Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Ghost

At thirty years old, Sebastian didn't really know what to make of his life. As a matter of fact, he really only knew that he wasn't exactly happy with the way his life had turned out so far. To him it seemed the past ten years had been something of a waste. Of course, one always learns something in ten years, but Sebastian felt like he really had nothing to show for it, except his "list of regrets."
In matters of love, Sebastian was relatively late to the game. He had mostly been extremely shy and nervous around girls. He never had the self confidence to be able to strike up a conversation out of thin air. His first kiss wasn't even until he was seventeen! He was certainly interested in girls, and while he never considered himself a womanizer (and certainly never wanted to be viewed as one) he did sometimes tend to be flirtatious with certain girls. However, he found that when it came to girls that he was actually interested in, his nerves and fear of rejection held a firm grip on his conversational skills.
His first serious relationship had led him to fall truly in love, at least this is how he felt. As it turns out, this was only Sebastian's second girlfriend, ever. Her name was April, and thoughts of her consumed his mind. They had met while he was still in high school and the relationship continued into his early college years. Finding some more freedom in college he would, at times, skip classes to spend time with April. He might leave the campus early to go pick her up for a dinner date, or miss an early morning class to be able to spend the morning with her. Reflecting back, Sebastian would eventually store those times in his "list of regrets."
A year and a half into this totally committed relationship, April found that she was pregnant, and this would change both of their lives. Nine months later, their lives did change, and she moved away to be able to live with her parents. Sebastian and April had, of course, talked about getting married, but neither were ready for that, and sadly this was the most feasible option at the time. However, they decided that after some months Sebastian would come to where April was and they would get a civil ceremony marriage to, at least, make it official. Details of living arrangements, and financial issues would have to wait for these two young, and desperate, lovers. The important thing at that time was to "do the right thing." So after a few months had passed, Sebastian gathered his necessary papers, and clothes enough for about two weeks, and travelled to April's parents' house. In the months leading up this, and certainly during the trip itself, Sebastian struggled with the prospect of marriage. He knew not to take such matters lightly. He knew in reality he wasn't ready, both emotionally, and certainly not financially. He also knew that he was madly in love with April, and despite all his doubts he was ready to give up his own life to start a new one with her. He was sure of only that fact.
"I don't think we should get married. I don't think I love you that way and I don't want to make a huge mistake."
Surely this cannot be how she told him the news that had apparently been working in her mind for several months. Actually, she probably didn't utter these exact words, nevertheless, this is how Sebastian perceived it. He was heartbroken, truly heartbroken. This was not the kind of conversation he had been expecting. He had been preparing himself mentally, and emotionally, to make a huge sacrifice, and he felt betrayed that she would let him carry on believing they were to be married while she had serious doubts, even of their love (of which he had, up to now, no doubts.)
Sebastian left, heartbroken, depressed, and a changed man. He couldn't have known then, how greatly this had affected him. This too, was added to Sebastian's "list" but remained a subconscious ghost haunting his future relationships. Now at thirty years old he found someone whom he could actually love, that would love him back. Sadly though, that ghost persisted and it skewed Sebastian's perception of love. He feared having to add more to his "list"; but that fear caused the very thing he feared.

This is a story for another time.

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