaking of the 800 words, that reminds me of another show that I binge watched months ago. It was called… 800 Words. Haha! I figure that must be the magic number or something.
If I could spend more time on this particular segment, I think I’d like for Delilah to go into more detail about the differences between her volatile relationship with Dylan and the one she has now, with Ben.
I’m thinking I must come back to that one day. Hey, maybe the two will even date someday… who knows?!?
Also, I was going to try and incorporate the eternal (or infinity) symbol into my image, but I was so frustrated with my progress that I ixnayed the idea. Maybe I’ll fix that sometime too.
Anyway, I think that’s all for now. Time to read and mess around on the tablet.
Thank you for reading!